Sunday, April 19, 2020

Q and A 2020 HB 3009 Local Government Emergency Response

Hi Fred
Have you read HB 3009? If so please give me your impressions.
When I read the bill, I noticed it was putting checks and balances on the existing [potential] abuse of executive powers, of the Governor, County and City Mayors.

I have felt like current emergency laws needed that. Some have assumed that the bill was meant to add to existing powers. It was not. It could be amended to be more clear.

I believe some of the existing emergency powers are unconstitutional. Is a judge going to rule that way? Good luck with that. Is the Utah Legislature going to vote to repeal those powers? I am not sure they have the votes. If with a 2/3 vote they can add checks and balances to those powers, that is at least a step in the right direction. 

Over a week ago I had said this, and also had sent it to Governor. I posted it in a group with tens of thousands of people, liberal and conservative. The reaction was 95% positive. The comments, close to 1000 before they removed the comments were hardly civil. I am happy the country, state and county is starting to go this way. I hope I was helping in this process.

"Most people in this state feel that a mayor or governor shutting down private businesses generally or by category and requiring papers to travel is an abuse of power and is not constitutional. Period. We have shut down a restaurant for norovirus or other reasons before. This is not the same. There is no reason each and every business can't figure out a way to stay safe and stay open. I have been working from home generally. That doesn't work to go visit a building. Most people are doing their best to wash hands and keep distances. That is a good thing for now. The last thing we need is the government taking over everything. Be civil. Be caring. Be safe. Be free."

For more on HB 3009, this has valid points.

An opposing view also raises concerns. The sponsor has put the bill on hold for now.

Fred C Cox
for SLco District 2

PS, Rep. Watkins has a floor amendment to remove the most controversial line. The bill is still stuck in Rules.