Useless Legislature | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Useless Legislature 

Pin It
Favorite
click to enlarge news_hitsmisses1-1.png
news_hitsmisses1-3.png

Useless Legislature
Why, you ask? Why, indeed. The Legislature refused to pass bills that just made sense, but apparently struck at the heart of their ideological sensibilities. Let's start with the most in-your-face slap at women—the Equal Rights Amendment, despite 70% of Utahns approving it. You know, lawmakers don't really care if legislation is meaningless. Take their full-on abortion ban law. It wouldn't go into effect unless the U.S. Supreme Court undermined Roe v. Wade. The ERA is similar. Already the requisite 38 states have approved the amendment, and yet it faces massive legal hurdles before being ratified. Still, they managed to pass several anti-female laws this session besides that Just Say No to Abortion Bill. They're also requiring women to decide whether to bury or cremate their fetal remains because, they firmly believe, women aren't intelligent enough to know what they want. That is, unless they are in the Nevada Legislature where a majority finally rules.

news_hitsmisses1-3.png

Read Receipts
On to the idiots who decided driving while texting was just a great idea. Absolutely, they would not outlaw the use of cell phones, although the official line was, gee whiz, there wasn't enough time. But wait. What about drinking and driving? That was such a priority that the Legislature dropped the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content to .05% in 2018. As far back as 2009, the National Safety Council called on legislatures to ban the use of cell phones while driving because, wait for it, studies show it's as dangerous as driving drunk. And yet, we live in Utah where the Word of Wisdom trumps good sense. What are the counter-arguments? It's a personal choice and it's too hard to enforce. But three of every four Utahns say make it the law, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Apparently, they are not our lawmakers.

news_hitsmisses1-2.png

Arent's Swan Song
Rather than spend too much time denigrating the Legislature, let's talk about a few important bills that passed. First, school breakfast. It was on-again-off-again, as legislators defeated and then revived the Start Smart program for students in need. This bill was pregnant with ideological rationale—from parental responsibility to distrust of the federal dollar—and yet rather than let kids starve, lawmakers passed it. Second comes Rep. Patrice Arent's death knell for the straight-ticket ballot. This bill sends the signal that voters can be trusted to choose candidates among various parties. It might have been a gift to the retiring Arent, according to the Trib, but it was a gift for voters, too. And one last bill: Cultural Stewardship Amendments finally puts some teeth in enforcement of vandalism of pictographs and other archeological gems. See, they're not all bad.

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

  • Stay Confused

    This should be amusing. Some Utah Republicans are out of their minds—still—over the law allowing signature-gathering for candidates.
    • Apr 1, 2020
  • Citizen Revolt: Apr. 2

    Feeding Utah, Port Strategizing, Got Earthquake Photos
    • Apr 1, 2020
  • Citizen Revolt: Mar. 26

    Blood drive, School lunch, Help during the pandemic.
    • Mar 25, 2020
  • More »

Latest in Hits & Misses

  • Stay Confused

    This should be amusing. Some Utah Republicans are out of their minds—still—over the law allowing signature-gathering for candidates.
    • Apr 1, 2020
  • Going South

    No one was surprised that rural Utah thinks the COVID-19 response is an overreaction. But there was one short clip that was both stunning and perfectly understandable. "A lot of our economy is tourism ... that's not by our choice," Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock told KUTV News.
    • Mar 25, 2020
  • Illusive commodities

    • Mar 11, 2020
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

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
  • Ditto for Truth

    The people's need for media literacy, will Michael Clara return to UTA and good luck to the church's rebranding.
    • Aug 23, 2018

© 2020 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation