Thursday, February 10, 2011
Busy Week At The Capital
Wednesday at the Capitol for The ACLU of Utah was supposed to be a busy day filled with committee hearings. Accordingly, we worked to prepare testimony and rally concerned citizens to attend hearings and voice opposition to very damaging legislation. However, in the early part of the morning it soon became clear that things had changed.
H.B. 70, Rep. Sandstrom’s bill modeled on Arizona’s SB 1070, was supposed to be heard in committee on Wednesday afternoon. At the last minute, this bill was removed from the committee’s agenda. There are many problems with H.B. 70, but the enormous fiscal note attached to his bill might be what caused Rep. Sandstrom to hold off on a hearing. The fiscal note puts an $11.3 million dollar burden on local governments and law enforcement. The bill will now be heard tomorrow in the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee. Please attend and voice your concerns about this harmful bill.
S.B. 138, sponsored by Sen. Urquhart is titled “Driver license qualification amendments,” and would eliminate the driver privilege card. The bill was heard in the Senate Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology Committee yesterday, and resulted in an interesting debate. Sen. Bramble openly opposed S.B. 138, joining others who believe the driver privilege card is a safe way to have information regarding who is driving on Utah roads, and to provide a means for all drivers to have car insurance. Unfortunately the committee passed S.B. 138 with a favorable recommendation. Now the bill moves to the Senate floor for debate.
Good news in the Capitol came as S.B. 152, Sex Offender Restriction Amendments, was tabled which means it will not be heard on the floor this session. Another piece of good news is that H.B. 182, a bill that would void any contract, arrangement or transaction if found to be against public policy, was pulled from the agenda in the House Judiciary Committee yesterday.
Stay tuned for more information on these bills and many more. We will remain vigilant in lobbying against bills that are unconstitutional and unnecessary, and we will continue to support legislation that protects the civil liberties of all Utahns.