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1.LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – MARCH 4

On January 21, Sutherland Institute published its legislative priorities for the 2010 general session.  Sutherland has since provided updates of its efforts in subsequent newletters.  Below is a summary of the Institute’s legislative work over the past week.

 

• On Friday, Feb. 26, Authentic Charity Health Care Joint Resolution – HJR 27 was passed out favorably by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on a unanimous vote of 5-0-1 (the one being absent from the meeting at the time of the vote).  On Thursday, March 4, it was passed unanimously by the Senate on a vote of 24-0-5.  The bill will be enrolled and sent to the Governor for signature.  Sutherland has supported this bill from its inception.

 

• Sutherland Institute representatives signed a letter on Feb. 26 encouraging the Legislature to prioritize Informed Consent Amendments – HB 200 for funding.

 

• Sutherland’s Stan Rasmussen testified in opposition to Licensing Eligibility – HB 227 Substitutein the Senate Education Committee on Monday, March 1.  The committee adjourned without voting on the bill.

 

• Stan Rasmussen also testified in favor of Joint Resolution on Energy Policy – HJR 21 in the Senate Public Utilities and Technology Committee on Tuesday, March 2.  It was passed out favorably by the committee on a vote of 3-1-2.  It is currently on the Senate Second Reading calendar.

 

• Reading Requirements for Student Advancement – SB 150 was passed by the Senate on Tuesday, March 2, on a vote of 18-8-3.  It has been sent to the House for consideration. Sutherland has supported this bill since its inception.

 

• After much debate and effort, Removing Signature from Initiative and Referendum Petition – SB 275 Second Substitute was passed by the House on Wednesday, March 3, on a vote of 50-24-1.  The bill has been enrolled and sent to Governor Herbert for signature.  Sutherland originally recommended the Legislature address this issue and has supported the bill since its inception.

 

• On Wednesday, March 3, Stan Rasmussen testified in opposition to Administrative Subpoena Amendments – HB 150 Substitute before the Senate Education Committee.  Following vigorous dialogue among committee members and those presenting public comment, the Senate sponsor of the bill made a motion to adjourn.  The meeting was adjourned without voting on the bill.

 

• Tobacco Tax Revisions – HB 196 Substitute was passed by the House on Tuesday, March 2, on a vote of 39-35-1.  The bill is currently circled on the Senate Second Reading calendar.  Sutherland has been steadfast in its opposition to a tobacco-tax increase at this time.

 

2.LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – FEBRUARY 25

On January 21, Sutherland Institute published its legislative priorities for the 2010 general session.  Sutherland has since provided updates of its efforts in subsequent newletters.  Below is a summary of the Institute’s legislative work over the past week.

  • On Feb. 22, Authentic Charity Health Care Joint Resolution – HJR 27 was passed by the House of Representatives on a unanimous vote, 68-0-7 (the seven being members absent from the floor of the House at the time of the vote), and is now scheduled to be considered by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Friday morning, Feb. 26.  Sutherland has supported this bill from its inception.

 

 

  • Sutherland Policy Analyst Matt Piccolo was prepared to present testimony in opposition toHealth Education Amendments – SB 54 (a bill that would revise Utah sex-education statutes) on Feb. 22.  His testimony was to be based on data included in his opinion-editorial published February 12 in the Salt Lake Tribune.  However, the bill died before it could be debated in the Senate Education Committee when committee members declined to accept a substitute bill presented by the sponsor.

 

 

  • Representing Sutherland Institute at the Feb. 22 meeting of the Senate Ethics Committee, Stan Rasmussen testified in support of three separate ethics-reform bills passed earlier by the House: Campaign Funds Expenditure Restrictions – HB0124S02Lobbyist Disclosure and Regulation Act Amendments – HB0267; and Joint Resolution on Legislative Ethics Commission – HJR015.  All three bills were passed out favorably on unanimous affirmative votes by members of the committee.

 

 

  • On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Sutherland’s Policy Manager, Derek Monson, testified in support of Post-retirement Employment Amendments – SB 43 in the House Retirement and Independent Entities Committee.  The bill was passed out favorably by the committee on a vote of 6-3 and will be debated on the House time-certain calendar on Friday morning, Feb. 26, at 10:35 am.

 

 

  • Derek Monson testified in support of Removing Signature from Initiative and Referendum Petition – SB 275 before the Feb. 19 meeting of the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee.  The bill was passed out favorably on a 4-2 vote by the committee and was subsequently passed by the full Senate on Feb. 24, on a vote of 21-7.  It is scheduled to be heard by the House Government Operations Committee on Friday morning, Feb. 26.

 

 

  • Jim Giometta testified in support of State Sovereignty Concurrent Resolution – SCR 3 on Friday, Feb. 19 before the House Judiciary Committee.  It was passed out favorably on a vote of 7-3.  The bill is currently circled on the House Third Reading calendar.

 

3.SI SEX-ED OP-ED IN SL TRIBUNE

Proponents of “comprehensive” sex education claim that sexually-transmitted disease (STD) and pregnancy are rampant among Utah teens and, therefore, the state’s health curriculum needs to be “updated.”  They want the curriculum to include more explicit instruction in contraception, and they want teachers to encourage students to use it.

 

However, digging into the data leads to a different conclusion.

 

In an opinion-editorial, “No need in Utah for ‘comprehensive’ sex ed,” published in the Salt Lake Tribune on Friday, February 12, 2010, Sutherland Policy Analyst Matthew C. Piccolo takes a close look at what the numbers have to say about Utah teens, STDs, and proposed changes in the state’s sex-education laws.

 

To read the published version of the op-ed, click http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_14384163.

 

To read the full version, with statistical sources, click here.

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