As part of the Capitol renovation, we now have blue curtains in the Senate Chamber. Some say they class the place up and are very appropriate for the state Capitol. One influential senator who shall remain nameless feels they do NOT add class. In fact, they make the chamber look like a house of ill-repute.
Two significant bills were discussed and passed by the Senate. Senator Valentine's SB 162 prohibits retired state politicians from using leftover campaign cash for personal expenses. The Bill permits that a candidate or office holder to hold the account open for a future state campaign, or permits him or her to give it to a PAC, a PIC, a political party, another state candidate, or to a non-profit charity. The bill also permits the candidate or office holder to withdraw the funds, pay federal and state income taxes, and then use the remaining amount for a federal election candidacy.
Senator Bell's ethic bill is SB 156, which requires lobbyists to specifically report any gift over $10 and any meal over $25. It eliminates the exemption for sporting events, but excludes big events to which the entire legislature is invited.
Successful and accessible education is one of Utah’s top priorities. Today I was able to speak with Senator Stephenson about SB159-Math Education Initiative, a bill he’s hoping will address the areas of crisis we have in our mathematics classes for elementary and secondary grades. Senator Stephenson pointed out that Utah has a lagging performance in math which has contributed to the The United State’s low educational performance in comparison to other industrialized nations.
A main concern of many individuals is that we are not producing the engineers, mathematicians and scientists that America needs, especially in critical areas such as national defense and NASA. Those areas require that we hire American citizens. When our American citizens are not eligible to fill these positions as they would like to and as the country requires them to, we find ourselves with a crisis. SB159 seeks to resolve this crisis.
This change in the math curriculum will be done by allowing schools to request grant money so they can begin practicing a curriculum that is world renowned. This curriculum is known as the Singapore Primary Math Series and has been successful in helping students and staff become more effective in their math classes. Senator Stephenson has great expectations for this bill and hopes to see it, “catapult our performance in mathematics to a much higher level than it is right now.”
Alcohol is one of the hot topics during this year’s legislative session. Right now, Representative Hughes and Senator Valentine each have liquor-related bills that are being debated. We thought it would be good to get your input.
Here is the low down on each bill as well as an endorsement from the sponsor. Answer the survey and let us know what you think.
House Bill 347-Alcoholic Beverage Control Act Modifications Rep. Hughes classifies HB 347 as more of a private club bill than an alcohol bill. Utah currently has a unique private club law which requires every patron to purchase either a temporary or annual membership in order to enter the establishment. This bill would eliminate private clubs and in turn, require everyone under the age of 30 to have an electronic verification where their ID (either a drivers license, military ID, or passport) is scanned in order to make sure that it is valid and that they are who they say they are.
Along with private clubs, this bill will also reshape the way restaurants handle liquor purchases. Many restaurants have bar-like structure where guests can dine. The law currently allows this seating option to be open to anyone; however, this bill would prohibit anyone under the age of 21 to sit in the bar area. In return, the bartender would now be able to serve a drink across a bar top instead of walking around to the other side like they are currently required to do.
The main goal that this bill is trying to accomplish is to keep anyone underage out of bars and away from alcohol. Rep. Hughes says he has a bag of fake IDs that were collected by a downtown private club after they began using an electronic verification machine.
Many opponents are afraid that this bill would loosen Utah’s liquor laws, but Rep. Hughes says it does just the opposite. “We are honing in on underage potential patrons to make sure that they are not getting into these establishments,” he says.
Senate Bill 187-Alcohol Amendments Sen. Valentine's bill is designed to keep up the high standards that Utah liquor laws have had in the past. His goal is to prohibit underage drinking, to prevent over consumption, and to protect the public and their safety.
The first thing that the bill will do is create more of a distinction between a restaurant and a bar. Restaurants will be required to prepare alcoholic beverages away from where the customer can see. The bill will give restaurants financial assistance to help them restructure they existing layout if it does not fit the requirements of the bill.
The bill will also increase the dram shop liability, which is the responsibility that private clubs and other establishments serving liquor have when they serve alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons who subsequently cause death or third-party injuries. Utah’s current fine of $500,000 would be increased to $1 million with this bill.
Other portions of the bill include defining exactly what constitutes a person as being intoxicated as well as consolidating the licenses that a resort must obtain in order to serve alcohol.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 - A Call to Civility, is the first resolution of this kind I’ve presented in my 21 years in the legislature. This Resolution calls upon all citizens in the state of Utah, including members of the Senate and House, to act civilly when engaged in our communications, thoughts, and actions. However, this idea goes back further than you and I. The founders of our state included into our Constitution a provision that allows the freedom to enjoy and defend our lives and liberties and to communicate our thoughts and opinions freely. They also added that with that freedom, comes responsibility.
My hope for this resolution is to remind members of the Legislature, as well as members of the public, of our duty to get along, and to engage in respectful debate, focusing on the issues.
Click here to listen to my presentation on the floor.
Friday night, as I was leaving my Senate office, I was called by a local reporter for the Logan newspaper, The Herald Journal. This reporter’s publisher had been informed by a fellow publisher that I was frustrated with his paper and he wanted to know why. As we discussed the problem, I found out that the report resulted from my short interaction with the publisher of the Tremonton paper. He had come to the Capitol to visit with legislators about a bill that would change how legal notices are published and how it impacted his small rural paper. I had seen the note he left me during my time on the floor and when I had gone outside, I ran into my good friend Bonnie Miller who publishes The Record in Salt Lake, which carries an abundance of legal notices. She explained her concerns with the bill.
I had never met the Tremonton publisher, and therefore did not recognize anyone else outside waiting for me so I went to an event in the Rotunda. As I was walking back to the Senate for an appointment (for which I was late), I ran into Rep. Ronda Menlove from the Tremonton area. She happened to be talking to the publisher who had been looking for me earlier in the day. Because I was late, I did not take adequate time to discuss with him but listened quickly as he told me his problem. Unfortunately, I am prone to make snide remarks and I made the comment, meant in jest, that when the newspapers are always beating up legislators, it is not easy for us to grant them what they want. This comment troubled the publisher, and he passed the word along to the Herald Journal publisher, and thus the call to me was made.
As I drove home, I thought about that call. Here a man, even though not in my district, had taken the time and trouble to come to Salt Lake to talk about an issue that was very important to his work and, I expect, important to many of the rural newspapers. I was ashamed that I had not respected that effort and vowed that I would change.
That night, I received several calls about issues that were likewise rather minor for the overall work we are doing. But as I changed my approach and began to respect them for taking the time and often overcoming the fear of calling a State Senator, I found that they had valuable information that I found helpful.
Thanks to Charles of the Herald Journal and his call, I will really try to be more considerate and less busy. I think we all need to be considerate to our constituents and more accessible to the general public.
It was again very difficult and time consuming to spend the final part of last week to sit down and review the work of the subcommittees that identified 15% in budget cuts on the reduced base after September special session and their prioritized list of back fill.
I sincerely believe that this has been a very good process both from the aspect of finding areas where government can be cut back and the services that are truly needed be more efficiently delivered and from the view of forcing the public to think what they want government to provide and how to pay for that service. Even with using the federal spending package, there will be budget cuts. The main question will be how deep and whether there is enough on-going money to avoid the reductions or just postpone them.
We hope to know before too long this next week just exactly what money is available, when and what strings are attached. There is some sentiment not to take the federal money and where the funds are lacking, to raise our own taxes to cover them. Others justify it, saying the money is ours; someone else will be happy to spend it if we don’t.
It is a little like dieting. Most of us know that we need to lose weight and there are three things we must do: 1) eat less and better food, 2) exercise, and 3) change our attitude about eating. I believe the same is true for our current budget crisis.
We know that to solve the problem we must:1) work and add to the wealth of our economy, 2) avoid unnecessary borrowing especially for the things we cannot afford, and 3) change our attitude about the proper spending patterns we should be following. Both with dieting and controlling the current spiral of lack of confidence in the economy, some people look for the quick fix like a pill or new plan or a bail out from Washington where they don’t have to balance the budget and can just print money. As we look at the long term impact of both of those decisions, any thinking person should know that they don’t work. The fall of confidence in the Stock Market tells me that the quick fix pill being offered by the Federal Government won’t work. It suggests that we should toughen up and do the right thing for our children and grandchildren. I hope that I can convince my fellow legislators to look long term and not on what we need to do to just balance this budget and go home feeling the easy 'joy' a quick fix and avoiding work creates.
". . . While we disagree vehemently with Senator Buttars’ views, we strongly support the Constitution’s free speech protections. Free speech rights are indivisible. Restricting the speech of one group or individual jeopardizes everyone's rights because the same laws or regulations used to silence unpopular and controversial speech can be used to silence valid discourse . . . .
"Having heard Senator Buttars’ recent comments, the public can decide if these comments are representative of its views and take appropriate action with regards to Senator Buttars’ position as a public, elected official. They also can and should exercise their own Constitutionally-protected freedoms to respond as they deem appropriate."
I was disappointed to learn of the Utah State Senate’s censure on Feb. 20, 2009. However, this action will not discourage me from defending marriage from an increasingly vocal and radical segment of the homosexual community.
In recent years, registering opposition to the homosexual agenda has become almost impossible. Political correctness has replaced open and energetic debate. Those who dare to disagree with the homosexual agenda are labeled "haters," and "bigots," and are censured by their peers. The media contributes to the problem. Increasingly, individuals with conservative beliefs are targeted by a left-leaning media that uses their position of public trust as a bully pulpit. This pattern of intimidation suppresses free speech.
For the record, I do not agree with the censure I see it as an attempt to shy away from controversy. In particular, I disagree with my removal as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, since my work there is entirely unrelated to my opposition to the homosexual agenda.
Still, I’m a grown man and I can take my knocks. When it comes right down to it, I would rather be censured for doing what I think is right, than be honored by my colleagues for bowing to the pressure of a special interest group that has been allowed to act with impunity.
Thanks to the many citizens who have written and called to express their support. Please know that I’ll live through this to fight another day. In years to come, we’ll all look back at this point in history and see it as a crossroads. I have no intention of resigning.
[Update:] If you missed it, you can listen to the podcast here. And here's a clip of Speaker Clark:
The Senate will not be holding our usual Media Availability and will be live-streaming this Press Conference from the Gold Room
H.B. 188 outlines specific steps towards Health System Reform; Bill will be heard on the House floor tomorrow
WHAT: H.B. 188 House of Representatives vote, press conference and photo op.
WHO: Speaker David Clark, House of Representatives Senator Sheldon Killpack, Senate Majority Leader Representative Litvack, House Minority Leader Representatives Newbold and Dunnigan Community and Business leaders
WHEN: Thursday, February 19th House vote: Time certain 10:15 a.m. Press conference: 12:00 p.m. (or directly after floor time)
WHERE: Capitol Gold Room (2nd floor of Capitol Building)
Sometime in January, I talked with Reed Cowan for over an hour. I felt it was a friendly interview and we covered a lot of ground.
Reed assured me that he would treat both sides of the issue fairly and that I would be treated fairly. He told me the interview would be public in about a year and I would be allowed to see his work and approve my part before he released it.
I took Reed at his word and am disappointed.
I believe traditional marriage is the foundation of our civilization and I'll continue to support public policy that strengthens traditional marriage. I will also continue to oppose policy that undermines that foundation.
We're an additional $171 M short in 2009, and $235 M short in 2010. ($235 M + $85 M already calculated = $320 M total).
We're proposing NOT using the Rainy Day Fund to bridge the $171 M for 2009. Instead we'll try to use stimulus money and 1-time money and save those vital reserves for 2010 or 2011.
Next year's 15 percent overall reduction that subcommittees have prioritized will cover the $320 M shortfall in 2010.
We're still wrapping our heads around the federal stimulus money: how much is there, where it goes, when it can be spent, and what strings are attached. We also need to chart out the revenue impact these changes to federal tax policy will have on the state.
By Lyle Hillyard Utah State Senator & Senate Chair of Exec Approps
Tuesday morning, we will announce the new revenue figures based on the consensus work of the Governor’s and legislative economists. I am fearful that they will continue to show the slide in our economy. As upsetting as the proposed cuts appear from the work of the committees, they may not be enough and further reductions may be necessary.
Something new that is becoming more clear is the spending package which should be signed by Pres. Obama this week. From the preliminary figures we have there will be about $400.0 M for education (both Higher and Public) and $213.0 M for transportation infrastructure. Our staff is working as hard as they can to get more definite figures including any strings and timing schedules. It will probably be more difficult to measure the indirect impacts of the tax cuts and any new requirements for existing programs that are not funded within the bill. Everyone should remember that the stimulus spending package is basically only one-time money so unless the spending really picks up the economy, we will be right back at this again next year.
I was not pleased to see that the stock market fell almost 400 points the day the new Secretary of the Treasury announced the final payments under the bank bail out. I would have expected the stock market to rally if they thought the spending package was really going to do what was promised. What a tragedy it will be if the economy continues to slide after this big spending package. I expect that unless the economy completely collapses that Congress’s only solution will be to spend more money on say bullet trains from San Francisco to Las Vegas.
I met with the chiefs of police last week for lunch, including the leaders of the police forces here in Cache County. As a boy growing up in Smithfield, I did not have much to do with our town marshal as we called him. His name was Oz Low (not from Sweden). He was well liked and I don’t think ever had a serious crime to investigate or handle. I was probably in my teens when I was playing in the large weeping willow tree that grew just west of our family home. Oz came by to talk with my dad and as I was playing, I fell about 8 feet from the tree and landed in a rose bush which knocked out my wind. Dad and Oz ran over to see how I was and I was OK except I could not talk and lay there groaning trying to get my wind back. Oz looked at me and said to my dad, “I guess I should just shoot him and end his misery.” I still remember how panicked I was and, try as I may, I could not say a word - just groan. After a few minutes I had regained my breathing and could explain that I would be OK and he did not need to shoot me. He and dad laughed about my concern. I am just glad he did not pull out his gun. His words were enough to keep me focused.
SB48 - Teacher Licensing by Competency Amendments, passed the Senate today and is headed to the house. This bill changes the requirements to obtain a competency-based license to teach. During the debate on the floor, Senator Goodfellow successfully amended the bill to apply only to those who wish to teach middle school and high school.
Senator Buttars, the bill's sponsor, answered reporters' questions about the bill in today's Media Briefing.
Senator Urquhart discusses bill on legal notices on Utah.gov at Blogger's press conf. wants online by July 094:14 PM Feb 10thfrom web
What is cool and interesting to me is how each person adds value to the discussion in real time. We just need to find a way to tie the disparate sources together so the legislator has easy access to all the info. Any suggestions?
SB 126 - State Personnel Management Act Amendments is the repeal of the reappointment register. This is a portion of state law that says when there’s a reduction of state employees, they’re put on the reappointment register. When a job opens up in state government, if an individual meets the minimum qualifications on their resume, then the person on top of that list automatically gets that job.
The challenge is that the departments realize that resumes don’t pick up all the skills and interpersonal abilities of an individual. The concern has been that as people have been put on this list and reappointed to other areas of state government, the departments are saddled with people that they didn’t choose, which results in the people coming in feeling that they’re not wanted because they weren’t chosen.
This doesn’t make sense in modern times. We realize that people have different skills that won’t be shown on a resume. SB 126 repeals the reappointment register so there’s no longer the right to automatically reappoint to a job. Reappointment register is limited to one year. We worked with UPEA and came up with a compromise solution. This solution states that anybody who ends up on the will automatically get preference points*. SB 126 gives about 5-10% additional preference points to former state employees. The practical effect is that this puts them on the top of the interview list, as they should be. It still offers employers the choice to choose which of those people to hire. UPEA is excited about the fact that these rights are permanent and they don’t expire after one year. Because we don’t know how long this economic downturn will last, we don’t know how long until we’ll be hiring state employees again. However, down the road, departments will have a preference when they interview for a position.
I’m pleased to see this bill pass unanimously out of the Senate yesterday. It is now in the House and I believe we have a broad based support for the change. The governor and his public employee associations are on board. This is a great bill and I’m excited to see the positive changes it will bring to our state.
*Preference Points: When you apply for a state job, you take a Proficiency Test. When graded, you receive points that add up as your final score. The people who get the highest points total are the ones that usually get the interviews.
"We need to do all we can to ensure the bald eagle, a symbol of our nation, is here for future generations to enjoy."
-Robin Thomas, DWR’s Marketing Coordinator.
On Monday February 9th, lawmakers passed a bill to increase the fine for killing a bald eagle. HB 34 was first presented by Representative Roger Barrus. After passing the House, Senator Margaret Dayton sponsored the bill in the Senate where it passed unanimously. The bill is on its way to Governor Jon Huntsman to be signed.
The history of HB 34 dates back to 2003 when the Bald Eagle was removed from the endangered species list. Since being withdrawn from the list, there have been 24 cases of illegal killings of bald eagles and six citations. When de-listed, the restitution value for killing a Bald Eagle dropped to $100. HB 34 sets the fine to $1000, which is the same as before it was taken off the list. “The bald eagle is so rare because it came off the endangered species list. It still needs protecting,” Robin said.
The bill came across a few questions regarding livestock depredation which have already been covered by the DWR. Rules have been set in place that enables the livestock owners to be paid back for any animals they may have lost.
The Utah Division of Wildlife is very appreciative of Rep. Barrus and Sen. Dayton for sponsoring SB 34.
When asked about her bill, Senator Dayton said,
“I’d like the state to do all they can to keep every animal off the endangered species list. I was pleased to support a bill that helped achieve that common goal that many of us share.”
So. We're going to host a press conference for bloggers today. 4:00 p.m. Senate Rules Room. Come, if you can. Or watch it right here on the Senate Site. Dial-in number: 1-800-511-7983 Access code: 740434 Call Laura if you have any problems: 801-201-3813
Senator Steve Urquhart, the oldest living politician who blogs, will discuss an issue that is not at all partisan but is incredibly thought-provoking, a little controversial, and could very well mark a fundamental milestone in the way we communicate as a nation and society. Did you feel a wave of patriotic vertigo? Good.
A bill that would make menacing electronic communications illegal stalled on the Senate floor Monday, because of two words: annoy and offend.
"I'm annoying to people all the time," said Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper.
Ogden's Sen. Jon Greiner, sponsor of SB91, said the measure simply updates a statute to include cell phones, PDAs and other means of electronic communication and would be useful in domestic violence situations where protective orders were in place.
Sen. Greg Bell, R-Fruit Heights argued that people typically do not get prosecuted for annoying and offending words.
"It would criminalize all legislators," Bell said.
As of now, the current plans for the budget are to complete the new revenue forecast by Tuesday morning, February 17th. These new figures will be announced on the floor that morning as the session begins. The next step will be to integrate this information into what we have and then ask each appropriation subcommittee to review the information and change, if necessary, their recommended reductions and their prioritized list of back fill. The back fill is rapidly being used up to get us through the 09 budget. Even using a substantial amount of the rainy day fund will leave us with sizable reductions in current programs, which will only get us by for the 2010 budget because it is only one-time money. The spending package, depending on the money received, may also help but it is, again, only one-time money. The reductions we are now facing are in the on-going base. Stay tuned.
Representative John Dougall, Senator Steve Urquhart, and Senator Dan Liljenquist created Utah Wastebusters so that you can speak out and help evaluate potentially wasteful uses of your tax revenues. Here's KCPW. Check it out.
As state leaders face the possibility of laying off hundreds, and potentially thousands, of public employees, lawmakers have convened a six-member bipartisan committee to look at the options of unpaid furloughs, pay cuts and other alternatives.
Legislative leaders formed the group as various committees have been trying to piecemeal together a 15 percent across-the-board budget cut.
"Everyone came with different approaches with state personnel, and we want a well-rounded approach," said Senate Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack, R-Syracuse.
"We've tasked some senators and representatives to at least bring ideas on how to deal with some of those state employees," Killpack said. "We want them to come up with a list of items to consider as a Legislature."
That list could include furloughing "non-essential" personnel, which could save $2.7 million per day, or "essential" personnel, saving $800,000 a day. The group also could look at cutting instruction or training days for public school teachers, which would save millions, and assess the effects of cutting salaries or benefits for employees.
Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, says that he prefers a furlough to other options, but wants to assess the committee's ideas.
"I'd say that a furlough seems to make a lot of sense in case things turned around quicker rather than slower," he said. "I think it's good to give the executive branch some latitude."
"Utah legislators get called lots of names. Opportunists. Freeloaders. Power brokers. Fat cats. And if you want to get real nasty, politicians.
But how about this one? A bargain.
According to information on the National Conference of State Legislatures Web site, you can travel the United States of America from one end to the other and not find legislators who cost taxpayers less than ours cost us."
Last year, my bill SB 38 - Transparency in Government was passed as the state transparency act. Through that act being in place, a Transparency Board has been formed which has led to the creation of a website for taxpayers and citizens. This website allows citizens with the ability to go online and see where their tax dollars are being spent; meaning every check written by the state, every deposit and any financial information that’s “subject to a government access request will be available online.” I have seen the prototype for the website and I think it is excellent and user friendly. The website will be online May 15, 2009.
The purpose of SB 18 is to build on the success of SB 38. First year plans for the bill include bringing together the political subdivisions of the state (school districts, transit districts and charter schools) to help them be a part of the website created by last year’s transparency bill. Whether or not the political subdivisions have their own website, they will be able to post their finances on the state site. They won’t have to go to the expense of creating their own search system.
The second year plans are to follow the same structure by providing cities, towns and counties with the same ability to post their finances online.
As of now the bill is in the House Government Operations Committee and will be heard in the morning.
"You're pulled in a lot of directions, but what your constituents want is paramount," [Representative] Edwards said.
[Rep.] Wilcox agrees. He will read e-mails from a constituent before he reads the ones that are "blasted to everyone," he said.
Edwards and [Senator] Liljenquist said if they don't answer the e-mails during the day, they usually will in the evening.
"I get an e-mail and I'll respond, and then I get a reply from my constituent saying they appreciate the answer, but what am I doing up at 1:15 a.m.?" Edwards said. "This is the time I can answer the e-mails."
Changing private clubs to open bars will harm the social and fiscal well-being of the state, for it will increase alcohol availability and DUIs. "Studies find a direct relationship between alcohol consumption across the population and specific alcohol-related social problems. . . . These translate into more deaths, higher health care costs, higher costs of enforcement, higher costs of production, property loss, and lost jobs. . . . As alcohol becomes more available, consumption and problems increase. In fact, these increases are so predictable that it is possible to put a price tag on the impact on public health and safety…. " (Effects of Privatization of Alcohol Control Systems, Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation, pp.7,2.)
Private clubs are only 10% of alcohol outlets in Utah; yet bars are our leading source of DUIs in this country. High-risk binge drinkers who frequent Clubs are 7% of the population but consume 45% of the alcohol and contribute to 2,600 DUI crashes in Utah annually-costing $433 million per year. Changing Clubs to open bars will also increase underage drinking. "Research suggests that a 'wetter' environment may provide adolescents with more social occasions to drink, more positive attitudes about drinking, more advertising and outlets. . . . In short, such environments have an enabling effect on underage drinking" (Reducing Underage Drinking, p.81; National Academies of Science). "The younger adolescents are when they start to drink, the more likely they are to engage in risky behaviors, including using drugs. having sex with six or more partners, and earning grades that are mostly Ds and Fs in school" (NIH Alcohol Alert, Jan. 2006, p.1). Why put youth at risk when research shows "for most Americans, alcohol is an unimportant product" (OJJDP: Drinking in America: Myths, Realities, and Prevention Policy). Visitors can receive a Welcome Pass to Private Clubs.
Audio and video of Senate floor debates are always live streamed and then archived. Don't be too critical of the video. We're using senate pages instead of professional production engineers (saving the state $17K).
Welcome to February, the shortest month of the year, featuring romance, slowly warming temperatures, and fast action on Capitol Hill. Week 2 of the 58th Legislature will highlight the fiscal 2010 budget with plenty of tribulation. Appropriations subcommittees will meet from 2-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, according to the House and Senate weekly schedules. Floor time is scheduled from 10-noon each day. See the legislative calendar for meeting notices and agendas. For other political events this week, see the Utah Policy.com calendar.
The Utah County Legislative Caucus, Mayors, and Commissioners, hosted a press conference Saturday urging the State of Utah to renew its commitment to I-15 in Utah County and issue bonds that will allow the project to move into the construction phase. UDOT has completed the engineering phase in accordance with the Concurrent Resolution on the Reconstruction of Interstate 15 (S.C.R 6), which passed during the 2008 General Session.
In order to clarify a misunderstanding from Governor Huntsman’s State of the State address, I spoke with UDOT Executive Director John Njord. He assured me that the I-15 rebuild is moving forward. The project now awaits legislative approval to issue bonds.
Orem Mayor Jerry Washburn explained that the current economic situation will drive down the cost of this project. Now is the time to rebuild I-15. The Utah County Legislative Caucus calls on the Senate and House to authorize bonding for this vital project.
You may be under the opinion that a garden can not grow in Cache Valley in the winter. Let me correct that notion. We always plant far more carrots than we can eat during the summer and then when we prepare the garden for winter, we take the carrots that are still in the ground and cover them with leaves and cucumber vines. After it snows and they have a chance to age, we dig them up as needed this time of the year. They are so sweet and good. Once the snow melts, they have to be dug fast because they will spoil fast.
My wife and I were out to dinner the other evening and they had parsnips on the side. They were very good and that reminded my wife of the parsnips she enjoyed growing up from her father’s garden. They are planted and then left in the ground during the winter to be dug up in the spring. I'm going to try that next year.