“Are they doing any good up there?” That’s a question we frequently hear during the legislative session. Citizens often get a skewed image of the Legislature because the news media (us included) tend to focus on the unusual and inflammatory.
While it is much more fun to make snide remarks about legislative action, the truth is that almost all of what happens on the Hill is solid and sensible, and lawmakers receive little recognition for this work.
In addition, a number of legislators each session demonstrate real courage when they confront the establishment, their fellow party members, or conventional norms, sometimes putting themselves in political peril — in order to make a difference.
Here’s a short sampling of lawmakers who are sticking their necks out, for good or for bad (depending on your political perspective). Please note: Frank has a dog in almost all these legislative fights. He is more conflicted than Woody Allen.
We often hear about attempts to reform education — but rarely from a Democrat and a teacher. Rep. Carol Spackman Moss was a well-liked instructor at Olympus High School and has been a strong defender of public education in the Legislature. She is sponsoring a pilot project that will evaluate and assist underperforming veteran teachers.
It seems that all successful alcohol beverage legislation is sponsored by Republicans. One of Frank’s favorite bills — opening liquor stores on holidays — is sponsored by Democrat Rep. Patrice Arent. In defiance of tradition, the bill actually passed the House.
Read the full article HERE
Salt Lake City – Earlier today, the Utah House heard a bill (HB104) from Republican Representative Wayne Harper telling city governments they cannot ticket for idling. Representative Patrice Arent (D) says “Stop micromanaging cities!”
Despite arguments that it is trampling on cities’ powers, the Utah House approved a bill Friday designed to thwart Salt Lake City’s ban on excessive car idling.
After amending HB104, the House voted 42-28 to approve it and sent it to the Senate.
Rep. Wayne Harper, R-West Jordan, the bill’s sponsor, complained that the city’s ordinance allows ticketing not only cars idling more than two minutes in public spots, but also those in private parking lots or driveways. “I think that’s abusive and a violation of property rights,” he said.
“Here we go again, micromanaging local government,” said Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek. “How many of you want this from the federal government? Every day we hear complaints about the federal government telling us what to do. This is not an egregious situation where the state government is to step in and tell a city how to manage its business.”
Full story here.Read More
Salt Lake City – Monday, February 13, 2012, the Utah House of Representatives voted unanimously to approve HCR 5 – a concurrent resolution designating February 18, 2012 as Utah’s Congressional Gold Medal Day for WWII Veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Nisei Military Intelligence Service.
Some of the veterans of the 442nd are alive today because Representative Patrice Arent’s father, Marvin Arent, a local WWII veteran, disobeyed an order. Mr. Arent will be present on the House floor Monday to honor the heroism of the 442nd.
“I am grateful and honored to be a part of this vote honoring heroes like Dad,” said Representative Patrice Arent.
During part of WWII Marvin Arent was a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army in Northern Italy. He was in charge of a platoon of tank destroyers and was ordered to shoot at enemy soldiers to open up the area so the US infantry could break through. When they started to shoot, Lt. Arent could not see the troops he was asked to attack, but thought this might not be the enemy and ordered the troops to stop shooting. Lt. Arent called back to company headquarters and asked them to determine whether the group he was asked to shoot was actually the enemy. His superiors told Lt. Arent it was the enemy and continue with his original orders. Lt. Arent then asked them to check with general headquarters. The General in charge told them that there were no US troops in the area and to continue firing.
Marvin Arent is the kind of man who never disobeys orders. In this one instance he disobeyed a direct order of a general and did not allow his troops to shoot. He could have been court marshalled for this action. It turned out that the soldiers that he was asked to shoot at were the 442nd.
Representative Patrice Arent, the daughter of the 94 year old WWII veteran, commented that “knowing Dad, I am truly surprised that he would disobey an order. I am grateful that this one time in his life he risked his career and chose to follow his own intuition. Many veterans, their children and grandchildren are alive today because of that choice.”
Marvin Arent was awarded the Purple Heart as a result of being wounded in combat earlier in the war. He was promoted to the rank of Captain later in the war. Mr. Arent moved to SLC in the early ‘50s where he became a successful businessman. He continues to reside here.Read More
Salt Lake City- Representatives Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Patrice Arent, Joel Briscoe and Brian Doughty sat down on Comcast’s “Capitol Journal” to discuss their views on E-Verify, school counselors, employee insurance, and burying utility lines. Watch them below!Read More
Salt Lake City – Three more bills by House Democrats made it through the Utah House of Representatives this morning, and are on their way to the Senate. Common-Sense is on the move! Find out which bills below.
Representative Lynn Hemingway – HB 263. Currently Utah is 1 of only 10 states in the country that doesn’t offer unemployment benefits for the spouses of military personnel when the soldiers are transferred to a base outside the state. Thanks to Representative Hemingway, that will soon be fixed! HB 263 passed the House unanimously.
Representative Christine Watkins – HB 241. When a child is no longer living with parents (due to abuse, negligence etc..) and is placed with family members like aunts and uncles or grandparents, the State of Utah can no longer take the child away and place them in foster care due to the relatives’ age or health, thanks to Representative Watkins HB 241 which passed the House unanimously this morning.
Representative Patrice Arent – HB 70. Many people realize that despite the growing number of “Red Air Days” across the state, the Utah Legislature has never addressed the issue of Air Quality? Fortunately, Representative Arent’s HB 70 will create a task force to examine the problem in Utah and recommend to the Legislature what measures should be taken to improve the air we breathe.
All 3 bills are now on their way to the Senate. Congratulations Representatives!Read More