The UPC Show – Episode 264 – These Children Need to Learn Failure

Welcome to the UPC Show with Curtis Haring, Bob Kubicheck, and Dylan McDonnell! In the first half: Governor Herbert knows how to stop future shutdowns by going to the same ol’ conservative playbook, the shenanigans won’t stop in San Juan County, the bill to replace voter-approved Medicaid expansion is possibly undergoing even more changes and the voter-approved anti-gerrymandering initiative may also be under fire. In the second half: Who wants an official state reptile? A freshman lawmaker wants to ban abortions after 15 weeks (knowing full well it will be challenged and probably lose in court), and a spat between Salt Lake and the...

The UPC Show – Episode 263 – The World’s Biggest Rodent

Welcome to the UPC Show with Curtis Haring, Bob Kubicheck, and Dylan McDonnell! In the first half: Senator Lee has a proposal to help prevent harming federal workers during a shutdown, Ben McAdams makes good on another campaign promise by announcing honest-to-goodness town halls while Mia Love will be unleashed on CNN. Finally, Jason Chaffetz throws down an interesting challenge. In the second half: One lawmaker is thinking about making changes to Medicaid expansion that would be more restrictive than what voters approved, one policymaker in Dixie is wearing multiple hats, and conservative lawmakers might try to cut the income tax...

Flagged Bill – HB 102 – Campaign Funds Uses Amendments; Representative Stephanie Pitcher

One of the biggest problems with campaign finance laws in Utah is that they are a bit…well…loosey-goosy. In short, all a candidate needs to prove is that an expense made was “for a political purpose.” This has resulted in candidates buying themselves entirely new wardrobes, cars, trips, and more – indeed, the most tenuous connections have survived challenges because an item happened to be used on a campaign. However, that isn’t to say that the legitimacy of some expenditures hasn’t been challenged. One area of contention nationally has been the question of whether childcare is a legitimate use of campaign funds....

Flagged Bill – HJR 6 – Sponsor’s Statement; Representative Norm Thurston

Representative Norm Thurston (Republican – Provo) has been the source of some controversy over the past four years he has served in the legislature. In 2017 he sponsored legislation that would ultimately have the effect of further marginalizing Democrats in state government and, oh yes, reducing the state’s legal BAC to 0.05. in 2016 he sponsored legislation that allows people to legally carry weapons on public transit, and in 2015 he took up the mantle of abolishing daylight savings (to the glee of some, and the source of eye-rolls from this website). In short, Thruston gets harassed by people (such as...

The UPC Show – Episode 262 – The Saratoga Springs Swatters

Welcome to the UPC Show with Curtis Haring and Dylan McDonnell! In the first half: Ben McAdams did what he said he would do and voted against Pelosi, Mia Love was almost impressive in how much she checked out, Mitt Romney makes waves before being sworn in and Mike Lee didn’t like it, the Republican delegation from Utah doesn’t like some of the realities of the shutdown, and the governor is being pressured by Senator Lee to drop his fight on SB 54. In the second half: Utah now has the harshest DUI law but appears unwilling to take on...

Flagged Bill – HCR 2 – Supporting Rural Development of Wind, Solar, Hydrogen, Hydroelectric, and Geothermal Energy; Representative Steve Handy

It just wouldn’t be a “Flagged Bill” series without the obligatory statement that there is this strange offshoot of the legislative process known as a resolution. Whereas bills specifically change or create laws, resolutions act more as a way to direct where state laws and, by extension the executive branch through state agencies, state policies should go. Indeed, they do the finest thing possible in government: doing something without doing something. It isn’t that they aren’t important, they are, it is just that they don’t immediately change things the same thing a law would if it were enacted. Okay, now...

Flagged Bill – HB 36: Bureau of Criminal Identification Reporting Amendments; Representative Raymond Ward

Not long after the end of the 2018 session, the Standard-Examiner discovered that a computer glitch in Utah’s court reporting system resulted in some 900 records not properly being uploaded to Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI). These 900 people could not legally purchase firearms, however, if they were to be run through the background check, their records would appear clean. Mind you, the information existed in the databases at individual courthouses and the BCI has chosen to share the information with the FBI’s database, but, according to the Examiner, Utah is just one of four states that don’t have...

Flagged Bill – HB 57: Electronic Information or Data Privacy; Representative Craig Hall

Last year, Representative Craig Hall (Republican – West Valley) attempted to update Utah’s Constitution in an attempt to add greater protections to our digital documents. He was rebuffed at the time over concerns that an amendment was a step too far that may ultimately bind the justice system from doing its job down the road as new technologies are developed. This year, Hall is back with a statutory change (as opposed to a constitutional change) that ultimately hopes to provide citizens the same 4th Amendment rights he initially set out to protect last year while providing greater flexibility for future...

Flagged Bill – HB 34: Campaign Finance Amendments; Representative Lee Perry

Ah, campaign finance laws – one of the most loophole-ridden, inconsistent, and often times purposefully ineffective portion of any state’s laws. Indeed, the best way to ensure that any changes take place is when a group does a bang-up job upsetting the legislature – and that is exactly what we saw when Representative Lee Perry (Republican – Perry) introduced what would become HB 34: Campaign Finance Amendments during the first interim session after the 2018 election. During testimony, Perry (along with Box Elder County Commissioner Jeff Scott) pointed to various political action committees that seemingly sprung up overnight, took in several...