Friday, February 25, 2011

General Session: Day 31 - A Family Affair and Division On the Floor

Today I was privileged to say the opening prayer for the day and have my daughters Hannah and Wynnie lead the House of Representatives in the Pledge of Allegiance.  You can watch the opening of the meeting and the girl's performance HERE.

I also ended up on some radio talk show in Logan.  The show had myself and an immigration reform opponent on the show.  Unfortunately, I learned that not all radio hosts are created equal as 12 minutes of our 15 minute interview were consumed by the opponent's viewpoints with a last minute turnover of time to me for a couple quick rebuttals.

The floor also debated a much anticipated bill regarding In-State Tuition for illegal immigrants.  The case was being made that undocumented kids that go to our high schools and graduate should not be allowed in-state tuition as a way to punish their parents for coming here illegally.  A representative from central Utah offered an amendment that turned the intent of the bill on its head and would allow in-state tuition to kids whose parents had paid taxes for 12 months, a requirement we make of anyone coming to Utah to go to our higher learning institutions.  It was such a contested issue that a Call of the House was ordered where the Sergeant-In-Arms was summoned to compel all members of the House to come to the chamber to vote.  When the sponsor of this bill saw that the vote for the unfriendly amendment would pass regardless of all members being present, he withdrew the Call.  You can watch the drama HERE.  Here is the result of the vote on the amendment:

Once the sponsor saw that the provision passed, he "circled" his bill to stop further deliberations and the fate of the bill is now undetermined.

Finally, the wife and I ended the day with the Lincoln Day Dinner in Ogden with speeches from Governor Herbert, Senator Mike Lee and more.  I also spent much of the evening explaining the immigration dilemma to constituents and helping everyone understand what has been happening on the Hill.

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