Thursday, March 31, 2016

Responses to a few questions

I received the following questions from one of the delegates representing her precinct. 

1. Do you have a website that you would like the people in my precinct to look at?  
Yes.
and my blog
See also:

2.Can you give me three reasons why our precinct should give you our vote?    

1. Courage. I read though the bills I am to vote on and I am am not afraid to stand up and be heard to promote good bills and work to amend or kill bad bills.

2. Accessible. I have multiple public town hall meetings each year where voters of any party affiliation are invited to come and ask questions. I am also available on multiple social media sites and make public my home phone number, the phone number I have had for 28 years for people to call. The surveys and town hall invitations I sent out this year went to every active voter home.

3. Taxpayer protector. Working to fund critical needs without forgetting who pays for it. For example I was willing to fight to save over $100 Million on the Draper Prison, even with strong opposition from leadership of both houses, including the state senators in our area.

3.What do you view as your biggest accomplishment while in office so far?

Passing bills into law that were requested by the people in this area, including

2011 Classic Car Inspections along with 2015 HB 243Vintage Vehicle Amendments 
2012 HB18 Kidnapping Offender Amendments
2015 HB 177 Modifications to Voting Law
2016 HB 101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments

4.What are the two biggest items you will focus on if elected over the next two years?   

1. The Higher Education vs Public Education funding. Today's article about tuition increases.
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865651202/Utah-college-students-could-pay-hundreds-more-in-tuition-and-fees-this-fall.html
My response:
"I am not happy with the tuition increase. The #utleg put money in the WPU for K-12 teachers (my idea) that the board of regents wanted, and they raise tuition to send a message like a 5 year old throwing a tantrum. Their overall budget requests for ongoing money were not reasonable and the salaries for some of the U's professors are too high. The percentage of tuition waivers are too high and that is also a problem."
I have already been in contact with others on the Higher Education Appropriation Subcommittee to see what we can do to not only stop the tuition hikes without legislative oversight, but to provide a better balance of funding to Public Education. 

2. I am also on the House Judiciary, always working to protect our rights and from Government trying to take over our lives. 

5.What is the the two biggest problems you see West Valley currently facing and what is your plan to fix them? 

Most West Valley City local problems can and should be solved by the City and Not the State.
Funding for Infrastructure, (like Major Roads and Water), and Funding for Education are things the State can and should help West Valley City with.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Education a few items from this session

There were dozens of bills ran this last session that would impact education. I tried to get information from both sides and make the best decision I could. One of the best sources this year was Patti Harrington with the USBA. Her emails were specific and the timing was specific as well.  Her group gave me a 75% for 12 of 16 bills matching their position. Their group didn't match some of the other voices on public education. Some of the best sources I have for education bills are town hall meetings and knocking on teacher's doors at their home.

I sponsored HB 152. Angela Stallings from the office of the State School Board, pointed out to me at one of the USBA meetings I attended that no one was fixing the $25 Million formulation error from last years $75 Million property tax increase. I voted against the new tax, but $25 Million could not be paid out to the local districts without the bill. The $25 Million was an expensive table decoration. Working with my Senate Sponsor Sen. Hillyard, the language from HB 152 was added to HB 1, the main base budget bill for Public Ed that had over $4 Billion in funding. That was signed by the Governor during the session, so I took HB 152 and sent it back to rules.

State School Board Elections. In 2011 I was a key vote missing to go to partisan elections that year. My State School Board member could not have run again if it passed because of the Hatch Act. This year, I voted for both options including a primary non partisan like the city mayor elections. That bill got stuck in the Senate. I then voted for the one that would have a primary non partisan like the city mayor this year and a primary like the county mayor next year. The Governor had decided he wasn't doing the committee selection anymore based on a judge's opinion.  We needed to change it this year and that was the only bill that would pass both houses. We tried to go head to head last year with the senate and got nothing again. This year we have something better than we had. It isn't perfect, but better than doing nothing again.

WPU. I fought to have approx. $15 Million moved from Higher Ed to Public Ed to get the WPU up to 3% increase. They had it at approx. 2.4% increase right up to the end of the session. I am on the Higher Ed appropriation subcommittee, so I didn't have direct control. It did end up at a 3% increase. We also funded $90 Million for new students and overall increased Pub Ed by about $1/4 Billion.

SB 38. It was a mess. It would have reportedly taken recreation money from Public Ed and given it to the Charter Schools. We want both public education systems to win. We passed a better compromise from Rep. Powell in the House and got it to replace SB 38, so Rep. Powell's bill language passed both Houses in that bill. It will have the 25% and 75% Charter/District Funding show up on the tax notices for the first time so people can see what is going to the Charter Schools from their property taxes. We had tried to do that in the past but it always was going to create a tax increase. This one is designed not to create a new tax.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

What is up with the 17th Amendment and bills calling for a Convention of the States.

Convention of the States, or in some cases referred to the Con Con is the 2nd way in the Constitution that allows our US Constitution to be modified.

Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

The first problem is we haven't done this since we created our constitution in Sep. 17, 1787.  The last time we had a convention of the states we got a new US Constitution.

The 2nd problem is that the State Legislatures Tell Congress to call a convention. Congress fully believes based on our Constitution that they get to set the mode of ratification, the rules, etc.

In 2015 and 2016, I actively fought these resolutions, because they are binding on the state, and I don't trust the people in Washington DC to improve our constitution, even if the states have to agree with the changes. We have had one or more of these Convention resolutions  pass, but I have killed others of them in the House Judiciary and so they don't even get sent to that committee anymore.

Is the Federal Government out of control based on the US Constitution, yes. Is this the way to fix it, putting our whole US Constitution at stake to be re-written, No!

The 17th Amendment.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution

 Prior to this amendment to the US Constitution, the US Senators were chosen by the State Legislatures. This was designed to protect against the Federal Government taking over powers delegated to the States.

Were there problems with this, yes. Power can corrupt. Do voters love voting for the US Senate candidates, they do, including me. I trust the voters. I don't trust the Federal Government to limit their powers to the US Constitution.

Is there a problem with what we have now, yes. Will repealing the 17th Amendment help, it might.

What I voted for:
http://le.utah.gov/~2016/bills/static/SJR002.html

I didn't ask to vote on this. I understand both sides of this issue.

1. This is a non binding resolution. It is URGING Congress to create an amendment to the constitution to repeal the 17th amendment. It is  NOT telling Congress that they SHALL call a convention of the states.

2. Unlike the Article V Convention of the States Resolutions, which if enough states sign, Congress Shall call a convention, this 17th Amendment resolution tells Congress they are out of line. If Congress were to create an amendment, it would be just the one modification, not put our entire constitution at risk and that proposed amendment would still have to be ratified by the states like any other amendment we have had over the last hundreds of years.

3. Do I trust the voters? Yes. I also trust the founders of the US Constitution and some of the changes we have made, perhaps have been unwise. They sound good, but have not worked like we thought. Others amendments including the first 10 Bill of Rights have proven to be critical for the good of the nation.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Rep Fred Cox voting ratings for 2016

This page will be updated as 2016 Session Ratings/Rankings are released by different groups.


My 2016 Votes for the General Session are at:
http://www.fredcox4utah.com/2016GenSessionVotes.pdf 

Note. A few committee votes were missed because I was presenting in a different committee at the same time. The two House Floor votes missed this session were due to a problem with the voting system registering that I pushed the button to vote.  I should have noticed it hadn't registered, and the Speaker and Clerk also typically notice as well. That is being worked on.

Also, see the votes for all versions of a bill. I may vote for or against a bill, but that vote can change for different votes on the same bill, especially if the bill language changed.


Tied for 2nd Place for 2016 in the Legislature for least missed floor votes.
Floor Voting Attendance 2 missed of 657 votes.

http://adambrown.info/p/research/utah_legislature/absent?year=2016
Tied for 5th Place for least missed votes for currently serving legislator for all years since 2007.

2016 Utah Taxpayers Association, 100% rating, tied for 1st place
http://www.utahtaxpayers.org/?p=7594

2016 Salt Lake Chamber Business Champion, 89% rating
http://slchamber.com/2016-business-champions/

Libertas 2016 Defenders of Liberty Award, 94% rating. 
http://libertasutah.org/resources/legislator-indexes/2016-index/ 
http://libertasutah.org/blog/the-utah-2016-defenders-of-liberty/
http://libertasutah.org/legislator/?id=COXFC

Note, my Libertas score has varied year by year depending on the bills they select. While I am conservative, I am not a libertarian, but I do typically score high for taking in to account the US and Utah Constitutions when voting on legislation. I was surprised at this years score.

2016 Sutherland Institute Legislative Scorecard, 94% rating.
http://sutherlandinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-legislator-scorecard-f.pdf


Utah School Board Association, 75% rating
http://usba.cc/
12 of 16 votes matching USBA stand on several bills.

UACC, 62% rating, tied for 12th of 75
http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kOCUhwFq2DX9ZJY49Jq9ieZ56YQ1RHOIPR9Qjk3-kM8/edit#gid=0

UEA, 50% rating, 
http://www.myuea.org/issues_action/uea_under_the_dome/legislative_voting_records.aspx
http://www.myuea.org/sites/utahedu/Uploads/files/Politics/2016%20Under%20the%20Dome/2016-HouseVotingRecords.pdf

 2016 Utah CLI Index 70% rating. 
http://utleg.blogspot.com/

2016 Utah Grassroots, 57%, tied for 11th of 75, (Average House 36%)
http://www.utahgrassroots.org/annual/2016/index.html
http://www.utahgrassroots.org/annual/2016/GrassRoots2016.pdf

Heal Utah, 92%, A- rating
http://www.healutah.org/2016grades/


Utah Chapter, Sierra Club, 50% rating 
https://utah.sierraclub.org/content/utah-legislative-scorecard


Number of No Votes on the Floor 61 votes or 9.3%  #19 in the House (2016)
http://adambrown.info/p/research/utah_legislature/nay?year=2016

Party Line Voting 70% (2016)
http://adambrown.info/p/research/utah_legislature/party_support


For 2015 Session Ratings/Rankings and votes for previous years, see:
http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2015/03/rep-fred-cox-voting-ratings-for-2015.html

Utah House of Representatives Week Seven Update

Week Seven

After Session Town Hall Meetings

Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South
Thu., March 17, 2016, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Thu., March 24, 2016, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Sat., March 26, 2016, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Sat., April 9, 2016, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Reminder, Come to the March 22, 2016 Neighborhood Caucus 7:00pm Meeting, 6:00 p.m. Check in
House District 30 Republican Party, Hunter High School
House District 30 Democratic Party, Hunter Junior High School

Bills that I ran for 2016

http://le.utah.gov/asp/billsintro/RepResults.asp?Listbox3=COXFC

My Bills on the move
 
HJR 11, Joint Resolution Designating Utah as a Purple Heart State, Passed House Government Operations, Passed House, Passed Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee, Passed Senate. Does Not Require Governor's Signature. 
 Senate Sponsor Margaret Dayton

HB0101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments - Passed House Judiciary Committee.  Passed House, Passed Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee. Passed Senate. Waiting for Governor's Signature. Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard

HB0269 Recycling of Copper Wire - Passed House Business and Labor Committee. Passed House, Passed Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee,  Passed Senate. Waiting for Governor's Signature, Senate Sponsor: Sen. Jenkins


HB0152 S01 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications -
Bill language was added to HB 1,the main funding bill for Public Education. After HB 1 was signed by the Governor, HB 152 was returned to House Rules. Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard

Description of bills passed:

HB 101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments
This bill provides that, under certain circumstances, counsel is not required for a disabled adult when the petitioner for guardianship is the disabled adult's parent.

HB 269 Recycling of Copper Wire
This bill modifies penalties associated with violations of Title 76, Chapter 6, Part 14, Regulation of Metal Dealers.

HJR 11 Joint Resolution Designating Utah as a Purple Heart State

This joint resolution of the Legislature designates the state of Utah as a Purple Heart State, strongly encourages Utahns to honor Purple Heart recipients, and honors the service and sacrifice of the nation's men and women in uniform wounded or killed ...

HB 152 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications
allows the State School Board to pay out to the districts the remaining $25 Million of the $75 Million collected from property taxes to help equalize school funding. $25 Million is an expensive table decoration. The money should either go where it was promised or go back to the taxpayers. (Disclaimer, I voted against the $75 Million property tax increase)


Monday, March 7, 2016

Utah House of Representatives Week Six Update

Week Six

After Session Town Hall Meetings

Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South
Thu., March 17, 2016, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Thu., March 24, 2016, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Sat., March 26, 2016, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Sat., April 9, 2016, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Reminder, Come to the March 22, 2016 Neighborhood Caucus Meeting, 6:00 p.m. Check in
House District 30 Republican Party, Hunter High School
House District 30 Democratic Party, Hunter Junior High School

Bills that I am running for 2016

http://le.utah.gov/asp/billsintro/RepResults.asp?Listbox3=COXFC

My Bills on the move
 
HJR 11, Joint Resolution Designating Utah as a Purple Heart State, Passed House Government Operations, Passed House, Passed Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee, Senate Consent Calendar. Senate Sponsor Margaret Dayton

HB0101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments - Passed House Judiciary Committee.  Passed House, Passed Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee. on Senate Second Reading Calendar. Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard

HB0269 Recycling of Copper Wire - Passed House Business and Labor Committee. Passed House, Passed Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee, on Senate Consent Calendar, Senate Sponsor: Sen. Jenkins

HB0426 Specie Legal Tender Amendments, On Agenda, 3/7 House Business and Labor

HB0152 S01 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications -
Bill language was added to HB 1,the main funding bill for Public Education. After HB 1 was signed by the Governor,HB 152 was returned to House Rules. Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard

Bills that have failed to pass. HB 11, HB 69, HB 80

My Bills in House Rules
HB0108 Licensing Amendments
HB0109 Construction Trades Education Amendments.  HB 112 version of the bill moving.
HB0125 Fire Code Amendments.  HB 330 version of the bill moving
HB0256 Net Metering of Electricity Amendments  Discussed in House GOP Caucus 2/25
HB0261 Wood Burning Stoves Amendments  
HB0361 Air Quality Modifications - Water Heater Ultra Low Nox Language added to HB 250
HB0426 Specie Legal Tender Amendments

My Other Bills
Interior Design Certification Amendments - SB0117 version passed the Senate.
Prison Study for Draper - Abandoned

Quick explanation of bills some of the bills

HB0152 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications
allows the State School Board to pay out to the districts the remaining $25 Million of the $75 Million collected from property taxes to help equalize school funding. $25 Million is an expensive table decoration. The money should either go where it was promised or go back to the taxpayers. (Disclaimer, I voted against the $75 Million property tax increase)

HB0011 Referendum Amendments
allows those running a referendum to wait and see if the Governor is going to sign or veto the bill.

HB0069 Qualified Political Party Amendments
clarifies the requirements of alternate delegates for political parties to avoid twice the number of delegates coming to the convention or a candidate not knowing which delegates are going to convention.

HB0080 Vehicle Impound Amendments
puts the "may" vs "shall" back into impounding cars that do not show up in the insurance data base.

HB0065 Exemption from Daylight Saving Time
opts out of Daylight Savings Time. In 2017, Utah would stay on Mountain Standard Time, (like Arizona)

 HB0101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments
allows a judge to review and decide a guardianship case without a parent or parents hiring an attorney for their disabled adult, in some instance