Bill Me | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
Pin It
Favorite
news_hitsmisses1-3.jpg
news_hitsmisses1-1.jpg

Bill Me
Utah Policy's Bob Bernick has a way of making you abandon all hope in our Legislature. He recently pointed out that lawmakers really, really want to make laws and anticipate filing somewhere around 1,000 bills. Now, not all of them will be public—yet. You know how legislators like to keep things under wraps because they wouldn't want to hear from you before the thinking's been done. Just let this sink in: 1,000 bills about 1,000 issues that surely will impact you. Better yet, one unidentified legislator might have filed up to 82 bills. Utah, we know, is an anything-goes state, but there are many others that limit the number of bills per session—anywhere from two to infinity. Freewheeling states like Illinois introduced—hold on—about 9,000 bills between December 2014 and 2015, according to the MultiState website. For some, limits are a matter of fiscal responsibility. You'd think Utah would like that.

news_hitsmisses1-2.jpg

Open Season
It's been mentioned that governments need to be more open. Get it? Open? That's because they're doing the people's business with the people's money. The Salt Lake Tribune pointed this out in spades with a story about how Real Salt Lake got a huge tax break from Sandy by just being quiet little lobbyists. You might recall U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeatedly saying he doesn't remember various important things. Well, neither does the entire Salt Lake County Council. It must be an epidemic. Gee, did they agree to cut Real's tax bill by about half a million dollars? It took an open-records request to find this out. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes doesn't like those pesky records requests, either. He's fighting public disclosure of his legal opinion in this year's special congressional race. Maybe he forgot what it was.

news_hitsmisses1-1.jpg

Hold Your Breath
It's hard to know who or what to blame for the toxic mess that is Utah air. When the Legislature's in session, it's usually motor vehicles. Sometimes you hear about MagCorp, oil refineries and other industrial polluters. Now The Salt Lake Tribune puts the blame squarely on Kennecott Utah Copper and its lead-filled emissions. That pushes Utah's toxic rating way up. While it might be a temporary phenomenon, it's hard to assess who has been affected. Utah is about to enter the annual inversion season, and public officials will be pretty much ignoring it. "Should you be worried?" one Trib commenter asked. "Only if you breathe."

Pin It
Favorite

About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

More by Katharine Biele

Latest in Hits & Misses

  • Training the Media

    Police Pout, Famous for Stupidity
    • Sep 23, 2020
  • Mask Flak

    Cutie Uproar, Rape Kits Caught Up
    • Sep 16, 2020
  • Dare to Care

    Fail to See the Humor, The Reactor Factor
    • Sep 10, 2020
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Focus on the Men

    Some seem to think men leaving the workforce will result in fewer marriages. The Park City School District fires back at a shadowy group. Plus, what's behind those strange mailers you might have received?
    • Nov 27, 2019
  • Fraud Gets a Pass?

    The implications of parents filling out their missionary kids' ballots. Plus, how UTA figures to muck it up again.
    • Aug 14, 2019

© 2020 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation