Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Utah 2020 Amendments

 I am Yes for A B C and D

No on E F and G

For E, Sen Mayne does a good job. Hunting and fishing are essential and undeniable parts of Utah’s cultural identity and economy and protected in statute.

We love and cherish many things about our great state. Few are so vital they must be enshrined in our state’s most sacred document.

The Second Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and our Utah Constitution guarantee our rights to keep and bear arms and 

individuals’ rights to protect themselves and their families. These sacred constitutional liberties are not about hunting and fishing. We should not dilute them by adding to them or defining them as something they are not.

If we do not carefully scrutinize what goes into it, the entire document will lose value. That is not to say that we should not protect hunting and fishing—we absolutely should. But if we do not draw a line between rights that are fundamental and privileges that extend from those rights, we will no longer be able to tell the difference.

Nobody is threatening our right to hunt and fish. Any threat is hypothetical or imaginary. The Utah Division of Wildlife Re-sources is an agency of outdoor sports professionals and enthusiasts dedicated to preserving and managing Utah’s vibrant hunting and fishing traditions, culture, and industry. The protections and promotion that they provide is woven deep into the laws of our state and are not going anywhere.

Legislative supporters of Amendment E admit that the amendment will not make any meaningful difference in how hunting and fishing is managed in the state. It will have no meaningful impact on people’s access to hunting and fishing. These activities are and will continue to be open to all. Without the amendment, you will still be able to hunt and fish, and the state will continue to promote and protect these activities as they always have.

No one is even considering taking away our hunting and fishing rights, so why are we considering inserting unnecessary language into our constitution?

By adding this amendment, we will dilute our fundamental rights, like our right to protect ourselves and families, our right to free speech, and our right to peaceably assemble.

Vote NO to protect the power of our constitutional rights. Vote no on amendment E.

- Senator Karen Mayne and Representative Marsha Judkins

On Amendment F: "As the Utah Constitution now dictates, the session would still need to begin in January and run for only 45 consecutive days, with the exception of federal and state holidays. The only change included in Constitutional Amendment F is removing the specific January start date from the Constitution and instead specifying the January start date in statute. The Legislature would be enabled to set the start date by passing a bill. This will allow for more adaptability in determining a start date."

Currently citizens, businesses, taxpayers, and legislators can plan in advance for years for the start of the session. Will they also change the candidate filing deadlines at a wim? I don't trust the flexibility as written. The session may be one or two days longer with the holidays but the session date could shift greatly.

Amendment G, according to the official voter guide and the unbiased calculation section, is expecting to help balance the budget by allowing $600 Million to be used from the education fund to pay for something currently funded by the general fund. It basically removes $600 Million from the education fund per year. The UEA and others cut a deal so this would not be worse than it could be. I doubt higher ed got such a deal. Since sales taxes are better than expected and income tax is worse than expected as of July 1st, the deal could be worse than expected. I am a no vote on G. Is it better than the tax reform? At least the voters get to decide.