Category Archives: utah legislature

Divorce Education?

Utah lawmakers are considering a bill that will mandate divorce education courses.

The Utah Legislature will be considering a bill aimed to save marriages.  The mandate will require couples to attend a “divorce education class” before filing for divorce.

The bill will make the course free of charge and available online. The proponents say this will help teach marriage survival skills that might turn some away for divorce…

When presenting the bill, rep. Jim Nielson stated that “governments must recognize and respect the natural family imuch the same way and for exactly the same reason that they must recognize basic human rights.”

Two questions: What is the “natural” family (and defined by whom) and how is that connected to “basic human rights”?


But some representatives disagreed with making it a requirement.

“Why don’t we change it?” asked rep. Bradley Shaw in the session.  “Instead of making a mandate, why don’t we create an incentive?”

Several lawmakers suggested that it may be better to invest in a marriage preparation course instead. They argued that doing so would more effectively prevent divorce than the courses already offered.

Nice to know there are at least a few legislators who are thinking this through….


Utah Land Belongs to Whom?

Efforts to seize the land in Utah that is protected from development by the Federal Government are continuing by Utah legislators and others.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, utah

Morgan Philpot is planning to run for Governor in Utah.  According to an article in Utah State University’s the Utah Statesman, Philpot is adamant that Utah needs to demand the feds to return to the land to Utah.

“Our governors, in times past, have behaved like geographic-area administrators for the federal government,” Philpot said. “They are not. We are a sovereign state. That is our land — stolen from us.”

The article also quotes political science department chair from USU who says that the documented verbage for control of the land when Utah became a state is being misinterpreted:

“Some members of the Utah Legislature believe a part of the legislation that allowed Utah to join the U.S. — the Enabling Act of 1894 — requires the federal government to dispose of lands it currently controls inside state boundaries.”

“I just don’t think that’s an accurate reading of Section 9,” Lyons said. “I think they’re taking it out of context.”

Lyons said the enabling act states even after Utah gained statehood, the federal government would continue to own a substantial amount of the land inside Utah boundaries.

“The national government owned this land as a territory prior to the creation of the state of Utah,” Lyons said. “The Enabling Act delineates tracts of land formerly in national government control that are ceded to the state of Utah … then it says, ‘But all the other federal land is ours and Utah has no claim to it.'”

Back to Philpot’s statement….Who is “us” ?

The notion that protected Utah lands should be in the hands of Utah’s government for economic growth is preposterous. The only people that lands should be “returned to” are the original guardians of the land (that really belongs to all life) – Native Americans.  Until that is agreed upon, the land should remain in its protected state from any type of development.

“We like GRAMA just the way she is”

Earlier this week I posted about H.B. 477 and the change of heart legislators are communicating.  Since then the  Governor has called a special session to be held Friday March 25 at noon.  Community members have now organized a rally called “Repeal, Don’t Replace HB477 (We like GRAMA just the way she is) Rally” tomorrow (Friday, March 25, 2011)at 11am.

The Governor has called a special session to repeal HB477 on Friday at Noon. Let’s show up right before that and let our Legislature know that we, the people of Utah, will continue to fight for our Government to remain open.

This event is held by a private citizen and is not endorsed by any PIC, PAC, Candidate,or Candidate’s Committee. All views expressed are those of the speaker and do not reflect the views of the sponsor.

The Repeal Bill is now posted on the State Legislature Website.

More information about the rally can be obtained by writing to

H.B. 477: A change of heart?

Utah’s lawmakers are either pulling their collective heads out of the sand or are worried about their political careers…..or both.

Perhaps one of the most controversial pieces of legislature in the 2011 Utah Session was the passage and signing of H.B. 477, which now makes electronic communications of elected officials private.  Hundreds of people from all political persuasions opposed the signing of this bill and even stormed the State Capitol Building on the final evening of the legislative session, demanding that democracy and transparency be upheld by repealing this action.

Genuine and sustainable leadership has been absent in this struggle and our country and state has increasingly witnessed a pendulum type swing from democracy into corporatocracy where policy implemented benefits a select few and HB477 only serves but a select few.  This is easily demonstrated as our Governor has decided to keep prying eyes away from what we all call a HONEST DEMOCRACY.  We found out last year thanks to our open records law which companies our Governor chose to give lucrative state contracts to. Which also lets the public review who the major contributors are, to our Governor and our State Legislators.  By the Governor Herbert signing this bill WE can ALL see who benefits from HB-477.

(Melodia Gutierrez, One Utah post, Where has justice gone and what can we do to retrieve it?)

But now some lawmakers are re-considering the bill and  are even advocating repealing the bill in a special spring session before consideration of any amendments which would occur over the summer.

Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, initially supported the bill because he had at one time been forced to release a personal email. Continue reading

WHOSE Land is This?

There is a double standard going on in Utah.  Legislators want control of the land to be “given back” to Utah:

Utah to Washington: This land is my land!  Resolution suggests D.C. cede 35,000 square miles of state

“Be it resolved, that the Legislature of the state of Utah calls on the United States, through their agent, Congress, to relinquish to the state of Utah all right, title, and jurisdiction in those lands that were committed to the purposes of this state by terms of its Enabling act compact with them and that now reside within the state as public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management that were reserved by Congress after the date of Utah statehood,” says theState Jurisdiction of Federally Managed Lands Joint Resolution.

WHOSE land is this?  Hint: It’s NOT the Federal Government’s and it is NOT the Utah Government. If ANYONE is going to get their land back, it must be to be the RIGHTFUL guardians of the land : The Newe (Utes, Piutes, Goshutes, Shoshoni) and Diné (Navajo) People.

Utah Indian tribes--Utes, Goshutes, Navajo, and Shoshone

If Utah’s Legislators are really interested in insisting that the reigns on the land be released from the hands of government, they need to get it straight.  This land does not “belong” to anyone.   The control of the land should be  restored to the ancestors of the original Natives of the land, from whom the control was stolen.

Oh but wait.  Back to the double standard going on in Utah.  The governor of Utah has taken control of Indian Affairs in Utah. It looks like Utah’s Government will stay in control of Native Affairs for the foreseeable future.

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)