Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives Rebecca Lockhart-R, Provo started off this year’s legislative session with a bang on Monday by asking Governor Herbert to use his ability to veto legislation more often.
In her opening remarks, Lockhart lamented the fact that last year the legislature put more than 200 new pages of new laws on Utah’s already long books, and expects to see another 1,000 bills proposed this year and 400 more passed. “That’s on top of the thousands and thousands of pages already on the books. Do we really want to keep doing that? Really? Really?”
Dominated by Republicans: 61-14 in the House and 25-4 in the Senate, with Herbert also a Republican, perhaps Lockhart needs to put her own House in order if she is concerned about the number of new laws being passed. Lockhart urged lawmakers to not follow Congress’ inability to compromise. Could Utah Democrats have good ideas that never get heard?
Nearly one-fourth: 25 of 104 lawmakers are new to the Utah Legislature this year. Gone are Carl Wimmer, Chris Herrod, Stephen Sandstrom, Chris Buttars (who left at the end of 2011) and Senate President Michael Waddoups. Who knows what we’ll hear from Curtis Oda-R, Clearfield (remember his bill allowing for shooting feral cats last year) or Mike Noel-R, Kanab who has called global warming a “conspiracy” wants federal land to be owned by state.
Last year we saw bills about regulating people who braid hair, extreme control over sex education in schools, a state gun, and four bills about the state’s desire for ownership of federal land. Recent bills concerning immigration, intra-state commerce and healthcare reform have cost Utah taxpayers millions in court battles and legal fees.
In the last two years, Utah government has seen scandals in its liquor agency, the Department of Transportation and the Utah Transit Authority. Perhaps Ms. Lockhart and her cronies need to consider Utah’s real issues: Education, healthcare, a polluted environment and ethics reform. To quote the speaker, "Do we really want to keep doing that? Really? Really?”
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Source: Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Legislature