Thursday, March 3, 2011

General Session 2011: Days 37 and 38

The Hill is buzzing with anticipation as time runs out on the clock and legislation is being presented for passage or failure on the debate floor. 

On Wednesday we held our final Political Subdivisions Committee meeting.  The most noteworthy bill was SB 243 which puts a moratorium on Historic Landmark Designations in Salt Lake City.  The Yalecrest ("Yell"crest) neighborhood erupted into a Hatfield and McCoy dispute recently over how the city was preparing to make the neighborhood a historic district.  The neighborhood showed up to committee and gave passionate testimony on both sides of the issue.  After voting the bill down on Monday, we received new information which prompted us to reconsider it on Wednesday where it passed out of committee with a favorable recommendation.

Wednesday also saw the ignominious death of HB70 - The Heavy Enforcement So-Called Arizona-Style Bill.  Despite the bill being nurtured in weeks previous, the Senate Judiciary committee struck down the bill as "polarizing".  You can listen to the Senate's brief comments on the bill HERE.  The interesting side-story is that the Senate asked the bill sponsor to water down the wording in HB70 one more time and then put those words in a new bill with a new name. The senate has agreed to pass the new bill in its final compliant form. 

At the same committee I was able to present HB48 - the Juvenile Fingerprints bill - for their consideration.  You can listen to the audio presentation HERE.  It was approved and will be heard on the Senate Floor.

Today we had a visitor.  Shawn Bradley paid a visit to our Chamber.  I am told that he once played a professional sport of some kind.  

Finally, the House passed a GRAMA bill that makes common sense changes to the way the press access records of elected officials.  Current law allows them to request personal records and exchanges.  The changes in the bill will limit them to legislative business only. 

The end game is in place for our immigration bill SB 60.  The new "Omnibus" Immigration Bill SB 288 is due to be debated tomorrow.  SB 60 is sitting safely "circled" on the Senate board and is ready to be pushed forward at any time. The bill was debated on the Senate Floor briefly today.  You can watch the video and get a feel for where the Senate is going with immigration HERE.  We will find out the fate of our bill likely tomorrow.  Stay tuned for that.

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