SB81 has been passed, BUT there is still work to be done.
First, contact Governor Huntsman (801-538-1000) and strongly, but politely, ask him to sign the bill. It is also worth asking what position the Governor has taken on this bill.
Second – contrary to news reports, who consistently get it wrong, the bill only affects businesses that contract with the state (not business, in general). Hence the baby steps to identity theft protection (see the “Help with SB 81” post for links on this issue too).
Next, the bill may be good once it goes into effect. However, an amendment delayed implementation until July, 2009 (again, baby steps). That means criminal illegal immigrants will be released onto our streets (via parole, end of sentence, etc) and be allowed to earn tax money and public benefits while they and other ID thieves continue to use stolen children’s identities.
In addition, since Senator Jenkins and his group were successful in delaying implementation until 2009, his task force (SB 97) will be able to issue their report before the provisions go into effect. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that the task force is not much more than a mask for a study in excuses and spin to, ultimately, kill implementation of SB 81. The legislature may do so next session (2009). Hence the need for extreme vigilance, especially during the 2009 session to ensure that reforms are not spiked. This is even more important as 2009 (unlike this year) is not an election year.
Basically, they can pass SB 81 this year to cover their political butts during an election year only to rescind or gut the measures (thereby pleasing Chamber of Commerce, big business, and other lobbyists) after re-election. It would be a classic Machiavellian-style maneuver.
Continued vigilance over the next full year is crucial.
Finally, it is also worth observing that Representative McIff was able to put a provision in the bill to allow transporting illegal immigrants less that 100 miles (excluding that from ‘human trafficking’ provisions) in an, apparent, effort to appease groups who knowingly use illegal immigrant labor.