Countdown Continues: 5 Days Left, 5 Bills You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

The countdown continues to the end of the 2015 legislative session. Here are 5 bills you may not have heard of. S.B. 89 Aquatic Invasive Species Fee This bill imposes a fee on certain motorboats and sailboats. This bill provides that the fees be used for the purpose of aquatic invasive species interdiction. This bill is waiting for the Governor’s signature. HB 432 Historic Pioneer Trail Preservation This bill defines “historic trail,” requires the Division of Parks and Recreation to develop and maintain an inventory of historic trails within the state;…

Speaker Greg Hughes Speech to Open 2015 Legislative Session [Hub Wire]

Fellow representatives, it is truly an honor to stand before you today as Utah’s Speaker of the House. This is a responsibility I take very seriously and I’m humbled by the trust you all have shown in me. I want to thank Congressman Rob Bishop for joining us today and let him know what a privilege it was to have him administer my oath of office. I also need to take a few moments to thank some special people who are here with us – my friends and family, some…

It’s Time for Utah to Rethink Gas Taxes, Not Raise Them

As the legislative session is set to begin, one of the biggest rumblings coming out of the legislature have been around increasing gasoline taxes and/or indexing future gas taxes to gas prices. While there is definitely a case to be made for increasing the funding for our roads, it is time to look at better options for funding them instead of just raising taxes. With the current proposal on the table, the gas tax would go up by around 10 cents a gallon initially and then be further adjusted on a yearly basis…

When to Write a Bill and When Not To: Or is the Utah Legislature Going to the Dogs?

This past week Utah State Senator Aaron Osmond made news with the announcement that he would be carrying a bill in the Utah Legislature to designate the golden retriever as Utah’s ‘official state domestic animal’.  The idea for the bill came from a fourth grade elementary school class in his district. I love experiential learning.  It is essential for Utah students to not just learn about our system of government, but they should also experience it.  But even with that belief, do I support the bill? No. I understand the temptation…