SALT LAKE CITY — A local lawmaker’s gaffe on the floor of the Senate on Friday raised the question of just how closely some legislators are listening to the issues being discussed.
Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, had two pieces of closely related legislation to present on the Senate floor on Friday.
In presenting a bill dealing with protection of athletes with head injuries (HB 58), he ended up using an argument he had ready for a bill farther down the calendar dealing with how training for school nurses might potentially address head injuries (HB 269).
It didn’t seem to matter, initially.
HB 58 was approved easily, despite Christensen’s explanation of how nurses should potentially deal with head injuries. It was minutes later when the North Ogden lawmaker recognized his error and asked if his colleagues wanted to reconsider.
They did. HB 58 was recalled, for consideration again, while the bill dealing with school nurses was easily approved.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said it’s not a case of lawmakers not knowing what is going on. He said HB 58 had been debated on the floor the day before and was not unfamiliar to lawmakers.
“My experience is, we usually catch those things and fix them.”
Sen. Karen Mayne, D-Salt Lake City, admitted small errors do occur in the legislative process, but they are usually caught and fixed.
Ric Cantrell, a spokesman for the Senate, added that those mistakes are often fixed amid some laughter.
Niederhauser said: “We have our checks and balances.”