Sens. Kevin Van Tassell and Jake Anderegg
Republican Sens. Kevin Van Tassell and Jake Anderegg both work for Zions Bank, Utah’s bond adviser. This year, they co-sponsored and voted for a bill allowing for the state to borrow up to $1 billion through bonds to pay for highway projects. The bill passed, and Zions Bank is expected to collect about $880,000 in fees from the bonds, according to state Treasurer David Damschen.
Van Tassell and Anderegg both said the bond legislation made sense for Utah and their employer has never told them how to vote. “The problem of it is, if you want to go deep enough, we’ve all got conflicts on every bill,” Van Tassell said. “But the best part about being a citizen legislature is you have to go home and live with what you voted on.”
Anderegg said he knew Zions Bank was the state’s bond adviser but it didn’t occur to him when he sponsored the legislation that his employer would collect some fees. He said he supported the bill because many of the road projects would help ease traffic in his district that has been a nightmare.
Reporting by the Center for Public Integrity’s Liz Essley Whyte and David Jordan; The Associated Press’ Summer Ballentine, Ryan J. Foley, Michelle Price, Holly Ramer, Gary Robertson, Mark Scolforo, Brian Slodysko.
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