Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Power Grab

The Utah Senate is becoming outright scary. SB156 is a new power grab that the Republican Caucus of the Utah Senate put on the table. The basic idea is to try and find ways to make Utah's US Senators answerable to the State Legislature. The basic idea is that candidates for the US Senates would be appointed by the Utah Legislature. Senators would then be required to report to the State Legislature.

I guess that if one of our Senators doesn't cowtow to the Utah legislature, the Senator in question won't be included in the next primary.

The Utah Senate is putting the idea forward as " a soft repeal of the 17th amendment" which made the Senate directly elected by the population.

The reasons for the bill include the following:
  • Federal land policy would respect the needs of the states; and
  • # The National Environmental Protection Act would look entirely different today if the 50 states had more influence over the United States Senate.
Utah, of course, has a large amount of public lands, and the Utah Senate wants to get their hands on that land.

Of course, looking at the long history of Bennett and Hatch, I really can't remember them ever being that friendly to Utah Public lands.

Speaking of the EPA .... has anyone noticed that we haven't been getting the life threatening inversions that typified Utah Winters of the 70s. There have been excesses in the EPA, the cleaner air has dramatically improved the quality of life on the Wasatch Front ... not only is it healthier ... the clean air helps attract more lucrative hitech and biotech businesses to the state.

I doubt this bill will catch on. I doubt either of the parties would be that eagar to forego their primary. The primary election is where the best debate takes place.

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