Week Four moved at a steady pace. Here is the week in pictures.
The week started out with a 7am gathering of our Northern Utah Caucus. As you can tell from the vantage point of the photo, I was a few minutes late to the meeting.
Students treated us to a "Lion Dance" during lunch this week.
Rob Bishop came to visit us at the Capitol and offered a report to our caucus. The bottom line: Washington is broken...still. The Congress' concentration of power in House and Senate Leadership means that big legislation is always pushed forward via panicked emergency deadlines rather than thoughtful discussion and debate. In my opinion, the way that Congress has organized itself prevents a change, even if the people are replaced.
Rep. Becky Edwards presented the bill to replace the statue of Philo Farnsworth at the U.S. Capitol with the statue of March Hughes Cannon. Here Rep. Edwards speaks with the mural of Martha Hughes Cannon above her and her Senate Sponsor, Senator Todd Weiler, behind her.
We had lunch at the Joseph Smith Memorial building with Deseret Media to discuss a bill that eliminates non-compete agreements for the news media. Needless to say, they don't like the bill. This lunch was held after a contentious committee meeting where the bill was passed on a split vote. I support the idea of eliminating non-compete abuses. However, the bill is too broad in its current form and I voted against it in committee. The most ironic part of the lunch is that Deseret Media appears to be a good actor in the industry while all the complaints we are getting from industry folks about abuses come from other media outlets. The good news out of all this is that, while sitting next to Kevin Eubank, I learned his favorite place to ski is Snowbasin.
Sadly, my National Popular Vote bill has inspired a pageant of ugliness in some uncivil corners of my party. Look for an exciting post about 'Love' Letters I received on this topic at the end of the Session. I have saved them all.
Lobbyists of all types crowd the doors of the House Chamber.
Our annual Speaker's Dinner this year was held on the floor of the Vivint Arena. It was a sentimental event and a nice way to honor Speaker Hughes.
We were paid a visit by the Consul General of Canada Stephane Lessard. He discussed the problems facing free trade between Canada and America and their desire to maintain trade between our countries. Over 76,000 Utah jobs are tied to trade with Canada. Exiting NAFTA would cost Utah approximately 18k-36k jobs. NAFTA is a big deal for our state.
Students from Ogden High School came up to the Capitol to learn how our system works.
My daughter Wynnie came up to pal around with me for a day.
Quote of the Week
"I support this bill...regardless who the sponsor is."
- Rep. Tim Quinn
Mr. Peterson's Bills
HB20 - Political Acitivies and Elections - This bill is sitting on the House Concurrence calendar and will be voted on Tuesday before going to the Governor's desk.
HB80 - Child Placement Amendments - This bill is on the Senate 2nd Reading Calendar.
HB110 - Lobbyist Licencing Amendments - This bill is scheduled to be heard at committee Tuesday, February 20th.
HB126 - Offender Housing Amendments - This bill was substituted and passed out of Senate Committee unanimously. It will now wait on the Senate 2nd Reading Calendar while we prioritize funding.
HB193 - National Popular Vote Interstate Compact - This bill is still in possession of our Government Operations Committee.
HB270 - Teacher Employment Amendments - This bill passed House Committee unanimously and was placed passed the House on the Consent Calendar. It now goes to Senate Committee for a hearing.
HB384 - Trust Deeds and Statute of Limitations - This bill has been numbered and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.