Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mr. Peterson's Record - General Session 2012

For those of my constituents wanting to know how I voted on the issues, here are 37 pages of my voting record this year in all its splendor.  For those few of you running against me in this years campaign, consider this as free opposition research.  - GRIN -

Voting Record 2012 - Jeremy Peterson

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Monday, March 12, 2012

YOU DECIDE 2012: Republican Caucus Locations and Rules

I strongly encourage everyone, regardless of party, to get out and participate in their local caucus meetings this week.  For those of you who are Republicans, there will be meetings in many locations across the county. 

Here is a link to the county map of districts and precincts.

Here is a list of caucus locations:
  Weber County 2012 Caucus Locations

And for those of you wondering about how a caucus meeting works. Here are the rules: Republican Caucus Rules 2012

Enjoy the meeting and let's all take advantage of our amazing democratic system!

NOTE: If you happen to be a Democrat, you can find your caucus locations HERE.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Utah 2012 Legislative Unwind: The Jack Wagons

Traditionally, after midnight on the last day of the General Session, the body spends about an hour unwinding through gag-gift giving and singing songs.  I had the opportunity to participate in this year's program playing lead guitar.  Here is video of our performance as Mikey and the Jack Wagons.  Mike Noel on rhythm guitar and vocals, Brad Dee and Curt Webb on vocals, Neal Hendrickson on bass, and of course myself.

When I was just a young boy my mama said hey son
Don't be a politician, don;t ever file to run.
But I didn't listen to her, I went ahead and filed.
Now I'm stuck in Salt Lake City, this place will drive you wild.

When the D's all need a spokesman, they look to Brian King.
He'll talk for half an hour man, and never say a thing
And on our side there's Ivory, he can talk a streak.
But ask him 'bout EROTIC, and he can hardly speak.

McCay has fathered children, more may yet arrive.
Takes 'bout thirty seconds, or maybe Thirty-five.
You'll need a class on Sex-Ed, don't take your class from Bill
He'll teach you all the "knowhow", but you don't get the thrill.

Consent is where your bill is, you're thinking "hey that rocks"
Unless your name is Peterson, and you've offended Cox.
Nielsen likes to lecture, we take advice from Jim,
If we'd just read the bills man, then we would vote like him.

Hughes is not accustomed, on bills that he promotes
To spending so much energy and gettin' so few votes.
I know I had it comin', I shoulda never run
 My bills are all a dyin', this really ain't no fun.

You visit Mathi's farmyard, you eve tote a bale
But don't you take no pictures man, you'll land your butt in jail.
So next year during Session, be careful what you do,
Cause if you jack's a wagon, we'll write a verse 'about you.

Mr. Peterson's 2012 Legislation Wrap-Up

The General Session is over and it's time to do a post mortem on the work that was done over the seven-week marathon.

Here is a list of bills that I ran and the fate of each:


HB22 - Centralized New Hire Registry Act Amendments - PASSED - this bill refined the practices of collecting employment information to prevent unemployment insurance fraud and promote more effective enforcement for back child support collections.

HB23 - Special Administrative Expense Accounts Amendments - PASSED - this bill was technical in nature and about as exciting as the title suggests.

HB30 - Unemployment Insurance Amendments - REDIRECTED - some changes needed to be made to the bill once it was written so the bill was redrawn as a Senate bill SB129 which I sponsored in the House.  Its goal was to reduce unemployment insurance taxes by $24.6 Million.

HB58 - Changes to Amendments Incorporated into State Construction Code - FAILED - this was my seismic upgrade mandate repeal bill which I have written much about here on the blog.  The bill was voted down at committee.  However, another colleague of mine felt the issue was important enough that he drafted his own identical version.  I supported and spoke for that bill in Senate committee and it passed as HB305 with a couple minor modifications.

HB133S01 - Vehicle Registration Amendments - PASSED - this is the 6-month car registration bill that allows shorter registrations at a discounted price.  Look for availability in July 2013.

HB379 - Occupational Licensing Amendments - SENT TO MASTER STUDY - This was the controversial "Hair Braiding Bill".  I was asked to adopt this bill for a legislator who had resigned recently and had worked on the issue.  I agreed to adopt it but once I did the background research it became apparent that other legislators had been working diligently on the issue.  Rather than waste their efforts, we agreed to send the issue master study over the interim.

HB383S01 -  International Residential Code Amendments - PASSED -  This bill was an augmentation to a bill run last year that stopped building officials from requiring owners of rental property to cut into their foundations to make basement windows bigger.   

HB388 - Unemployment Insurance Amendments - PASSED - This bill created an exception for Salt Lake City's Head Start program so they were not compelled to participate in the Unemployment Insurance program the state operates.  The SLC Head Start has some unique quirks that made it the only program in the state that was not exempted.  This bill fixed that problem.


SB37 - Intergenerational Poverty Provisions - PASSED - This bill creates a study within the Department of Workforce Services to determine best practices when dealing with those who are trapped in the welfare poverty cycle.

SB104 - Revisors Statute - PASSED - This was a technical cleanup bill that corrected misspellings and punctuation errors in the code.  Yawn.

SB129 - Unemployment Insurance Modifications - PASSED - This bill replaced HB30 above and reduced unemployment insurance taxes by $24.6 Million.

SB144 - Immigration Consultants - PASSED - This was the only bill related remotely to immigration that was heard and voted on this year.  It legitimized and regulated a cottage industry in the immigrant community that was rife with fraud and predatory practices.   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

SB144: Immigration Consultants

I was honored to work in a bi-partisan way with Sen. Luz Robles again to run anti-fraud legislation regarding the legal immigration process.   Because the bill had "Immigration" in it's name,  I feared it would cause a firestorm or debate when the bill came to the floor.

Here is the floor presentation on SB144:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Utah Schools: Self-Induced Cut-Off Date Disaster?

In reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, I found one of the chapters deals with the intriguing subject of self induced failure.  The chapter illustrated the effect that arbitrary cut-off dates have on students and their future performance.

The book specifically gives an example of Hockey players in Canada.  While at a major league championship, the roster for the players was printed on the back of one of the programs for the event.  A curious fact was found on that sheet: the majority of players were born in January and none were born in December.  Why could that be?

Well, as it turns out, the Canada hockey league cut off date is January 1.  Since grooming starts early in childhood for the sport, the kids with the best skills and advantage get picked for more advanced training year after year.  That training advantage adds up over time.

Unfortunately for the kids born in December, they are 11 months younger and smaller than their January-born counterparts.  That maturity difference is enough at a young age to give the kids born closest to the cut-off date the greatest advantage.

This example got me thinking about our school system here in Utah.  We see this cut-off phenomena in sports but is it present in academic performance as well?  As it turns out, it is!

Here is a chart from a captivating Oxford study showing the academic performance advantage of the oldest kids in a grade versus their younger cohorts:

The "RF" and "IV" represent slightly different ways of defining the age of students.  Regardless of how they are defined, and across international boundaries, you can see that the oldest students have a large advantage over their younger cohorts in both the forth grade and 8th grade. 

If this were just true for grade school and not higher education or the workplace, this fact would be of little importance.  But alas, the study shows that indeed this advantage does telegraph into later stages of life as well.   Here is an excerpt regarding college enrollment in the United States:

Individuals born in the first assigned relative month are underrepresented in the pre-university stream (as measured by taking the SAT or ACT) by 7.7 percent. Further, individuals born in the first relative month are underrepresented in accredited four-year college/universities enrollments by 11.6 percent.
So what is to be done?  First, I would ask local school districts to conduct a study, perhaps in conjunction with a local university, to determine how this age advantage is affecting local school districts.  Then, I would recommend studying some variations on the school schedule and class groupings to address the issue.  Perhaps school districts could then implement a plan that best serves their immediate community.  

Hopefully, achievement in school and the workplace can be left to the student's own merit rather than by an inflexible cut-off date that defines success by an accident of birth.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

HB133 - 6 Month Car Registration Clears House

HB133 survived the sifting process and made it to the board in a last batch of bills to be debated.

Here is video of the bill's presentation:

 The bill passed 60-4.  Look for 6 month registration options to be available starting July 2013.