By Lyle Hillyard
Utah State Senator, District 25
It's tough to pick which bills to sponsor.
Some appear troublesome, but then pass with no problem. Others appear simple but result in uproar. With that in mind, I wanted to outline some of my bills for the 2007 Legislative session. I would appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Repeal of Prisoner Demands for Disposition
The Statewide Association of Prosecutors asked me to run a bill to repeal what has been called the Speedy Trial Act. This has been used to cause courts to dismiss charges for inmates whose trials have not been heard within a short time while in prison. There are better ways to protect constitutional rights without this very unique law. I am sure most citizens will support the repeal. Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult Amendments (SB7)
The Utah Commission on Aging asked me to sponsor a bill to complete what was started several years ago to protect elderly people from being exploited. This bill would allow courts to assess attorney fees and costs against someone who unfairly takes advantage of an elderly person. Extended Day Kindergarten
I will be carrying a bill for Governor Jon Huntsman to authorize extended day kindergarten for those children who want and need the program. It will be optional with the local district. This will be a small investment which should reap great benefits with our most vulnerable citizens.Use of Oil and Gas Revenue (SB18)
andResolution Regarding Permanent State Trust Fund (SJR 2)
I have seen a lot of good publicity on this idea. I believe the state should invest the current severance tax windfall into a permanent fund so we have something to show after these non-renewable resources are used up. It is bad public policy just to use an income stream that grows and shrinks on programs that are not so variable.
We desperately need a reliable flow of money for infrastructure investments. The income from this trust fund would help generate that stability. To build programs on volatile income streams leaves us at the mercy of whatever next year’s taxes will generate.
This investment will make us think about the future beyond just the next election cycle.
Once again, I'd love to have the benefit of our readers' input.