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News Blog

Legislative Committee Picks for this Week

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2011-02-15 -

A bill that would seek payment from the federal government for undocumented immigrants' hospital bills  will be heard Wednesday. Thursday you can hear about a bill to allow law enforcement the ability to place tracking devices on individuals without prior court-approval.

There are a couple early-bird specials Wednesday morning, that if you got the get up and go, you should check out. Otherwise you can stream them online or listen to the committees discussions later afer they're finished--and when you've woken up.

Like Senate Bill 212 proposed by Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan. This bill will change retention requirements for state judges. Judges minimum performance standards would be tweaked so that judges cannot have more than one public reprimand from the Judicial Conduct Commission—the body that discipline Utah judges—during one term. Currently the requirement is not more than one formal discipline action in a term. Other standards would be eased for judges. Currently surveys are given to lawyers and litigants to survey the conduct and competence of judges. Performance standards now require those judges to score an 80 percent favorable rating on all questions but Buttars’ bill would change that to only a 70 percent rating, and not overall but only within three new categories of questions: “legal liability, judicial temperament and integrity, and administrative abilities.”

The biggest change in this bill is that it would no longer survey litigants—or plaintiffs and defendants with direct interaction with a judge. Currently litigants are surveyed on judge’s conduct.

S.B. 212 will be heard Wednesday, Feb. 16  at the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee, which starts at 8 a.m. Utah State Capitol, 250 State Capitol. Visit the Legislature’s main page for an audio link.

House Bill 165 proposed by Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo seeks to bill the federal government through request, or possibly lawsuit, for the state’s medical costs incurred providing care to undocumented immigrants in the state.

H.B. 165 will be heard Wednesday, Feb. 16 at the House Health and Human Services Committee, which starts at 8 a.m., Utah State Capitol, 25 House Building. Visit the Legislature’s main page for an audio link.

Thursday, Rep. Derek Brown, R-Cottonwood Heights will have his House Bill 154 heard. This bill would allow for law enforcement to have the option to place mobile tracking devices on an individual without prior approval from a judge if “exigent” circumstances call for it. The bill would give officers 10 days after the installation of a tracking device to then receive court approval.

H.B. 154 will be heard Thursday, Feb. 17, at the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee which starts at 8 a.m. Utah State Capitol, 25 House Building. Visit the Legislature’s main page for an audio link.

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