Saturday, February 6, 2016
General Session 2016: Week 2
The second week of the General Session had some notable moments.
Straight Ticket Voting Ban
I had an opportunity to present our bi-partisan proposal to ban straight ticket voting. The bill was heard in the Government Operations Standing Committee Tuesday afternoon. Our presentation went well. Unfortunate, the vote did not. The bill was voted down 4-6. Having lobbied the committee in advance, I was a bit surprised by several votes. You can listen to our presentation (and GOP Chairman James Evans' prickly and confrontational response) here:
Drafting Drafting Drafting
I still have 5 bills that are in the drafting process. A couple are bogged down in the queue to be written. A couple are waiting for stakeholders to iron out their differences before we put things on paper. The rest are being polished up and should be released soon. A bill requiring a 3-year legislative review of all tax credits is nearly done. Another bill will phase out (over a four year period) tax credits for solar panel purchases.
The House deliberated a few bills on the House Floor. But, for the most part, our body was bogged down in minutia and couldn't seem to move some significant policy forward. We kept pulling bills off the shelf, tinkering with them, then putting them back on the shelf to tinker with again later. I have three bills patiently waiting on the board that will hopefully be debated next week...hopefully.
Tip of the Day
Never, never let go of your balloon while in the Capitol.
One of my favorite things to do is have my kids come down to the Capitol to see what their dad does during the day. This week my daughter Wynnie brought some friends with her. They were able to attend a Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting which I chaired. Their eyes glazed over when they heard what meeting they were coming to but we kept things interesting and they learned something about tax policy while they were there.
Of course, my kids love to visit my office. There are plenty of fun things there.
As of the writing of this update, it appears at least one of the two Medical Marijuana bills proposed this session is flagging after the LDS Church expressed its opposition. I was skeptical of this particular bill initially due to its broad approach. Look for more drama on this subject next week.
We also go to two-a-day Floor time next week so expect to see more significant topics come up for debate.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to CONTACT ME.