Rep. Jeremy Peterson: CMV cracks the edifice of Utah’s caucus-convention system

After this year’s experience at the Weber County Republican Convention, I had some time to reflect on what happened and what it means for the future of politics in Northern Utah and the State at large. Three Republican candidates submitted their names to run for the County Commission seat up for grabs this election cycle.  Brad Dee, Caitlin Gouchner, and Jim Harvey threw their hats into the ring.  In a typical year, the three names would be winnowed down to one by delegates elected to attend the County Republican Convention.…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: HB162: Transparency and Accountability for Taxpayer Funded Film Incentives

This session I am running a bill to provide more legislative oversight and more accountability for money that the state spends in promoting film production here in Utah.  Currently, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has been granted permission from the Legislature to issue up to $6.7 million dollars in tax credits for film productions that the department deems worthy to receive them.  Certain benchmarks and yardsticks are used to quantify which productions show the most promise for spending money and driving economic growth in the state. The problem…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: QUALITY CONTROL: The case for partisan candidate-specific voting

I recently signed on as the Republican co-sponsor of a bill to change our ballots to allow only candidate-specific voting in partisan races.  This bill would stop the practice of ‘straight ticket’ voting. HB119 is sponsored by my House Democratic colleague Patrice Arent.  FOX 13 recently interviewed her and the Republican and Democrat Party Chiefs.  Here is that video: Straight ticket voting allows a person to vote for a political party rather than a candidate. While at first glance this seems like a reasonable thing to permit, in the end…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson | EXPOSED: Medicaid expansion propaganda and mythology

We held an open caucus meeting during Interim Session this month to discuss some new information regarding Utah’s experience with the Affordable Care Act.  One of the  most revealing topics of conversation had to do with criticism the House has received for its stubbornness in not moving forward with the Governor’s Medicaid Expansion plan as proposed. One of the first arguments that is made by supporters of the plan and the media is that Utah is being penny wise and pound foolish by not expanding Medicaid.  Their argument for the…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: PENROSE POLICY: The Illusion of Sustainable Medicaid Expansion

We met as a Republican Caucus recently to discuss the new Utah Access Plus plan to expand Medicaid in the state.  With a gap existing in current Medicaid coverage, the Legislature has been toiling for years now to find an affordable and sustainable path to provide medical coverage for those living in the gap. The gap mainly consists of single adults without children who live under 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. There are approximately 130,000 living in Utah without any form of insurance coverage in this gap currently. In the…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: Why I am voting against Medicaid expansion

Today our Republican Caucus will gather to discuss our group’s position on Medicaid Expansion. There are division lines of contention on the subject: Who gets to write a blank check for Medicaid Expansion? Does the Medical Industry pay for the additional clientele or do Utah Taxpayers get put on the hook for them? Is crowd-out morally acceptable? Is it ok for new enrollees to get in line ahead of existing enrollees? What about doctor shortages? Medicaid short changes doctors 20 cents on the dollar for service rendered to Medicaid patients.…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: Interim Update: Legislative bus tour to Southern Utah

The legislature recently returned from a bus tour to southern Utah as part of its interim legislative session. The experience was a 2-day affair and something new for many legislators.  The last off-campus tour during interim was in 2008. Our journey began at the Capitol building at 7am Wednesday morning.  Fortunately, spouses were able to attend and I invited my wife to accompany me on our trip.  I paid for her travel expenses. Of course, no bus trip would be complete without a few persuasive video presentations along the way.…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: Spending your tax dollars on education

The Utah Taxpayer Association recently published data on Utah’s 41 school districts and how they spent tax dollars for the last fiscal year. Here is their report: 2015 Utah School Spending Report – Utah Taxpayer Association There is some really interesting information in this report.  I wanted to take a look at Ogden and Weber School Districts specifically to see how they compared to the state average.  Here are some charts I created from the data:   Let’s take a look at spending per student in various categories.  Instruction costs…

Jeremy Peterson: The Plurality Problem: Finding a Majority Winner in the Wake of SB54

With the passage of SB54, Utah’s caucus/convention method of determining how candidates get placed on ballot was paired with a parallel method where candidates can be placed on the ballot through a petition effort.  The changes are scheduled to take affect in 2016. The old caucus/convention system provided one candidate per party by the time the general election came around.  In the event there was a contest at convention, a primary election would typically be held to select between the top two candidates vetted at convention. However, with the new…

Jeremy Peterson: Utah Prison Relocation – answers to your questions

There has been a great deal of hyperventilation and consternation regarding the relocation of the Utah State Prison from Draper to one of four possible sites.  Most of the criticism, if not all, is of the Not-In-My-Back-Yard variety.  Along with these heated feelings come myth and misinformation in an attempt to rationally support an emotional sentiment. The best policies are based in fact.  The best policymakers seek these facts in order to inform their decisions. So, to help inform the public debate and continue a transparent and lively discussion on…