Out with the baby, or just with the bathwater? Now that Governor Herbert won’t assemble a USBE nomination committee, what next?

Due to a 2014 court case, Governor Gary Herbert won’t be putting together a state board of education recruiting and nomination committee this year, even though it’s required by law. Under Utah law, the governor is required to assemble a committee for the purpose of recruiting and preparing a list of candidates for the Utah State Board of Education (USBE). The committee narrows down the candidates (after recruiting and reviewing applications), then, sends to the governor a list of at least three of the candidates for the USBE, along with pertinent…

Healthy Utah is getting the Jimmy Hoffa treatment

Isn’t it funny that Healthy Utah, the one big issue that everyone even mildly interested in the legislature was talking about, hasn’t had much said about it lately? In fact, other than some reporting on quiet behind-the-scenes negotiations and the Gov’s planned trip to DC, there’s not much in the public to chew on. So what do we make of the silence? First off, the House already drew their line in the sand. They won’t want to spend more state money on entitlements. It’s hard to see how “spend no more state…

BUZZ: Governor Announces State School Board Candidates

Today Governor Herbert announced the candidates for the State School Board.  Candidates for the Board are vetted through a nominating and recruiting committee, then selected by the Governor.  The following candidates will be appearing on the ballot in November: District 1 David L Clark Terryl Warner (incumbent) District 2 Spencer F Stokes Willard Z Maughan District 3 Michael G. Jensen (incumbent) Linda Hansen District 5 Mark Bouchard Laura Collier Belnap District 6 Dan Griffiths (incumbent) Brittany Cummins District 9 Joylin Lincoln Heather Groom (incumbent) District 14 Mike Miles Mark Huntsman

Gov. Herbert: An Education Action Figure?

Today, Gov. Herbert held a press conference to address the concerns he has heard regarding public education and to present a plan of action.  The plan outlined three principles: Maintaining high academic standards in all subjects. Monitoring and limiting the federal government’s role in education. Preserving state and local control, including in curriculum, testing, and instructional practices. His plan includes: First, a legal review by the Attorney General’s Office into questions regarding federal entanglements associated with the adoption of the Common Core and our No Child Left Behind waiver. Second,…

HB414 – Has the Legislature Overcompensated on Subpoenas?

And the John Swallow fallout continues. We all (well, perhaps not all) sympathized with the legislature’s frustration over John Swallow’s and payday lenders’ refusal to comply with subpoenas issued by the House Special Investigative Committee.  The enforceability of the subpoenas was litigated repeatedly and unnecessarily, resulting in significant additional costs to the people of Utah in order to discover information that should have been quickly and completely disclosed. In a legislative response to that frustration (wouldn’t be it be nice to legislatively respond to your personal frustrations?), Utah’s legislators enacted…

Caucuses, primaries, turnout and Count My Vote

Personally, I remain ambivalent toward the status quo vs. Count My Vote. Call me a cynic; you’d be right.  On one hand I am realistic that any nominating system can be gamed and the choice is really between one form of gaming and another. On the other hand, I am intrigued by the big kick in the pants Count My Vote would be for both parties, and the absolute deserved kick in the pants both major parties have solidly earned for a plethora of reasons.  That said, the discussion of…