The way our elected lawmakers make laws is a matter for the state supreme court to decide—at least, in one of the laws passed in 2010. 

It started as a one-page bill about the way statewide elected officials could issue contracts for purchasing printing services.  The senate added an amendment that had nothing to do with that subject.  The House made it a 66-page bill by adding 49 sections about government ethics.   The final version was 69 pages, mostly ethics, but including the contracting provision.  By then, though, the purpose and the title of the bill had been changed–enacting 26 new provisions about ethics.  

The court is considering whether all of the sections unrelated to purchasing and other issues makes the bill unconstitutional because it altered the original purpose and violates the one subject per bill standard or everything but the ethics provisions should be thrown out because the new title refers to ethical standards, or whether the whole bill is okay. ..

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Holliger maintains the original purpose was ethics despite the original title and should be upheld in its entirety or the non-ethics provisions should be voided.

Attacking the bill is lawyer Chuck Hatfield who says changing the title, changing the purpose, and adding sections unrelated to procurement of services makes the whole thing unconstitutional.  He says the whole thing should be thrown out.

The court ruling is not expected for several weeks.

 Listen to the court arguments 40:24 mp3