APNewsBreak: Utah lobbyists treat lawmakers with no scrutiny

AP News
Posted: Feb 17, 2017 5:08 PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lobbyists who represent health care companies took a group of lawmakers who oversee health issues to dinner this week at an upscale restaurant in Salt Lake City.

Lawmakers who attended all sit on committees that oversee health issues, but they say they weren't lobbied health issues and it was a routine social event.

But for members of the public, it's hard to determine exactly how routine it is — the event falls into a gap in Utah lobbying laws that keep it from being required on lobbyist or lawmaker disclosure reports.

One lawmaker who didn't attend, Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis of Salt Lake City, says the dinners gives lobbyists an unfair advantage to get face time with legislators.

Dabakis says the events should be publicly disclosed.