Taxing by the mile, not the gallon

Despite recent legislative changes to gas tax transportation funding in Utah, the problems with this once reliable revenue stream will only continue. Pacing with inflation (or lack thereof), more efficient vehicles and hybrids, are only part of the challenge. In response, even more progressive states like Massachusetts and Washington are considering a regressive idea: Taxing by the mile. And Oregon is on it. From Pew’s Stateline Daily: SALEM, Oregon—Evan Burroughs plopped into his 1996 Subaru Outback and pointed to a green plastic box tucked below the steering column. It blinked…

Popular democracy can be bad government

Ballot initiatives are often championed as a “check” by the people, for the people. A taste of direct democracy to offset an unresponsive legislature or city government. In Utah, initiatives have brought down a flawed plan for school vouchers, attempted to ensure independence in redistricting (Fair Boundaries) and ethics (UEG), and greatly influenced popular election changes (Count My Vote). But are they a good way to govern? While the 2007 fight over vouchers stands as positive example of voters rejecting a legislative process, if not the idea of school vouchers…

The Hub Sheet – May 23, 2015: Liked by Many, Cussed by Some, Read by All

Ever heard of 340B? Well, you’re probably paying for it anyway. The latest on Rep. Justin Miller (D – Swindleville) from around the Hub and elsewhere: City Weekly uncovers fast bucks and a pattern. Dan asks where’s the media on this one? Alliance for a Better Utah waffles. Bob Aagard wishes his party leadership wouldstep up. Curt gets thoughtful on means and ends in politics. Michael Jolley offers Miller a free re-election ad. Jesse says he’s gotta go, Dan says not yet. And Joe just wants one damn Bagley cartoon on it.…

The Hub Sheet – May 16, 2015

We know where you live. Utah politics: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Science vs. Football. Prison relocation chairs and public hearings, now with more Q&A. Is the USA Freedom Act a step forward for reigning in surveillance? No. No it isn’t. The biggest story of the week. The $31,000 question. The damning tape. The scandal sub-tweeting? City Weekly talks to Rep. Mike Noel about wilderness, drought, and hikers packing around bags of poo. Advances in therapeutic science are leading to a labyrinth revival. Charlie Cook says the 2016 GOP…

The Hub Sheet – May 9, 2015: The weekly read of successful people

The weekly read of successful people Joe Pyrah’s infamous news roundup The Sausage Grinder was the daily read of successful Utahns for years.  He’s back, every week day. Chronic homelessness in Utah approaching “functional zero.” Deseret Health Group closed care facilities abruptly this week, displacing hundreds in Utah and Wyoming with little explanation from CEO Garrett Robertson. Perhaps one might be found in the Robertson family’s history of fraud? NC senate bill spawns debate over teachers and free speech. Comparing price and non-price approaches to water conservation. 10 ways Jade Helm 15…

The Hub Sheet, May 2, 2015: Making twice the noise

Utah.gov redesign focuses on ‘geo-tagging’ to provide better location specific data and services. From the 18th Amendment to marijuana, see how fast America changes it’s mind in one handy chart. Will Election ’16 be the year of the Google Ads? The magic of hippo poop. Privacy, freedom of association, and political warfare. Agriculture experts say to meet water demands, the future of farming is genetically modified crops and smaller, local farms. SCOTUS same-sex marriage arguments (Audio and transcripts): Question 1, and Question 2. Jury: San Juan county commissioner guilty of conspiracy…

Utah GOP Chair James Evans calls in to KVNU’s For The People on the SB 54 lawsuit

On Monday April 20, Utah Republican Party Chair James Evans called in to KVNU’s For The People program to discuss the SB 54 lawsuit. Former Sutherland Institute Director Paul Mero was guest hosting with host Jason Williams a conversation with Utah State Senator Todd Weiler. Start listening at about 7:07.

The Hub Sheet – March 26, 2015

If it isn’t here, you didn’t need to know it. What if Utah politics were like your high school? See how Utah’s online voter registration site stacked up for people with disabilities in this Center for Accessible Technology report. UPH contributor Holly Richardson writes about the need for more women in leadership, including the home. The Utah Broadband Project gets an outreach center, but sadly is still building coverage maps based on data ‘self reported’ by providers. For most, local news is still hard to find on Twitter. If you guessed Siberian Mystery Craters =…

The Hub Sheet – March 6, 2015

Six Days.  Six long, grueling days. Six days, and six bills to watch. Fuel cells, next-gen robots and printable organs? Top 10 emerging technologies in 2015. Why stop at Bitcoin, Utah Reps? Utah Democrats try to get Healthy Utah its vote, ignite fireworks in House. What is the single most successful industry of the past 100 years? Hint: Madsen isn’t running a bill on it but you can still smoke it. The good intentions of, and problems with HB277. The dark side of food. “Online car sales cut out the middle…

The Hub Sheet – Monday February 17, 2015

Fasten your seatbelt… or don’t Are ‘fringe groups’ getting too much attention from education leaders over Common Core? Twitter is an even bigger waste of time than you supposed. Curious how babies… er, state budgets are made?Capital West News has a ‘splainer. Hillyard: Raise the Rainy Day cap. Rep.Craig Hall summarizes week three of the session. Cardboard boxes: Still the best toy ever. Idaho legislators will debate corporate sponsorships of state parks. They’re also updating their dueling laws.  No, seriously. All the Presidents ranked. Oral-B announced bluetooth toothbrush with a performance tracking app because…