Local health department officials can’t use taxpayer dollars to promote fluoridation and other ballot issues under a bill passed by the House this past week.
SB85 now goes to Gov. Olene Walker’s desk for consideration.
Rep. Roger Barrus, R-Centerville, read from a Davis County Health Department brochure produced at taxpayer expense that quoted the anticipated costs of fluoridating the county’s water supply. “It was $1.5 million short” of the ultimate cost, said Barrus.
And the misinformation ˜ which the health department later realized ˜ may have swung the close election to approval of fluoridation, he said.
SB85 just adds health department officials to a current law that says public entities and officials can’t use taxpayer funds to promote a ballot issue.
Asked if school boards could put out information in favor of a bond election, Barrus said yes, that “brief” accounts are allowed that explain the ballot proposition, even state the public entities’ stand on the measure. But misinformation and large public opinion campaigns should not be waged by health department officials, he said.