Brad Daw “considering” running for House again

Former House Representative Brad Daw of Orem has confirmed he’s “considering” running for office again after he was vindicated in a vicious smear campaign orchestrated by John Swallow consultant Jason Powers. Daw served four terms in the House before losing in the 2012 GOP primary to challenger Dana Layton after an avalanche of negative ads funded by a Powers PAC that didn’t like his stance on the payday-loan industry. “My biggest concern is gauging public interest.”

Budgeting for the Future

Earlier this year, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, named “Think Tank of the Year” in 2011 by Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, produced a review of state budget practices titled “Budgeting for the Future.”  They list 10 tools states can use to stabilize budgets and take a longer term approach to budgeting and planning.  From the executive summary: The state budget is the single most important document that a state government produces each year, and it receives close public scrutiny.  It serves as both a financial plan and a…

Buzz: GOP facing an X Chromosome Deficit in the House

Unless there is a dramatic shift in the political landscape, next year will see only two Republican women in the Utah House of Representatives. With Speaker Becky Lockhart retiring at the end of the session, presumably to begin a run for the Governor’s office, and Representative Ronda Menlove announcing on Wednesday that she will not seek reelection, the House will be down to just Representative Becky Edwards of North Salt Lake and Representative Dana Layton of Orem. Rumors are swirling that Layton will face a challenge from former Representative Brad…

Egg on its face: the Utah Bar and the Swallow Complaints

Utah Attorney General John Swallow resigns

Has the Utah Bar failed in its duty to the public to self-regulate? That’s a question a pair of lawyers have asked in the wake of the John Swallow scandal, still unfolding as prosecutors in Davis and Salt Lake Counties continue their investigation into John Swallow, Mark Shurtleff, and their associates. Wrote Russell Fericks and David Irvine in the Salt Lake Tribune: The Bar’s refusal to act on the two Swallow complaints is not a convincing demonstration of its ability and willingness to self-regulate. The legal profession in Utah, and the public…

It’s all about the ROI

Return on Investment

I feel a little bad for Becky Lockhart. Her ambitious goal to bring a bunch of technology into classrooms has hit a major stumbling block as the Senate countered her $200M proposal with an offer of just $26M. Obviously, the  problem is going to be money. We only have so much of it to spend, and raiding the transportation budget seems to have ended up as a non-starter. I think this provides a very important lesson for legislators who want to get an ambitious spending plan approved: focus on the…

HB105 and Reasonable Hope

This is Addie.  She’s cute, huh?  What you don’t know from looking at this picture is Addie has epilepsy.  Epilepsy causes her seizures several times a day that drastically affect her quality of life.  Addie and her family are asking the legislature for something this year.  They are asking for hope. HB105 passed the House this week in front of a gallery of purple wearing families.  They cheered, then cried.  These families looked like our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues at work – because they are; and despite what you…