Monday, March 12, 2012

HB 363

If you look at the time line for HB 363

You may notice the bill had extensive public comment and debate.

With weeks between the public meeting and the house floor debate.

See pages 1118 to 1122

The bill had almost 2/3 of both houses passing it.

If you read the current law first

and then compare it to the proposed law:

I believe you will find that the intent of the current law remains, with added parental input and an option for the local school not to teach the class if they don't want to follow the law.

From the Salt Lake Tribune: "According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of February 2011, 21 states and the District of Columbia required public schools to teach sex education, and 35 states and the District of Columbia required students to receive information about sexually transmitted infections."

The bill allows a local school to provide the class if they follow the law. Currently we have schools in Utah that are required to provide the class and the claim is that some schools are not following the current law. Some have even questioned if the State School Board was following the current law.

If that is the case, either the law needs to be clarified, or we add teeth to the law, or both. HB 363 clarifies the law assuming the schools will follow the law if it is clear.

If you look at lines 135 to 140, you will notice the opt in was not removed for parents.

The movement to shift the content of the class from current law significantly either way didn't pass. Many that are upset at HB 363 do not like the current law and wanted to change it to have fewer restrictions.

I was less upset of the Governor's veto than the timing of it, but mostly his stated reasons, which I don't agree accurately reflect the proposed law.

Once again he has gone out of his way to throw the republican legislature under the bus and not just explain why he didn't agree with the bill.

2012 HB 363 was not a consensus bill. It was more of a compromise bill. Some wanted it to be tighter and others looser.

The Parental Opt-in, lines 135 to 140, which was originally designed only to stop state funded abortion and contraceptive services for minors without parental permission was left intact. It is the only way contraceptives can be discussed now.

With HB 363, local control, within the limits of the law, was increased as was parental involvement and more available educational resources provided to parents.

Statistics of abstinence-only education in the 4 districts using it imply that the other system being used increased the students risk of STDs not decreased it