Capitol Daily Video: extend Utah's abortion waiting period?

Representative Steve Eliason (R-Sandy) is sponsoring a bill that would require women to wait 72 hours before having an abortion, whereas now they must wait only 24 hours. Watch this video report to learn more about HB 461:


HB 461 recently passed the House 59-11-5. What do you think? Should the abortion waiting period be extended to 72 hours?

Capitol Daily Memo: The facts on SB 208 (Health Care Compact)

The Utah Senate passed SB 208 today, 21-8, and it now moves to the House for consideration. If passed, SB 208 would make Utah a member of the Health Care Compact, an interstate compact that would restore authority and responsibility for health care regulation to Utah and other member states, and it would provide the funds to the states to fulfill that responsibility. In other words, Utah would have the power to suspend and supersede any federal health care regulation, including for Medicaid and Medicare, but excluding those for Native Americans and those provided by the federal Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Will the Health Care Compact tie Utah to poorly performing health care states?

Answer: No, it will not. Other than offering Utah to be part of a multi-state advisory board, SB 208 will not link or obligate Utah to other states in any way. Rather, under the Health Care Compact, Utah will have the discretion to design and operate its health care programs in ways that are best for Utahns. Further, the state would be free to leave the compact at any time.

Will SB 208 put power over Utah health care policy in the hands of an interstate commission?  Read more

Capitol Daily Memo: HB 316 – why it pays to reduce divorce

HB 316 passed the House yesterday on a 43-26 vote. The bill reinstates the 90-day divorce waiting period that had been state law until the 1990s, when the state decided to waive the waiting period for couples that took a divorce course.

Research has shown a “cooling off” period could help salvage many marriages, with some 40 percent of couples that were well into their divorce proceedings wishing they could develop a reconciliation plan.

Why is minimizing divorce a good thing? The costs of divorce – emotional, psychological, social and economic – on children, adults and communities are staggering. For this post, I’m going to focus on a few of the economic costs of divorce.  Read more

Capitol Daily Memo: Forcing STDs on children? Really?

Photo Credit: Scott Catron

The House floor debate on HB 363 last week took an unfortunate turn toward fear-mongering and hyperbole. The bill, run by Representative Bill Wright, R-Holden, would allow school districts to either teach abstinence-only sex education or completely forego sex ed in schools.

The unfortunate remarks by Representative Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, deserve special attention. Representative King stated that teaching abstinence-only sex education to Utah students is “forcing our ignorance or our fear, and our future unintended pregnancies, and our future sexually transmitted diseases, onto the children of the state of Utah– and that’s what we’re doing if we vote for this bill.”

Is it ignorant to tell kids that abstinence is the only guaranteed, 100 percent fail-safe method for not getting STDs or becoming pregnant? Is it fear? Or is it reality?  Read more