Some Republicans in the Utah State Senate want to move “the clock back 99 years to the era before the 17th Amendment was ratified,” the Salt Lake Tribune notes, with a bill that would let state lawmakers exert greater influence in the election of U.S. senators. Before the ratification of the 17th Amendment, state legislatures — not the people — elected senators. But a state Senate committee approved a bill to poll state senators on their preference for federal representation, a move that even Republican critics say undermines the popular election of U.S. senators and may be more about cronyism than good policy:
Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, was absent during the vote. But he said later that he opposes the resolution taking effect this year, fearing many will see it as a move to help former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-Bountiful, in his race against incumbent U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “I think people may see it as us trying to help a buddy, and the importance of what happened with the 17th Amendment may be lost,” he said.