Author Archives: Matthew Piccolo

Carpe Diem: digital learning in action

The Legislature passed a bill this year that will encourage the growth of digital learning in Utah’s public schools and help improve the quality of digital courses. You can learn more about this bill here. As the Statewide Online Education … Continue reading

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Would limits on number of bills improve Legislature’s work?

After six consecutive years of passing more bills than the year before, the Utah Legislature passed fewer bills this year. In 2012, lawmakers passed 478 bills (including resolutions) out of a total 891 bills filed – 26 fewer passed and … Continue reading

Posted in Legislature | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Capitol Daily Memo: Common Core bills lead to exchange with Secretary of Education

SB 287 passed the Senate yesterday on a 50-23-2 vote and now heads to the governor for his signature. The bill would give Utah the ability to exit any agreement involving the state’s core curriculum for public schools for any … Continue reading

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Chicken nuggets and government paternalism

Did you hear about this story? Apparently a preschool in North Carolina seized the lunch of a 4-year-old girl because it didn’t meet USDA nutrition requirements. The lunch her mother had packed contained a “turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato … Continue reading

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Capitol Daily Video: government spending amendment needed

SJR 22, a proposed amendment to limit government spending, made it through its first committee hearing last week but has a long way to go. Watch the following video to learn more about why Utah needs a spending amendment and … Continue reading

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Capitol Daily Memo: Committee OKs yearly teacher evaluations

A bill that would require Utah teachers and school administrators to be evaluated each year cleared a legislative committee on Monday. SB 64, sponsored by Senator Aaron Osmond (R-South Jordan), would require the State Board of Education to design a … Continue reading

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Capitol Daily Video: repeal DUI checkpoints?

Watch our latest video report on a bill that would repeal DUI checkpoints in Utah. Representative David Butterfield (R – Logan), sponsor of HB 140, explains why he’s running the bill and Terry Keefe, chief of police in Layton explains … Continue reading

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Capitol Daily Memo: When it comes to sex ed, why promote an inferior standard?

Here are a few thoughts in light of the House Education Committee’s favorable 8-7 vote on HB 363 today, a bill that would require abstinence education in public schools: The current debate in Utah regarding how much and what type … Continue reading

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Capitol Daily Memo: education savings accounts bill unveiled

  Representative John Dougall’s innovative education savings accounts bill was made public today. As we have written in previous posts (here), education savings accounts (ESAs) are a game-changing idea that could improve public education in Utah by leaps and bounds. … Continue reading

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Capitol Daily Memo: two divorce bills heard

  Two bills that would affect divorce proceedings in Utah were heard in House committees today. The first, HB 290, would require a married person seeking a divorce to take the state’s mandatory divorce orientation course before filing for divorce, … Continue reading

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Health Care Compact: taking back control from Washington

  Ever since Obamacare became law, states have been doing whatever they can to avoid it. They have filed lawsuits, requested waivers, passed legislation, and identified loopholes in the law. Many states are also pursuing another option for regaining control … Continue reading

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Sandy favors retailer with a tax break – for a quarter-century

  Last Friday, we highlighted a special tax deal offered to Costco by Spanish Fork. Today, we highlight another deal offered in Sandy to Scheels, a sporting goods superstore, and analyze the rationale used to justify these kinds of deals.[pullquote]Government … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Costco deal unfair to other Spanish Fork businesses

  How would you like to pay no sales taxes for 18 months and no utility bills for four years? Sounds like a sweetheart deal, doesn’t it? Well, it is for Costco in Spanish Fork. The city has offered Costco, … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Americans’ fear of big government grows

  The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) crowd claims to represent 99 percent of Americans in “fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations.” It turns out that Americans are far less concerned about big business than … Continue reading

Posted in Limited Government | Tagged , | 5 Comments

To grow Utah’s economy, start at home

  We have been critical of many of the state’s economic development programs designed to lure large corporations to Utah. For example, see here. But any legitimate critique of policy should be accompanied by a reasonable alternative. Today, Sutherland released … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development | Tagged , , | 1 Comment