Sutherland Newsletter – January 28, 2010


We know how difficult it can be to track everything that goes on at the State Capitol during the legislative session.  Sutherland staff members have been spending a great deal of time there, and you can follow what we’re doing on the hill by following us on the popular social media networks Facebook and Twitter.


Every time a Sutherland staff member testifies on a bill, which is quite often, we’ll let you know which one, when and where, what the bill says, and Sutherland’s view of the bill.  We’ll also keep you apprised of other important and interesting goings-on during the legislative session.


Click here to become a Facebook “fan” of Sutherland Institute and invite your friends to do the same.  You can also find us on Twitter under SutherlandInst.



On January 21, Sutherland Institute published its legislative priorities for the 2010 general legislative session.  In working to protect the cause of freedom and promote responsible citizenship by supporting legislation consistent with its vision, mission, and governing principles, Sutherland’s policy priorities include:


• Religious Liberty – Sutherland will protect individual religious liberty in employment and housing practices


• No New Taxes … Period – Sutherland will oppose increases in state taxes


• Ethics Reform – Sutherland will encourage meaningful ethics reform and oppose poorly-written, ill-conceived reform of Utah’s ethics laws


• Authentic Charity Care – Sutherland will work to lay the foundation for a system of authentic charity care as the means of providing health care to Utahns in need


Following is a summary of our efforts to date, as well as the status of each bill.


• In an effort to protect individual religious liberty in employment and housing practices, Sutherland continues to monitor legislative activities surrounding this topic. A one-year moratorium has been placed on bills associated with “gay rights.”


• Sutherland has been working to establish a policy of authentic charity care for Utahns in need.   Sutherland supports HJR 27, a joint resolution promoting authentic charity care.  Sutherland’s Stan Rasmussen testified in favor of authentic charity care and against SB 44, which would expand government health care in Utah.


• Sutherland is opposing unnecessary reforms to current sex-education laws in the state.  Those include SB 54, which will soon be heard in a Senate committee, and HB 127, which is currently in a House committee.


• Sutherland’s Derek Monson testified in favor of HB 94, a bill that calls for greater transparency in local government spending.  It has passed the House and is currently in a Senate committee.


• Monson also testified in favor of awarding legal fees to private property owners in eminent domain cases.  That bill, SB 81, was passed by the Senate committee and is currently on the Senate floor.


• Sutherland is supporting the establishment of balanced federalism and greater state sovereignty.  Relevant bills include SB 11 which has passed House and Senate and is now awaiting Governor Herbert’s signature, and SCR 3 which has passed the Senate committee and is currently on the Senate floor.


• Sutherland’s Matthew Piccolo testified in favor of greater accountability from parents and teachers for student reading levels.  The bill, SB 150, passed the Senate committee and is currently on the Senate floor.



Every Tuesday afternoon, KVNU 610 AM, a radio station serving Cache Valley residents, airs the “Mero Moment,” written and recorded by Sutherland President Paul Mero.  Each week, Sutherland posts the text of the Mero Moment on its website.  The five-minute spots have covered a broad spectrum of topics.  This week’s message addressed bills under consideration in this session having to do with the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution, specifically state sovereignty.