Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Payday Lender Bill Died in Committee SB110 $113,960.00 contributions to legislators

City Weekly.net Photo of Senator Ben McAdams.

I have taken several weeks to try to find all the campaign donors to post this bill.  This
Is NOT an Inclusive list of payday lenders, but only the obvious ones from their names.
If you know the names of payday lenders contributing to elected officials in Utah please post the name in the comments of this post.

SB110, sponsored by Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake City, limited payday lenders in where they can sue delinquent borrowers.  79% of all small-claims cases at the Fourth District Court in Provo are filed by payday lenders.  SB110 required payday lenders to file in the court closest to where the payday loan application was made.

The following corporations and PACs donated AT LEAST $113,960.00 to Utah elected officials between 2008 and 2011.  Note this does not include 2012 donations.
Utah Consumer Lending Association                                     2009             $31,000.00
Utah Consumer Lending Association                                     2008             $49,150.00
Cash America International, Inc. Fort Worth Tx                    2011                  7,500.00
Cash America International Ft. Worth Tx                              2008                $7,250.00
Check Into Cash Cleveland TN                                              2008                $7,700.00
Cottonwood Financial Ltd.  Irving  Texas                              2008             $10,000.00
Checksmart Financial Company  Dublin OH                         2011                $1,360.00
                                                                                                     Total       $113,960.00

The following breakdown shows how hard it is to trace who has the money:

Utah Consumer Lending 2009 Expenditures Breakdown
Utah Republican Party  3/5/2009                                                                $6,500.00
Utah Republican Party   12/24/2009                                                            $5,000.00
Republican House Caucus  3/25/09                                                              $2,500.00
Salt Lake County Republican Party 3/25/09                                               $5,000.00
Utah House Republican Party 4/1/09                                                           $4,000.00
House Democrats 5/21/09                                                                               $500.00
Friends of Gary Herbert 11/9/2009                                                           $10,000.00

Note Utah Consumer Lending Association only filed reports in 2008 and 2009.  What PAC had this money in 2010 and 2011?

The Senate Business and Labor Committee defeated this bill on Feb. 1, 2012.
C Bramble, D Hinkins, J Valentine, and K Van Tassell all voted against this bill.
G Davis, K Mayne and T Weiler voted in favor of the bill and S. Urquhart was absent.

SB110 votes le.utah.gov

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Speaker Lockhart didn't vote on Payday Lender Bill HB459

Becky Lockhart was one of four House members who did not vote on payday lender bill HB 459 Friday February 24, 2012.  It passed with 60 votes.

HB459 sponsored by Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, would void the loans and ban collecting any principal or interest on the loan of any payday lender not properly registered with the state of Utah.  It also requires  payday lenders to begin reporting to the state the average annual interest rate charged for loans, how many borrowers choose to exercise a right to rescind loans within 24 hours and how many complaints are filed against lenders who are registered and those who are not.  It passed the House on Friday with 60-11 vote with 4 absent or not voting. 
Payday loans in Utah often charge around 520 percent on an annual basis, or $20 for every $100 loaned for two weeks. Reports last year show some charged up to 2,294 percent annual interest — or $50 on a $100 loan for two weeks."    Lee Davidson Salt Lake Tribune
P. Arent, J Briscoe, R. Chavez-Houck, B. Daw, B. Doughty, L. Hemingway, B. King, C. Moss, M. Poulson, J. Seelig, M. Wheatley, all voted against the bill and D. Butterfield, Janice Fisher, Rebecca Lockhart, and P. Ray did not vote.  HB459 votes in House
The bill was sent to the senate on Friday February 24, 2012.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lawmakers Broke Open Meeting Laws

The Legislature’s education budget committee violated the Open and Public Meetings Act when it made certain recommendations about school funding this week, the state school board alleged in a letter Friday to legislative leaders. The committee voted to recommend gradually shifting part of the cost of charter schools away from the state and onto school districts. It also voted to recommend significant changes to funding for an elementary school arts program, in a closed meeting.  Committee Senate Chairman Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, Senate President Michael Waddoups, and House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart, all defended the committee’s actions, saying it did not violate the Open and Public Meetings Act.
Salt Lake Tribune

“After weeks of public meetings and committee hearings on funding education, the Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which Stephenson chairs, inserted last-minute language into the bill that would shift as much as $80 million away from local school districts to pay for students transferring to charter schools.
Even Republican Sen. Aaron Osmond was aghast at the secretive move, objecting that such a policy should have had public scrutiny before being inserted as intent language while the committee was giving final approval to the bill.
Stephenson was understanding toward his fellow Republican. After all, Osmond is just a rookie. He doesn’t understand the trench warfare tactics needed to counter those subversive “Colorado Plan” sneaks.”  

Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Larry K. Shumway

State Board Questions Legislature on Appropriations Meeting Agenda

“The Board respectfully requests that Legislative Leadership set aside the recommendations and decisions of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee. This action should be taken in response to the Subcommittee’s violation of the Open and Public Meetings Act and disregard for the Legislature’s commitment to fair and open procedures in government.”

Friday, February 24, 2012

Two bills give governor more control of Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Governor Gary Herbert.

Senator John Valentine’s SB66 modifies the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, the Open and Public Meetings Act, and the Government Records Access and Management Act, to address the regulation of alcoholic products.  SB66 would replace the current five-member commission with seven members, divided into two three-person subcommittees over licensing and compliance, and operations and procurement, respectively. The governor would appoint a seventh member as chairman, giving the governor more power over the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control than he has now.

Representative Ryan Wilcox’s HB 354 addresses price at which the department sells liquor; creates a committee to establish a process to collect information related to abuse of alcoholic products; addresses certain reporting requirements related to the beer tax; provides for the collection of a mark up by the State Tax Commission; and makes technical and conforming amendments.  

HB283 sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake would create a pilot program to allow some state liquor stores to open on holidays, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and the Fourth of July.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

HB491 Midterm Vacancies must be filled in Open Meetings

Orem City Mayor died and Orem City council selected his replacement in a closed meeting.
John Dougal, R-Highland is sponsoring HB 491 requiring that midterm replacements must
be done in the open for the public to see.  Senator John Valentine. R-Orem, is the senate sponsor.

"When Orem was looking to fill the its open mayor position last year candidates were brought in and allowed to give a three-minute presentation to the city council. Council members were advised by the city attorney to not ask any questions of the candidates, and the council selected Evans to be the city's new mayor in a closed meeting. Under the current law, councils can go into a closed meeting to discuss personnel, legal activity or real estate deals but cannot make any decisions in a closed meeting." Billy Hesterman heraldextra.com

 "HB 491 requires a municipality and local school board to interview potential appointees in a public meeting; prohibits the discussion of filling a midterm vacancy in a closed meeting; and. . . . ."HB491 Text

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FDA Makes Efforts to Reverse Critical Cancer Drug Shortage

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved new suppliers for two cancer drugs today in an effort to curb the largest nationwide drug shortage in nearly a decade.
The FDA said its approval of a new supply method would increase production of the injection form of the drug methotrexate, which is used to treat children with the most common form of childhood leukemia.
The agency also said it would allow temporary foreign imports of the cancer drug Lipodux, an alternative to the drug doxorubicin, which is used to treat ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma and AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma. Temporary foreign importation is a rare move for the agency. abcnews.go
The inability to get crucial medicines has disrupted not only carefully timed chemotherapy regimens, but surgery and care for patients with infections, pain and other serious conditions. At least 15 deaths since 2010 have been blamed on the shortages, which have set a record high in each of the last five years.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Substitute 5 of SB 161 Passed Senate 21-8

Senate Bill 161 allows doctors to prescribe and then dispense medication without oversight by pharmacists.

"Bramble said numerous changes were made to the bill to win support of most doctor and pharmacist groups — although hospital pharmacists still oppose it, even on the bill’s fifth full rewrite."   Lee Davidson Salt Lake Tribune

Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, expressed concern that the proposed system may not have enough recording-keeping to ensure all drug are accounted for and dispensed safely, and that it could be a step toward allowing doctors to offer other drugs without pharmacists.  Doctors don't have to be licensed to dispense the medication according to the bill.
Dayton, Hillyard, Jenkins,S., McAdams, Morgan,K., Romero, Thatcher, Weiler all voted against the bill.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Severe Shortage of Childhood Cancer Drug Methotrexate

Methotrexate is critical to the treatment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia [ALL].
 A severe shortage of a childhood cancer drug should ease before hospitals run out of it in a couple weeks, a top federal regulator said Tuesday. But the companies that make the drug are giving few details about how they will find a long-term solution to end the problem.

Valerie Jensen, associate director of the Food and Drug Administration's drug shortage program, said her team is working with the three makers of preservative-free methotrexate, which is used to treat the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL.

The three manufacturers of the drug — Mylan Inc., Hospira Inc. and Sandoz Inc. — weren't specific about how they plan to resolve the shortage of the cancer medicine:

—Mylan says it's working on increasing manufacturing capacity, which includes getting approval for that from the FDA. The company has an emergency supply of small vials of methotrexate, and plans to ship larger vials at the end of the month.

—Hospira temporarily boosted production to address the shortage issue, but then ran out of the active ingredient. It is still producing some of the drug, but is trying to get more of the active ingredient.

—Sandoz is aiming to ship some of the drug in late February. The company did not provide any details.

 CBS News.com Feb. 14, 2012


Chicago Sun Times

Counterfeit Avastin IV Cancer Drug in 3 states

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that 19 clinics in California, Texas and Illinois may have purchased the phony Avastin from Quality Specialty Products, an "unapproved" foreign supplier also known as Montana Health Care Solutions. The counterfeit vials are labeled "Avastin" but indicate "Roche" as the manufacturer. Roche is the parent company of Genentech.
"The counterfeit contains no Avastin, no generic Avastin, no active ingredient whatsoever," Genentech spokesman Ed Lang told ABC News. Lang said the contents of the vials are still under investigation. ABC News

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Powerhouses who Influence the Legislative Process

Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb, Deseret News story  The powerhouses who influence the legislative process, list the following organizations and individuals that influence the legislature:
Utah League of Cities & Towns
Utah Realtors Association
Utah Taxpayers Association
Utah Education Association
Utah Eagle Forum
The Utah Association of Private Charter Schools
Scott Anderson

Politicos love to recite the old Otto von Bismarck adage that laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made. Well, many butchers are hard at work on Capitol Hill.
 Deseret News                                            
A careful search of the filings on the Lt. Governor’s online information found the following totals from UEA PAC totaling  $498,531.74

Utah Education Association Political Action Committee (UEA PAC) 
                                                            2011                                                     $63,370.35
Utah Education Association Political Action Committee (UEA PAC) 
                                                            2010                                                   $137,345.97
Utah Education Association Political Action Committee (UEA PAC) 
                                                            2009                                                   $119,275.41
Utah Education Association Political Action Committee (UEA PAC) 
                                                            2008                                                   $178,540.01

I did not find anything at first search for the rest of the organizations and individuals listed above.