From Paul Dail:

Writing about politics can be frustrating, especially in a state where you don’t necessarily agree with the predominant party. But it’s important to understand how these things work, and I will say that really paying attention to the process has made me feel better that different voices are at least given the opportunity to speak. But beyond that, there’s an old saying about leading a horse to water…

You can read the following three excerpts (with links to full articles) or find Paul Dail’s complete portfolio at pauldail.contently.com.

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Curtain comes down, prices go up; liquor reform bill passes Legislature

In this 2011 photo, a frosted glass curtain hides a portion of the bar at Brio Tuscan Grille at Fashion Place Mall in Murray City, Utah. A lawmaker introduced a proposal during Utah’s general session Monday aiming to allow restaurants to get rid of barriers known as “Zion Curtains” that block people from seeing alcoholic drinks being made. | Photo by Paul Fraughton/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — On the second-to-last day of the 2017 Utah Legislature, the third substitute of a liquor reform bill introduced just eight days earlier passed the Senate and is on its way to Gov. Gary Herbert to become law.

Totaling approximately 144 pages in its original version, Rep. Jon Stanard, R-St. George, said Alcohol Amendments – designated as HB 442 – was “massive” but expressed his general support.

As such a large bill with so many different components, allies and opponents ran the gamut, with each addressing different parts of the legislation.

It was a case of where not everyone got everything they wanted.

On the floor of the House, where the second substitution of HB 442 passed by a vote of 58-10, the sponsor of the bill, House Majority Leader Brad Wilson, R-Layton, said it was a case of where not everyone got everything they wanted. However, he ultimately called it “a great exercise in collaboration and trying to find balance between a lot of different parties and interest groups.” …

Read full article here.

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No physician-assisted suicide allowance for Utahns

Uncapped amber medication bottle and tablets
Stock image courtesy of Tomasz Sienicki, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — At the beginning of the 2017 session of the Utah Legislature, Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake County, introduced legislation for a Utah statute to allow physician aid in dying. However, on Thursday, her bill effectively died once again in the Health and Human Services Committee.

The End of Life Options Act, designated as HB 76 in the 2017 session, would have made it possible for a mentally competent adult resident of Utah with an irreversible, incurable disease and less than six months to live the choice to seek a lethal dose of drugs to end their life.

Utah was among 21 states considering some form of legislation allowing physician aid in dying.

Previous to Thursday’s tabling of Chavez-Houck’s bill, Utah was among 21 states considering some form of legislation allowing physician aid in dying. If her bill had passed this year, Utah would have joined five other states with similar statutes.

At the Health and Human Services Committee hearing, emotions ran high as proponents and opponents made similar cases to previous committee hearings. …

Read full article here.

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Proposed carbon tax equals higher fuel, utility prices; Southern Utah representatives respond

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In an effort to address climate change and clean air issues in Utah, Rep. Joel Briscoe of House District 25 recently stated he intends to propose a carbon tax during the 2017 legislative session similar to that enacted in 2008 by British Columbia. While the legislation is still in the drafting phase and unavailable for viewing, the initial reaction from several Southern Utah representatives is that they don’t believe the carbon tax is the right way to go.

Briscoe is the co-founder of the Utah Legislature’s Clean Air Caucus and said that legislation such as this is going to ultimately benefit “our most important bottom line – our children.” However, he said, for some reason no one wants to say “climate change.”

For some reason no one wants to say “climate change.”

“It’s happening in Utah,” Briscoe said. “Data shows over the last 20 or so years that temperatures in Utah have risen twice as fast.” …

Read full article here.


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