State Legislative Wrapup

A few choice news stories regarding passed and pending legislation in the State of Utah:

State’s surplus just gets bigger – That means we’re being over taxed. I wonder if that will translate into an increase in the proposed tax cuts or simply bigger government (dumping it into ‘needy’ government programs). The main problem is that once these programs are expanded not only will government intrude further into our lives but when revenues tighten (during a recession) bureaucrats and entitlement users will squeal that we’ve got to fully fund this “absolutely vital” program. Additionally, no matter how ‘temporary’ the programs were intended to be, they will attempt to expand and grow only resulting in greater burdens on taxpayers.

If you pay for a service and are overcharged, you expect a refund. Taxpayers and businesses should expect nothing less here as well.

House rejects abortion measure
– I actually wish this in its original form would have passed. It would have cost legal fees but, in a state who’s population values life so dearly, it would have sent a clear message about our values and brought the potential to curtail abortions in the state and help restore state’s rights (whether it be to limit or increase which Roe v. Wade treaded upon. Nevertheless, at least they did pass a bill taking a stance on abortion. The original bill can be found here, the tougher substitute bill is here and click here for the accepted (2nd) substitute bill.

One last gripe on my rant – the legislature wasn’t ok using money for this but was fine with forcing the Salt Lake County Mayor (Peter Corroon) to use his county’s transient tax money to fund a soccer stadium/team with a troubled business plan. Corroon and his budgetary staff had previously rejected the deal, stating the business plan was unsound. While the state can override Mayor Corroon, I don’t think it was appropriate – Corroon should have been allowed to make the call.

Let’s end on a positive note, however:

Parents will soon have more choice and options to customize education to their children’s needs. Yesterday, the Governor signed HB 148 – Education Vouchers. The current state education monopoly and teachers unions are, obviously not happy about this (see this sour grapes op-ed). Nevertheless, this will be a big step in giving parents much more control (this is even acknowledged in the above op-ed) over their children’s education and help buffer the burden on school districts and tax payers a whole. I’ve blogged on this here – Education: Nanny State Knows Best? In the end, I think not only will our children benefit from this, but so will education as a whole (yes, I’m including public education in this).

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