Governor Herbert calls for HB477 repeal–now what?

At first blush, Monday seemed to spell victory for opponents of HB477, the controversial law that strikes down the legislative intent of Utah’s open-records law and exempts electronic communications from the definition of “public” documents. Governor Herbert, riding on the coattails of several legislators, called for a special session Friday to repeal the law. Also … Continue reading

Save GRAMA Signature Drive Launch: Sign the Petition to Reverse HB477

If you are one of thousands of Utah citizens rankled by HB477 — which tears down Utah’s GRAMA law and allows state legislators to keep electronic communications secret —  head up to the Utah State Capitol rotunda between 11:00 AM – 12:30 on Thursday, March 17. You will be one of the first citizens to sign … Continue reading

Something is rotten in the state of Utah

HB477 through the language of “Hamlet”: Oh, most pernicious legislature! Oh, villains, villains, smiling, corrupt villains! On Tweetdeck–meet it is I tweet it out. That lawmakers may regret, and regret, and still be villains. At least I am sure it may be so in Utah. So, Governor, there you are. Now, to my e-signature: the … Continue reading

HB477 reaction: outrage on Twitter and Facebook; GRAMA request by media

Despite citizen rallies and polls showing the vast majority of Utahans oppose HB477, Governor Herbert signed the bill into law last night. Utahans have taken to Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage and strategize where to go from here. (Full disclosure: I am one of those expressing outrage on my personal accounts. In the … Continue reading

rally at the capitol: Utahans speak out against HB477

I am just home from the rally at the Utah capitol, where protestors spoke their mind about HB477, the controversial bill that strips access to public records in Utah. The senate recalled the bill yesterday, but protestors at the rally vowed to keep the pressure on state legislators and Governor Herbert to “kill the bill.” … Continue reading

sealing bees out of the inner workings of the hive: HB477 strips public access to public records, including lawmaker text messages

HB477–a fast-track bill that restricts access to public records–appears poised to become law, with all signs that Governor Herbert will sign it, according to the Deseret News. But does this bill prevent media “fishing expeditions”–as Senate President Michael Waddoups has stated–or does it deal a deadly blow to democracy in the Beehive State? Many Utahans–we at … Continue reading

daring educational experiment or dreadful disaster: virtual vouchers in Utah

Until yesterday, when the Senate voted down SB65, Utah was on the verge of a daring educational experiment–or dreadful educational disaster, depending on how you feel about pouring public dollars into private online education. If enacted, SB65 would shift some public education dollars into online courses, even ones provided by private schools. Think of it … Continue reading

Taking aim at Utah’s concealed weapons permit

“Get Some” Guns & Ammo Pistol Shooting Range, photo by Karrie Higgins Just because you can own a gun in Utah does not mean you can legally conceal it and carry it with you. In the Beehive State, you need a concealed weapons permit to do that. Without the concealed weapons permit, your only options … Continue reading

Beehive vs. the FDA?

Maybe it’s the pioneer spirit of the Rocky Mountain West. Or maybe it’s the geography out here in Utah: surrounded by mountains, isolated from the rest of the United States, buffered, protected. Or maybe it’s the spirit of the Mormons who settled this land, searching for freedom, desiring only to be left alone to live and … Continue reading

the Beehive goes mining for gold in your honey pot

Utah Republican Stuart Adams of Layton backs a proposal that will increase the Utah food tax from 1.7 to 4.4 percent. Adams claims a simultaneous decrease in the Utah sales tax–from 4.7 to 4.4 percent–will make up for the food tax increase. In other words, Utah shoppers will enjoy sales-tax “savings” when purchasing computers or … Continue reading