Category Archives: Legislature

Hysteria over Indiana’s protection of religious liberty: Elites take leave of their senses

The reaction to the Indiana Legislature’s enactment of a generic religious liberty law seems increasingly unhinged. The long knives of business, entertainment and political elites are coming out. Even, amusingly, “gamers.” This does little to assuage concerns that proponents of … Continue reading

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An open letter to Utah legislators

March 20, 2015 Dear members of the Utah Senate and House of Representatives, Thank you for your service in the recently concluded legislative session. As we reflect on the important policy decisions you made this year, we wish to acknowledge … Continue reading

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Top 5 highlights from the 2015 Utah legislative session

Of the 833 pieces of legislation that were introduced this session, below are five that are especially noteworthy. HB 333—Budget Reserve Account Amendments Utah lawmakers once again showed they are serious about their fiscal stewardship by raising caps on state … Continue reading

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Why Senate Bill 297 is necessary

At this time, the state of Utah has been required to recognize same-sex marriages by court order. The court order did not address some of the foreseeable consequences of redefining marriage in the state, such as implications for religious liberty. … Continue reading

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Sutherland Institute endorses SB 297

In our statement about SB 296 yesterday, we noted a need for additional religious liberty protections for “the ability of people of faith to act on their beliefs related to marriage without fear of retribution.” Today, Senator Stuart Adams introduced … Continue reading

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Sutherland Institute statement on SB 296

At the time of the press conference by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on religious liberty, Sutherland Institute expressed its support for the principles those leaders outlined. Today, SB 296 has been introduced in an effort to (1) address concerns about … Continue reading

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Major health care reform bills to be heard in committee Wednesday

On Tuesday, two significant health care reform bills came out of the House Rules Committee. •        SB 164 (1st Subst.) – Access to Health Care Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozawa, is Governor Herbert’s proposed “Healthy Utah” plan. •        HB … Continue reading

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Support religious liberty: stand up to the ‘no compromise’ approach to nondiscrimination

Supporters of a “no compromise” approach to LGBT nondiscrimination argue that we already have sufficient protections for religious liberty. They cite the First Amendment and Utah’s majority-Mormon population to bolster their case. Unfortunately, their argument is undermined by the realities … Continue reading

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Nondiscrimination legislation requires balance, extreme care

News reports suggest there is still an ongoing debate about how to balance calls for changes to state discrimination laws (which would expand the reasons businesses and property owners could not deny housing or employment) with the need for robust … Continue reading

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Testimony on SB 153 (Access to Health Care)

Testimony presented by Stan Rasmussen, Sutherland Institute director of public affairs, on Feb. 17, 2015, before the Senate Health and Human Services Standing Committee regarding SB 153 (Access to Health Care):  Thank you, Mr. Chair, and good morning, Senators. Stan Rasmussen … Continue reading

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On Point video: Taxes and education in the Legislature — 2/12/15

  Watch as Utah GOP party officer Michelle Mumford and political consultant Michelle Scharf discuss the latest in Utah politics and the 2015 Legislature in this edition of On Point presented by Sutherland Institute. Click the image above to watch, … Continue reading

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Testimony on SB 164 (Medicaid expansion)

Testimony presented by Derek Monson, director of public policy, Sutherland Institute, on Feb. 11, 2015, before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee of the Utah Legislature regarding SB 164 (Access to Health Care Amendments): Thank you, Mr. Chair and members of … Continue reading

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Senator Hillyard has it right on raising the rainy-day fund cap

Last week, Senator Lyle Hillyard posted to The Senate Site that he and Representative Dean Sanpei would be sponsoring legislation to raise the limits on the general and education rainy-day funds (or budget reserves) which are currently at 8 percent … Continue reading

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A right to discriminate?

A common accusation made by those who oppose robust protections for religious liberty is that proponents are seeking a “right to discriminate.” The common form this argument takes is that religious liberty is already protected (say, by the First Amendment … Continue reading

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On Point video: 2015 Legislature gets into its groove

Watch “Holly on the Hill” blogger Holly Richardson and Michelle Mumford, former assistant dean at BYU Law School, discuss the first week of the 2015 Legislature – including the topics of Medicaid expansion, gas tax, police-community relations, education funding, religious … Continue reading

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