I think it’s more than safe to say HB300 is dead. However, its death is instructive on certain legislators’ attitudes toward their constituencies represented by delegates.
During 2011, several county and even the State GOP convention passed resolutions instructing legislators to repeal Utah’s rammed-through highly flawed amnesty legislation (HB116) and replace it with legislation that would respect the Constitution, actually be debated, and respect identity theft victims (HB300 was that bill). Further, the instruction passed despite fierce opposition from well funded and well organized special interests along with pleas from political elites like Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and in Governor Herbert’s presence. It was a case of David and Goliath as a small grassroots effort resonated with citizens elected by their neighbors sent a clear message to the legislature.
Unfortunately, many legislators (particularly leadership such as Bramble and Lockhart) appear so beholden to special interests, loyal only to their own interests, or lack the fortitude to stand up to the special interests behind HB116, that they entirely capitulated. The Senate President (Waddoups) also couldn’t be bothered to stand by his pledge. They flatly rejected the citizen delegates who nominated them.
Meanwhile, Governor Herbert is still trying to salvage something by reiterating how strongly he supports E-Verify legislation. As I noted on Monday, the fact of the matter is he doesn’t really give a rip. He will talk big but will take absolutely no action or show even a whiff of leadership. The E-Verify bill (HB477) was a single vote away from the committee hearing but the Governor could not be bothered to get that vote or involve himself in the matter at all…but he did find the time to declare “Jeremy Evans Day”. That speaks volumes.
Actually, both the actions of the Legislature’s leadership and the Governor speak volumes.