HB 322: Religious Freedom Protection is Common Sense

It is often said that one should never discuss religion or politics in good company. However, with HB 322 up for discussion in the Utah Legislature both topics come hand-in-hand these days. This bill, sponsored in the house by Rep. LaVar Christensen (R-Draper) expands religious freedom protection for individuals and organizations that operate according to a specific set of religious guidelines. It also reaffirms guidelines to prevent discrimination in employment and housing. Main provisions of HB 322 include: “adds religious liberty provisions to the Utah Antidiscrimination Act and the Utah…

Should the Utah Legislative Session be Longer?

This past week the Legislative Process Committee recommended extending the legislative session.  Currently the session runs 45 continuous days, that count including weekends.  The committee expressed concerns over the often rushed decision-making process, and the lack of time they have to fully vet all bills.  These concerns are valid, but is the answer a longer session? No. The answer lies in other reforms, such as: Requiring all bills to have two committee hearings This seems counter intuitive.  Legislative committees take time.  But by requiring bills to have two hearings it…

What If Utah Politicos were Simpson Characters…

We all know that there are no shortage of characters here in the political sphere in Utah.  So we decided to incorporate a few of them and see how they would stack up against the lovable characters from the Simpsons. Jason Powers / Mr. Burns Both are incredibly smart and capable at what they do best.  However, the methodologies by which they use to achieve their means can be questionable at times. Comic Book Guy / JM Bell I don’t think that anyone is going to disagree that there is anyone in…

What if Utah legislators were board games? [Publius Online]

Want to Play a Legislative Game

And now for something new and creative (and, as Cornflakes notes,an indication that someone over at Utah League of Cities and Towns has a lot of extra time on their hands): what if your legislator was a board game? Brought to you by the Utah League of Cities and Towns, some of my favorites imagine Rep. Craig Hall as Batman (“Give him a cape, and he can do anything!”), the Utah House as a game of Monopoly (the Senate is apparently more of a “Secrets and Symbols” type game),  Rep. LaVar…