Want to know who has been pilfering money from the school fund? Why top brass at the Salt Lake County planning office were fired? Whether the policeman who gave you a ticket is on drugs? If your doctor has an unfortunate habit of cutting out the wrong organ? Too bad. Utah lawmakers don’t think it’s your business. House Bill 122 would let government officials permanently stamp “private” on some documents, even if releasing the information would be in the public’s interest.
The first act of Obama Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was to overturn the auction of oil and gas leases near Utah national parks. Utah state lawmakers responded by calling for jailing (if not lynching) the environmentalist kid who tried to monkeywrench the auction. The truth is that the auction was monkeywrenched by a Bush administration so eager to hand over the national heritage to its oil buddies that it pushed sales through without required environmental review, necessitating a re-do.
It turns out gun-toting Utah lawmakers do care about more than arming every man, woman and child. In a move that upset the National Rifle Association, Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, is linking up with gun-control advocates to tighten control over Utah’s concealed-weapon-permit program. The move comes after the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification warned Utah’s gun license was fast becoming a national joke. Some of Utah’s so-called “instructors”—most living outside of Utah—were handing out gun permits in exchange for cash, but skipping required firearms training.
Utah has spent a lot of money over the years collecting art to line the corridors of schools and government buildings. But, without an inventory of the art, some fear the works will end up missing, such as a few were reported to have been recently, later turning up in private homes or trash bins. Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Lehi, is sponsoring a bill this year that would catalog state-owned art to ensure it will be enjoyed by future generations.