SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Democratic Party chairman became angry after the House Republican caucus voted to close its meeting.
"This is the type of arrogant, pretentious, and disdainful behavior Utahns have come to expect from Utah's Republican leadership," said Utah Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis.
House Majority Leader Rep. Brad Dee, R-Washington Terrace, ruled after a voice vote that the meeting was closed Monday.
Legislators met again in a special session called by the governor to redistrict the state. They approved three maps -- the House, the Senate and the State School Board -- when they first met on Oct. 4. They now have to agree on a Congressional map which will split the state into four districts. It currently has three districts.
The state has to go through redistricting every 10 years after the census is completed.
The House was scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Monday, but did not get started until 10:25 a.m. and then voted to recess in order to meet in caucus meetings.
Dee said before the meeting was closed that even though a map was approved by the Senate on Oct. 4, it wasn't the map House members can agree on. He also assured Democrats, media and public members in the caucus meeting that "no drawing of the maps" were done in previous caucus meetings. House Republican members voted to close Monday's meeting stating the reason is a pending lawsuit by Democrats, but a few including Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful, opposed closing the meeting.
"There is an impression out there, which is wrong, we're drawing maps behind closed doors," Nielson said. "We're doing a disservice to the public by closing the meeting."
House members were expected to be on the floor to vote on a map at 1 p.m.