Friday, April 15, 2016

2016 HB 11 Referendum Amendments

Based on a recent story in the Deseret News, there has been some questions re: a bill I ran (HB11) this last session that didn't pass.

"Cox, on the other hand, has experienced some friction within the Legislature. During the 2016 session, he ran into some trouble when a bill he sponsored failed to pass in the House after very brief debate, even though it had support from interim and legislative committees. The bill would have allowed Utahns to wait to circulate a referendum petition until after the governor takes action on legislation."

"The year before, Cox helped opponents of the Utah State Prison relocation start a referendum and spoke in favor of keeping the facility in Draper. The prison move was a top priority of House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper.

Even if Cox gains more than 60 percent of delegate votes, he would still have to face Winder in the primary. Winder has collected enough signatures to guarantee a spot on the primary ballot. Cox, however, did not gather signatures and would need at least 40 percent of delegate support to qualify for the nomination."

About the bill I ran (which got more than brief debate):

Interim Session audio,
August 2015

November 2015

2016 Session Committee audio 

Floor Videos:
Day 4 
Day 8
Day 9
Day 11
Day 17

Back to the Deseret News Article:
First, I didn't sponsor the referendum to repeal 2015 HB 454, even though I did vote against the bill. 

It fact, the referendum application was never even accepted by the Lt. Governor's office. I felt the deadline (that the group of 5 sponsors missed) was not constitutional. I didn't know if they could get the signatures or not, but I did think they should have a chance to try.  For more information on that:

Why did I vote against 2015 HB 454 and also 2015 1st Special Session HCR101?

I am an architect. I worked years ago for a firm that did the drawings for the Gunnison Prison and also the Oxbow "Jail". I worked on the floor plans and site plans, putting them in the CADD system. I also worked on proposed jails or drug rehab centers in several states.

I also was a volunteer for 2 years at Draper Prison.

When I looked at the Draper Site, I could clearly see how you could replace the Prison working "outside the fence". For more about that see:

"At Draper, we could phase it over a much longer time period, reportedly saving $Hundreds of Millions, but if we are going to build a brand new prison somewhere now, it is my opinion it can be at Draper, and I believe at a savings around $100 Million, and be closer to current employees and not be further from current volunteers."

I do agree, if we are moving the Draper Prison, and that has now been decided, the SLC location from the Short List was the best option. While not everyone agreed with me, I did believe most people in the legislature had not considered keeping the prison in Draper and I felt we should, taking in to account $100 Million in possible savings and the location of many of the prison officers' homes.