2008 Legislative Wrapup (my picks)

SB 81 – Illegal Immigration, made it through and is on the Governor’s desk. I called the Governor’s office this morning and a asked if Governor Huntsman had taken a position on the bill. The staffer was a bit wishy washy but stated that the Governor did indicate that he would sign the bill. Nevertheless, it is still advisable to contact his office (801-538-1000) and ask that he sign the bill. It is also extremely advisable to keep an eye on the implementation of this bill over the next year as the legislature delayed it’s implementation until mid-2009. This gives them the opportunity to tout that they’ve address the illegal immigration issue during this election year and, after re-election, turn around and gut the bill in the 2009 session. The need for vigilance on this bill can not be overemphasized.

Some illegal immigrant activists are already screeching “racism” to try to derail the bill (whether it be by Governor Huntsman on the 2009 Legislature). Gotta love that way overplayed ‘race card’. As usual, when all else fails, go for the race baiting personal attacks. In the meantime, Utah will remain a gateway State for illegal immigrants and various identity thieves.

HB 241 didn’t make it. It would have required illegal immigrants receiving in-state tuition benefits not to engage in identity theft to get a job. Apparently, that is asking too much. Compassion seems one-sided again: care for the ID thieves while ignoring the victims. Additionally, illegal immigrants get to keep their taxpayer funded driver privileges as well.

The nanny state prevailed in HB 140. Parents are, obviously, way too incompetent to decide what is best for their children so the State needs to take over. I can’t wait until the day that we have mandatory home inspections/searches for smoke and CO detectors. You may call the Governor and ask for a veto but I wouldn’t hold my breath on Huntsman – he’s big in social programs etc (even if it uses your money).

Kudos to the legislature for killing a pro-gun bill which was turned into a gun control bill by Representative Urquhart (R-St. George).

The legislature took the tax surplus (tax overpayment) and used it on various programs. That includes a teacher salary increase which, unfortunately, is not weighted based on teacher performance (they all get the same no matter how good or bad they do). We’ll see how much of it actually makes it to classroom teachers vs. what is siphoned off to District administrators. The use of the overpayment without any return to those paying it (taxpayers) is not surprising, based on Huntsman and Legislators indications, at the beginning of the session, that taxpayers got enough last year.

Finally, Senator Hatch et al. have ‘seen the light’ on illegal immigration and have requested more ICE officers for Utah. Of course, they timed this at the end of the legislative session when no action could be taken (or legislation influenced). Smells of political gaming to me. If their serious and we actually see the officers here, it might be a step forward but we’ll see if this isn’t just election year footsie.

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