Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tribune Poll 3 out of 4 Utahns want Independent Redistricting Commission

The survey conducted by the Salt Lake Tribune in January showed that 73% of Utahns don't want the legislature to draw the boundaries for the redistricting every 10 years.

In 2001, the gerrymandering in Utah was noted as the worst in the nation in the news in both Washington DC and New York.  Utah residents have had to live with the impact of the gerrymandering for 10 years and are not in favor of another redistricting process like the one in 2001.

There are 13 Legislative Districts in Utah County and 8 of them are located in multiple senate districts. 

House District 56 is in 3 senate districts  11,13, 14 
House District 61 is in senate districts 13, 15, 16
House District 62 is in Senate Districts 14, 15, & 16
House District 27 is in Senate Districts 11 & 14
House District 64 is in Senate Districts 15 & 16
House districts, 65, 66, & 67 are all in both Senate Districts 27 and 13.
Part of the problems with the 2001 redistricting was maintaining the seat boundaries for all of the GOP incumbents while destroying the boundaries of all Democratic incumbents in the state and federal offices.
Populations shift and maintaning a boundary that an incumbent can win does not always result in the best boundaries for the population and city boundaries, not counting the issues with splitting up Salt Lake and Utah County into pieces all over the state.
The boundaries in Legislative District 57 were so confusing that maps creating the boundaries according to the legislative "intent" made an error and placed a portion of Leg 57 in the 3rd Congressional District and a different senate seat than the Legislature boundaries planned and for 10 years those residents have had the wrong names on their ballot for congressman and senator and state legislator.
The end result, Representative Craig Frank  didn't live in the district where he was elected and lost his seat on the Legislature.  (That still doesn't change the fact the wrong name for senator and congressman was on their ballots for 10 years.)
Note:  Cedar Hills is the area where strong, conservative Republican voters were moved into the 2nd Congressional District to remove the Democratic stronghold that maintained Jim Matheson's incumbency in Washington.  Too bad the boundaries were so confsuing the mapping couldn't get it straight and the voters were still in the 3rd Congressional District, despite the legislative intent to change that.
The question now is can this legislature do a better job of redistricting than the 2001 legislature, and will the maps for redistricting be more accurate than the 2001 redistricting maps.  I guess the even bigger question is how many years it will take someone to figure out the wrong names are on their ballots or their legislator doesn't live in their district.

Margaret Dayton's Senate Bill 44

S.B. 44




Chief Sponsor: Margaret Dayton

House Sponsor: ____________

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies provisions relating to certain state commissions.
             10      Highlighted Provisions:
             11          This bill:
             12          .    modifies the duties of the Utah Tax Review Commission;
             13          .    transfers some duties of the Utah Tax Review Commission to the Revenue and
             14      Taxation Interim Committee;
             15          .    modifies the duties of the Utah Constitutional Revision Commission;
             16          .    modifies a provision relating to the staffing of the Utah Constitutional Revision
             17      Commission; and
             18          .    makes technical changes.
             19      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:
             25          59-1-903, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2002, Chapter 144
             26          59-1-904, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1990, Chapter 237
             27          59-1-905, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 286

         59-5-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 323
             29          59-7-612, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 4 and 382
             30          59-7-613, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 4 and 382
             31          59-7-614, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 344
             32          59-7-614.2, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 164
             33          59-7-614.3, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 389
             34          59-7-614.5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 278
             35          59-10-1012, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 4 and 382
             36          59-10-1013, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 4 and 382
             37          59-10-1014, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 344
             38          59-10-1024, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 389
             39          59-10-1106, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 344
             40          59-10-1107, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 164
             41          59-10-1108, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 278
             42          59-12-103.1, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 253
             43          59-12-104.5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 203
             44          63I-3-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 25
             45          63I-3-204, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
             46          63I-3-207, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
             47          63J-1-205, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 138
             48          63M-1-1805, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 135
             49          63M-1-2406, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 372
             50          63M-1-2806, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 45
SB 44 Text
SB 44 Status

SB 44 Utah State Legislature

According to Paul Rolly in the Salt Lake Tribune :  "Dayton's Bill Grasps For Power"
Salt Lake Tribune

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Long Island Tax Cut Resulted In Financial Authority Taking Control Of New York County Finances

Republican Edward Mangano defeated Democratic incumbent Thomas R Suozzi for Nassau County Executive in an election that was held on November 3, 2009, with less than 400 votes.
At Mangano’s January 2010 Inauguration, the first thing he did was repeal an unpopular home energy tax which resulted the state-appointed fiscal overseer, the Nassau County Interim Financial Authority, or NIFA, seizing control of New York County Finances on January 26, 2011, one year later.

Mangano's victory in 2009 was one of the first major upsets that can be chalked up to the Tea Party. “His campaign posters avoided the word "Republican" and instead stressed his "tax revolt" message.”

Friday, January 28, 2011

Today at the Legislature

I don't know how accurate this is, but it is posted on the first page of the Utah Legislature site every day of the legislative session.  

Note:  This is the Utah State Legislature link on my blog.

By clicking on the calendar at the top you can check other dates.

I again want to emphasize the Legislature makes last minute changes, consequently this schedule could be more fluid than the airline schedules.

What's Happening Today  (Fri, Jan. 28)   Monthly Calendars
8:00 am Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee (445 State Capitol) - Agenda
8:00 am Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee (210 Senate Building) - Agenda
8:00 am Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee (25 House Building) - Agenda
8:00 am Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee (30 House Building) - Agenda
10:00 am - 11:45 am Senate Floor Time (Senate Chamber)
10:00 am - 12:00 pm House Floor Time (House Chamber)
1:00 pm Retirement and Independent Entities Appropriations Subcommittee (450 State Capitol) - Agenda
2:00 pm House Business and Labor Committee (450 State Capitol) - Agenda
2:00 pm House Education Committee CANCELED - Agenda
2:00 pm House Health and Human Services Committee (25 House Building) - Agenda
2:00 pm House Public Utilities and Technology Committee CANCELED - Agenda
2:00 pm Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee (250 State Capitol) - Agenda
2:00 pm Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee (415 State Capitol) - Agenda
2:00 pm Senate Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology Committee (215 Senate Building) - Agenda

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

House Bill 15 Chief Sponsor Brad Daw Senate Sponsor Curtis Bramble




Chief Sponsor: Bradley M. Daw

Senate Sponsor: Curtis S. Bramble

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      Committee Note:
             10          The Health and Human Services Interim Committee recommended this bill.
             11      General Description:
             12          This bill amends licensing provisions in the Controlled Substance Database Act.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This bill:
             15          .    provides that an individual who is not a veterinarian, who obtains a new license to
             16      prescribe a controlled substance, shall, within 30 days after the day on which the
             17      individual obtains a license to prescribe a controlled substance from the Drug
             18      Enforcement Administration, register with the division to use the Controlled
             19      Substance Database; H. [ and ]
             19a           . reinstates authority of the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to
             19b      take administrative action, under the Pharmacy Practice Act, for a violation of the Controlled
             19c      Substance Database Act; and .H
             20          .    makes technical changes.

You can check the status of this bill by clicking on  "bill Status votes" on the left.


Highlights of HB 18 include:  requires a consumer directed health plan offered by the Utah State Retirement and  Insurance Benefit Act to promote appropriate utilization of health care, including preventive health care services; and  provides flexibility for the state, within federal requirements, to determine the  appropriate actuarial value of the consumer directed health plans. 
Daw is trying to find a plan more attractive to employees.  This bill would make high deductible health plans both more accessible and more appealing to state employees, hoping to save the state and employees money.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Senate Bill 113 changes Election District Boundaries Needs 2/3 vote to take effect immediately




Chief Sponsor: John L. Valentine

House Sponsor: John Dougall

   The bill to modify the boundaries of  Leg District 57 are in Senate Bill 113 sponsored by Senator John Valentine.  This bill would put voters in House District 57 in the House, Senate and Congressional seats they have been voting in for the last ten years.  A mistake in the Utah County Election Office has created this discrepancy.
You can track this bill at the following web sites. This site  tracks the status of the bill, which was introduced in the Senate today for the first reading.
 This site is the legal description of the bill.  You can click on the “status” bar in the upper left corner to track the daily progress, which is expected to be fast.
Photo in The Daily Herald Newspaper

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Did 2001 Gerrymandering Contribute to Congressman Cannon's 2008 loss?

The 2001 redistricting added even more Democrats from the Second Congressional District to the Third Congressional District in an attempt to defeat Congressman Jim Matheson.  Matheson held on, but in the end Cannon did not.  Would Rep Jason Chaffetz have been able to defeat incumbent Chris Cannon in a Republican Primary without the increased number of Salt Lake County voters?

Paul Rolly:  "Weep for the Disenfranchised Voters," focuses on the “shameless gerrymandering” by the Republican majority party in 2001.  Rolly explained that the Democratic voters were combined with conservative voters to take away their Democratic voice and Democratic representation. 

 Utah County’s strong Republican base was gerrymandered into select areas to disenfranchise Democratic voters surrounding Utah County.

Tooele County was chopped up into four different Senate Districts to silence the perceived Democrats living in Tooele County.  You guessed it, part of Tooele County is represented by a Republican senator living in Utah County.

Utah County was also chopped up and has three Senate Districts mixed in with other counties, including Craig Frank’s Senate District, which may have been mixed with Salt Lake County in the original gerrymandering, but was changed by annexing in the Utah County election office

Tribune Poll shows public opinion in some cases opposed to some of Legislature’s top 2011 initiatives

Educating the almost 15,000 new students next year will be one of the most controversial challenges for the 2011 legislature.  51% of people surveyed in the Salt Lake Tribune poll want to see other state programs cut and money shifted to education, while 1/3 would rather see taxes increased to cover those costs.
I voted against tax increases when surveyed.
Currently the Legislature is looking at cutting as much as $237 million from the school budget.  Public education has had fewer budget cuts than other state programs, consequently the legislators have been feeling pressure to analyze the public education dollars and how well they are spent.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thomas Wright New Utah State Republican Party Chair

Thomas Wright, President, Principal Broker, REALTOR at Summit Sotheby's International Realty, was elected to  replace Dave Hansen, who resigned in December to run Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s re-election campaign.  The election took place January 22, by 140 attending members of the 180 members of the Utah State Central Committee. He will serve until the Republican Organizing convention June 11, at the South Town Expo.

Thomas Wright was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated with honors from the University of Utah in 1997 with Bachelor of Art degrees in Marketing and Russian. Thomas graduated from Quince Orchard High School in the Washington D.C. metro area in 1991 after being selected to be a United States Senate Page by Senator Orrin Hatch and former Senator Jake Garn.

After the prestigious firm of Lewis Wolcott & Dornbush Real Estate was affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty Thomas became a partner, where he serves as the President and Principal Broker of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Salt Lake Tribune Poll: Utah Compact Divides Mormons

The Salt Lake Tribune has published their first survey story on their poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.  The survey question was about the Utah Compact.  They briefly explained the Utah Compact in the survey and also noted that the LDS Church is among supporters of the compact. 

48% of LDS members support the Utah Compact, and 39% oppose it, which was about identical to all survey results of 49% in favor with 39% against.  What percent of LDS voters were called to get these survey numbers?  Does this mean LDS members were a majority or minority of the 625 people surveyed?

I would also like to point out that registered voters in Utah County would probably give different answers than registered voters in Salt Lake County. 
The poll was conducted with 625 registered Utah voters who were interviewed by telephone, January 17 through the 19, 2011 .  The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.
This answers my earlier questions, they called  “only registered voters.” 
Note: there are three registered voters with my home telephone number, so calling my number increased their chances of getting a registered voter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Salt Lake Tribune Survey done by by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research

The Mason-Dixon Polling & Research called my home last night with survey questions regarding this 2011 Utah legislative session.   (970-568-5208 on the caller ID)  They identified themselves at the beginning of the call, however refused to state what kind of questions they had until after I had agreed to take the survey.
The survey takes about seven minutes and they don’t identify they are calling for the Salt Lake Tribune until the end of the survey.  The survey includes several immigration questions, including in state tuition for illegal immigrants who graduated from high school in Utah, children born in US to illegal immigrants being citizens, citizenship path for illegal immigrants already in United States.
They also asked about increasing liquor licenses to meet the increased demands.
They asked about increasing education funding to meet the increased demand of more students in Utah, and the only choices were:  increase taxes to cover education expenses, keep education funding the same or cut other programs to give more money to education.  They also surveyed making school board races partisan and requiring Superintendents to be elected.

Redistricting questions were also included, relating to boundaries for the four congressional districts, and "Do you favor Putting all of Salt Lake County in one congressional district, or would you want to divide Salt Lake County into all four congressional districts?"  They specifically asked if I thought southern Utah should have their own congressional district.
Obviously, these are not the only questions.  I had finished the survey before I thought about taking notes on the subjects covered.
I always wonder when I see the results of a survey “who” they called.  Now I wonder how they selected the names of the people surveyed and where they live.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This is a map of the affected precincts in Cedar Hills for LD27/57 from the County Clerk.

LD27 is the area above the green line. The area between the green line and blue line is the affected area. Any delegates and or voters that reside in that area would currently be considered part of Leg 27, not Leg 57 according to the State map.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Speaker Becky Lockhart declared Craig Frank's Leg seat vacant

Craig Frank was the Representative for Utah House District 57, but the maps in the Legislative office and the Utah County election office are different and Craig Frank does not live in House District 57 on the maps in the State Elections office, while he is in the House District 57 on the Utah County election office maps.

Morgan Philpot's campaign workers discovered the inconsistencies when campaigning and found the 2500 people in Frank's neighborhood that were listed in the Second Congressional District on one map and the Third Congressional District on another voter list.

Utah Annotated Code 36-1-202 4 (b) states that each county clerk shall establish voting precincts and polling places within each House District. . . . .

     36-1-202.   Official maps of House districts.
     (4) (a) Each county clerk shall obtain copies of the official maps for the clerk's county from the lieutenant governor's office.
     (b) Each county clerk shall establish voting precincts and polling places within each House district according to the procedures and requirements of Section 20A-5-303.
     (5) Maps identifying the boundaries for House districts may be viewed on the Internet at the lieutenant governor's website.

The following Utah Annotated Codes provide provisions for resolving boundary issues for either omissions from maps or uncertain boundaries.

36-1-203.   Omissions from maps -- How resolved.

36-1-204.   Uncertain boundaries -- How resolved.
     (2) (a) An affected party may file a written request petitioning the lieutenant governor to determine:
     (i) the precise location of the House district boundary;
     (ii) the number of the House district in which a person resides; or
     (iii) both Subsections (2)(a)(i) and (ii).
     (b) In order to make the determination required by Subsection (2)(a), the lieutenant governor shall review the official maps and obtain and review other relevant data such as census block and tract descriptions, aerial photographs, aerial maps, or other data about the area.
     (c) Within five days of receipt of the request, the lieutenant governor shall review the maps, obtain and review any relevant data, and mak
e a determination


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

State Organizing Convention June 11 at the South Towne Expo Center

These are the events scheduled on the Utah Republican Party Web site.  Click Events on the first page.  Note the proposed Constitution and Bylaws Amendments at the bottom under the State Organizing Convention. 

Statewide Calendar of Events

Jan 22, 2011

State Central Committee Meeting

Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus

9750 S 300 W

Sandy, Utah

Attachment below includes filed candidates' information

Website Election Information.pdf
Elections Rules.pdf

February 7, 2011

2011 Legislative Breakfast

Held at the Marriott Downtown

75 South West Temple

June 11, South Town Expo Center

2011 State Organizing Convention

South Towne Expo Center

9575 South State Street

Sandy, UT 84070

Proposed Constitution and Bylaws Amendments.pdf