Rep. Jeremy Peterson 2015 Utah Legislative General Session Update #4

We are in the final stretch of the session with only five working days left.  Tensions are high and events are happening quickly. Hot Topic – Corrections Reform Rep. Eric Hutchings presents his reform proposal to Majority Caucus The house passed major corrections reform in HB348 this week.  The new law will focus on treating addictions and rehabilitating offenders rather than incarcerating them with more hardened inmates.  Our current system mingles low risk inmates with high risk inmates and the results have been disasterous by turning low risk inmates into…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson’s General Legislative Session 2015 – Update 2

Activity has been picking up since the last update.  Committee meeting agendas have been filled to the brim for the most part and Legislators are doing their work of vetting legislation and making edits where and when necessary. Hot Topic – Primary Seat Belt Law Our Law Enforcement Standing Committee heard emotional testimony about the need for primary seat belt laws.  Not buckling up is already a secondary offense and you can receive a citation for not wearing your seat belt if an officer pulls you over for another violation.…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson General Session 2015 – Update 1

The 2014 General Session has begun in earnest.  Our first day was full of ceremony and memorials as Greg Hughes took the gavel to serve as our new Speaker of the House.  Of course, due respect was given to Becky Lockhart and her family.  Traditionally, the former Speaker will swear in the new Speaker.  We were grateful to have an elder statesman in Rob Bishop (a former Speaker of the House himself) to do the honors in lieu of Speaker Lockhart’s absence.   Since I am serving as the Vice…

Utah Asserts Our Rights To Our Land

Utah’s Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office released its much anticipated feasibility study regarding Utah’s capacity as a State to manage lands currently controlled by the Federal Government. The bottom line?  Utah has what it takes to do the job and do it right.  Here are all 784 pages of the in-depth details for your review. Land Transfer Analysis Final Report Previously posted at Mr. Peterson’s Perspectives. Reposted with permission. 

SQUEEZE THE BALLOON: Bursting Foreign Economies While Trying To Save Our Own

Our economy is like a balloon.  A balloon grows as air fills its interior.  Our economy grows as the number of business transactions increase within our borders.  Like a balloon, sometimes our economy seems to grow lopsided or in an irregular shape.  Sometimes even, the economy shrinks, and like a deflated balloon, it presents unsightly wrinkled patches.  These irregular shapes and wrinkled patches of the economy routinely become the object of attention of the media, the public, and policymakers. I recently completed reading From New Deal Banking Reform to World…

Moving the State Prison To Weber County?

During our most recent interim legislative meeting, we received an update on the the Draper Prison relocation process.  We were told that 25 sites have been selected throughout the state for vetting based on a specific set of criteria.  Out of curiosity, I inquired if Weber County was on the “Top 25” list and I was told that it was. So, could the State Prison end up in Weber County?  To answer this question we have to dig into the moving parts of the process.  First, lets discuss the criteria…

Utah’s Corrections Conundrum: Finding Better Solutions

During interim session in our Judiciary Committee, we heard a compelling presentation from the Pew Charitable Trusts regarding the state of Utah’s corrections system.  We discussed how non-violent offenders (typically drug or property crimes) were receiving ever longer prison sentences for their crimes. While on the face of it, it seems to make sense that people should pay for their crimes. Yet, at the same time, the corrections system itself is having the effect of making personal reform harder on those that are incarcerated.  Prison may lock up drug users, but…

Uninequality: 10th Circuit Ruling on Same Sex Marriage

The 10th Circuit has sustained the Federal District Court’s overturning of Utah’s same-sex marriage ban.  Here’s a link to the court’s written opinion. In the Court’s words: We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.

The American Bailout Culture

I have been busy toiling away with my work in the real estate business since the legislature ended in March.  Coming home and getting to work is always a healthy reminder why our state has a citizen legislature. It brings value and perspective to state government.  Rather than being cloistered away in a marble palace somewhere, the Utah Legislature comes home to  live with the laws it passes.Unfortunately, Utah does not have much influence over the bailout culture that is seeping into the public psyche.  A recent example brings this trend to…

Living Through Tyranny and The Reformer’s Burden

As we watch our nation’s influence in the world ebb, our citizens’ dependency on government programs escalate, and our economic engine become mired in crony capitalism, it would not be out of the question for us to hear calls for reform.  In fact, it seems the voices calling for a ‘reset’ in Washington have only grown louder over the past decade as these unmistakable markers of decline become more obvious and prevalent by the month.  Yet, despite the rhetoric and the fervor, we have not seen a man rise to…