Fools On the Hill -- Top 10 | News | Salt Lake City Weekly

Fools On the Hill -- Top 10 

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It’s hard to ignore our Utah Legislators, particularly when they are dreaming up ways to make life more moral for us and a little more profitable for their buddies in industry. To help keep track of whatÕs going on in the Capitol, Lorna Vogt and her friends at the Utah Progressive Network (UPNET) have come up with the 2001 version of the Top 10 from those fools on the hill.

10. You call this a giftban? Tickets to the Utah Jazz are not gifts, according to Senate President Al Mansell. Neither are lunches, gifts, trips, golf dates and other perks given to legislators from lobbyists. That’s why Rep. Ralph BeckerÕs proposal to identify gifts, HB 187, was shot down in flames.

9. Get the gays and polygamists. A proposal by Sen. Ron Allen would make it a criminal offense to condone or conduct polygamist marriages. SB 146 also applies the same penalty to same-sex unions. It gives bad marriage a whole new meaning.

8. White rights. Right wing groups espousing protection of white rights have been lobbying against hate crimes legislation. The National Alliance, described by the Anti-Defamation League as the most dangerous hate group active in America, sent CDs to legislators to defeat SB 37. It worked.

7. Repeal eight-hour workday. It’s for real -- HB 125 would allow your employer -- even in mining and heavy industry -- to make you work as many hours a day as he wants. Not exactly progress.

6. Paycheck deception. It appears as though conservative legislators have triumphed over the big, bad Utah Educational Association and other unions. Thanks to HB 179, no longer will union members be able to voluntarily deduct money from their paychecks to support their own union. It’s the Red scare.

5. Sweatshops ’R Us. Utah cities and towns will be banned from passing Living Wage ordinances if SB 138 becomes law. Municipal workers don’t deserve living wages, do they?

4. No prescription equity. If you think Utah law should allow insurance to cover women’s reproductive needs like it does for men -- well, just forget it. SB 42 has been shelved. The rhythm method is best, anyway.

3. Guns for the mentally ill. Convicted felons and those institutionalized for mental illness may have their names posted on a state website, but that doesn’t mean they can’t own guns. HB 266 would give gun ownership back to murderers and the mentally ill. After all, they have Second Amendment rights, too.

2. Proving domestic abuse. Victims of abuse will have to demonstrate a preponderance of evidence before seeking protection from those who have harmed them or are stalking them if HB 25 becomes law. More women may die, but it’s a man’s world, after all.

1. Mandatory gun education. This proposal, outlined in HB 264, requires high schools to provide gun education. The fact that firearms training will be more detailed than sex education, of course, is not the issue. Or is it?

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