Many of you are probably aware of the bill recently passed by the Utah State House of Representatives, HB-363, which prohibits schools from teaching about contraception, homosexuality, and other things deemed immoral and icky. Yes, it seems that soon (by law) abstinence will be the only way to go, although a generous provision in the bil allows schools to opt out of sexual education altogether if they choose, leaving parents free to teach their kids the nuances of human sexuality as I'm sure they're already doing anyway. The bill has sparked some outrage amongst deviants, liberals, and socialists, but the controversy hides the state government's many other legislative achievements, which have been sadly overlooked. In the interest of righting the wrong, I present the abridged highlights of other recent Utah State House of Representatives action:
|Pictured: the UN. Like the Utah Stage Legislature, but less relevant and (literally) more colorful.|
This bill mandates that "no Utahn shall be compelled to surrender firearms to the federal government under any circumstance whatsoever." Rep. Richards proclaimed that the measure would "reverse the never-ending tide of this President's anti-Second Amendment activism." Minority whip Maxine Dixon, D-Salt Lake City, countered that while the federal actions under consideration were not, technically, real, she would nevertheless support the bill if House Republicans would reconsider planned legislation to cut the pay of all state employees of "a brownish hue." Republicans assured her they would and HB-389 passed 56-19 over muffled snickering.
HB-277, introduced by Jim Kimball, R-Provo
The bill would enact statewide laws on appropriate skirt length in public as "not to exceed 3 inches above the knee." Despite some criticism from women's groups, Rep. Kimball argued that the bill is gender-neutral, without specific provisions targeting men or women. "Look," he told reporters, "this is not about legislating morality, this is a simple matter of right and wrong." Despite strong early support, the bill was tabled after some debate on whether clause II.a.2, "Provisions for Sitting Positions with Crossed and Uncrossed Legs," is consistent with the law's intent.
|Enjoy it while you can, trollops|
HB-281 calls for a task force to commence a preliminary study on reducing what Benson termed the "wasteful state bureaucracy" by at least 65% by the next legislative session. Debate stalled after Speaker Samuel McKay, R-Roy, pointed out that the proposed task force may overlap with the existing Government Waste Reduction Group created in 2010. The findings of GWR-10 are expected soon, though some reports indicate that the group has been bogged down by infighting with the Government Expenditures Elimination Caucus of 2009.
HB-390, introduced by Lynn Gibson, R-Fruit Heights.
The bill requires that "all female minors under the age of 18 obtain written consent from their "legal head of household or -- only if he is unavailable -- mother" before engaging in sexual activity of any kind. Rep. LaVerl Herrod, R-Herriman, led the debate, arguing that fathers deal disproportionately with the emotional fallout of teenage sexuality and must be protected. Michael Powell, D-Salt Lake City, cleared his throat several times during debate and once raised his hand before transitioning into an arm stretch. He was ignored. HB-390 was tabled to allow for preliminary discussion on a bill denouncing Sharia Law. It is expected to pass next session.
HB 398, introduced by Joseph Weber, D-Salt Lake City
The contents of this bill remain unclear as Rep. Weber stood, not speaking, at the podium for the first five minutes of its presentation. Pauline Mason, D-Salt Lake City, came to his side and whispered excerpts of his prepared remarks into his ear, but Weber remained motionless for another minute before shuffling back to his seat, sniffling and eyes downcast.
|" All they can do is say no. All they can do is say no. All they can do..."|
HB 401 proposes that the state legislature be given the formal authority to declare war on neighboring states "should the matter be deemed necessary and just." Douglas argued that she was "making a stand against the federal government usurping authority that belongs to the states." She added that there was "no substance" to rumors that she intended to annex Northern Arizona and refused to comment on earlier remarks that Utahns would be "welcomed as liberators" if conflict erupted. After some discussion HB-481 was sent back to committee to more precisely define whether alcohol bought in other states constituted an act of war. If the bill comes back for a vote it could face opposition from the party's libertarian wing, which remains suspicious of engaging foreign states.