Last year we had special interests pushing the Governor to play games with SB251, this year they are playing in the State Senate to effectively kill HB 70 (Illegal Enforcement Act) despite having overwhelmingly passed in the House. They have two strategies (at this time):
1. Get it into a hostile committee which will either vote down the bill or alter it to make it meaningless. Keep in mind that Representative Sandstrom took significant input and revised the bill a plethora of time to address various concerns and further watered down the bill during the final floor debate in the House. Feedback has been taken and incorporated.
2. Place the bill (along with others) into an omnibus bill. This is terrible no matter which side of the illegal immigration debate you stand. Doing this will allow legislators to vote down the measure as everyone is ensured to have a provision they, and their constituents, find unacceptable. Omnibus bills end up as a leviathan which no one really reads nor understands (especially the unintended consequences). Omnibus is just another recipe for a crap sandwich.
I also understand the special interests and some Senators would like to use the omnibus and/or committee route to significantly delay implementation of HB70 until after amnesty is granted by their other bills. That is, if the bill isn’t killed first or the omnibus doesn’t cause all bills to die or be rendered meaningless.
Each bill, whether it be for amnesty, enforcement, or otherwise, should be able to stand on its own and legislators should be expected to show their principles and go on the record by voting on each bill with its unique focus. No excuses allowed. No more games.
Last year SB251 was saved by public calls to the governor, this year won’t be much different. Please contact your legislator and Senator Waddoups (President of the Senate) politely, but firmly, ask that they bring the bill to the floor for a vote and oppose any attempts to alter the bill or combine it with others into omnibus legislation.
PS: Besides HB70, expect similar games with HB253 – which would introduce penalties for businesses who willfully violate state law on identity verification and hire illegal workers (illegal immigrants, fugitives, deadbeats, identity thieves etc).
UPDATE: Heh, Sen Bramble is set to present his
crap sandwich omnibus bill today…in Sen President Waddoups office. Beginning to sound like some serious backroom dealing going on and we’re going to get it shoved down our throats. Compare this to the open development of Rep Sandstrom’s HB70 bill over months in the public eye (and Robles’ bill, for that matter).