Thursday, March 05, 2015

Panel Rejects Healthy Utah; Opts for Chintzy House Alternative, "Utah Cares" - Updated

"This issue is not over," SB 164 sponsor Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, told reporters

There's bad news for advocates of Governor Herbert's Healthy Utah Medicaid expansion plan, as Northern Utah media outlets report that "a Utah House committee killed Healthy Utah while approving the more [chintzy] Medicaid plan dubbed Utah Cares":
Here's the list of House committee members, folks, along with the tally of their votes:
House Business and Labor Committee
3/4/2015 6:00:00 PM - 30 House Building
House Comm - Motion to Recommend Failed
SB0164S01 - Access to Health Care Amendments
Yeas - 4
Duckworth, S.
Froerer, G.
King, Brad
Webb, R. C.
Nays - 9
Anderegg, J.
Cox, J.
Dunnigan, J.
Knotwell, J.
Peterson, V.
Roberts, M.
Schultz, M.
Stanard, J.
Wilson, B.
Absent - 1
Pitcher, D.. 
A Weber County Tip of the Hat to Weber County. Leg 8 House Rep. Gage Froerer, for bucking House leadership pressure, and voting to do the right thing. A pox on Weber County Leg. 10 House Rep. Dixon Pitcher, who'd assured his constituents he'd support Healthy Utah, and then ducked out of the committee vote.

"This issue is not over," bill sponsor Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, told reporters after the House Business and Labor Committee voted down by a 4-9 margin an attempt to send SB164, which has already passed the Senate, to the full House.

Time's runnin' short, O Gentle Ones. To Senator Shiozawa, we say "Godspeed." If there's any single bill that deserves a full House floor debate and vote... this is it, folks.

Update 3/5/15 10:55 a.m.:  For those citizen-activists among us here's an event which you might wanna attend:

Here are the full details, folks:
Can't hurt; might help...

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Wednesday Morning 2015 Utah Legislative News Roundup

Via Utah Policy, here are this morning's "top ten headlines," folks:
  • The House will hold a committee meeting on Healthy Utah and their competing Medicaid expansion plan Wednesday night [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says he's not yet sold on a compromise over Healthy Utah [Utah Policy].
  • The Utah Senate sends the medical marijuana bill for a final vote in their body [TribuneDeseret News].
  • A proposed overhaul of Utah's criminal justice system passes the Utah House and heads to the Senate [TribuneDeseret News].
  • Legislators are trying to find common ground on raising Utah's gas tax to increase funding for roads [Utah PolicyDeseret News].
  • The Utah House kills an attempt by Rep. Brian King to set limits on campaign donations [Utah PolicyTribuneDeseret News].
  • A Senate panel advances a "constitutional carry" gun bill that's identical to one vetoed by Gov. Herbert in 2013. Herbert says he would veto the bill again if it gets to his desk [Utah PolicyTribune].
  • The Senate advances two measures changing state school board elections while the House kills a proposal making those elections non-partisan [Tribune].
  • A House committee approves legislation exempting some wood-burning stoves from state clean air regulations [TribuneDeseret News].
  • A new report confirms Utah is headed toward a big shortfall in transportation funding unless lawmakers do something to fix the problem [TribuneDeseret News].
Don't let the cat get your tongues...

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Breaking: Utah House Agrees To Hear Governor's Medicaid Plan

Time to put the fire to the these cold-hearted Republicans' feet

Hot off the press from the Standard-Examiner:
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Republican controlled-House of Representatives has reversed course and decided to consider Gov. Gary Herbert’s Medicaid plan, despite comments from the Republican House speaker that the measure had no support and would not be heard.
A panel that assigns bills to House committees sent Herbert’s Medicaid proposal and a House alternative forward on Tuesday, setting up both proposals for a hearing this week.
Read up. Peeps:
Join the Rally to Support the Healthy Utah Plan, which would provide affordable health insurance to 126,000 Utahns. Contact your crackpot Rupublican House Legislators, folks:
Time to put the fire to the these cold-hearted Republicans' feet, wethinks.

Breaking: Medicaid Expansion Compromise Would Unite Healthy Utah With GOP Proposal - Updated

Sure! Let's do it! What could possibly go wrong with a compromise involving Republican lawmakers?" said everyone from Count My Vote

Lawmakers are floating a possible solution to Medicaid expansion that combines Healthy Utah and "frail Utah":
An idea is being floated that could resolve a tense standoff between Gov. Gary Herbert and Republican House leaders over how — or whether — to expand Medicaid, with the idea of uniting Herbert's Healthy Utah plan and another being crafted by Rep. Jim Dunnigan.
In concept, the state would adopt Herbert's Healthy Utah plan for two years, at which point it would sunset, unless legislators decide to extend the program.
If it is not extended, the fallback would be a proposal Dunnigan is finalizing that would tap new Medicaid money and an existing state program to give the very poorest Utahns some access to health care.
Read up, folks:
Witty retort from Gentle Reader Digital Bath: "Sure! Let's do it! What could possibly go wrong with a compromise involving Republican lawmakers?" said everyone from Count My Vote."

Update 3/3/15 11:30 p.m.: Humdinger of a morning Utah Medicaid expansion-topical column from Standard-Examiner journeyman editorialist Don Porter, who says, "What would Jesus do? My guess: Help the poor":
Mr. Porter has a way with words, don'tcha think?

Monday, March 02, 2015

2015 Utah Legislative News Roundup: A Frenzy of Healthy Utah Articles and Editorials

Your Utah House Reps are sitting giddily on the edges of their seats, waiting to learn what their constituents think

As a follow-up to Wednesday's tyrannical Greg Hughes's stubborn refusal to calender Governor Herbert's Healthy Utah Medicaid expansion plan for a House of Representatives debate and floor vote, Utah media engaged in a frenzy of  weekend editorial activity, urging Speaker Hughes to reconsider placing the issue before the House legislative body, once and for all.  After some extensive googling, we've got you covered, Here's your morning reading assignment, folks:
Read up, Peeps!

Please contact your own Utah House Representative, O Gentle Ones, Please demand (politely, of course)  that the House of Representatives be held accountable to the lumpencitizenry for whatever stance they may each adopt on the most important legislative issue of the 2015 session:
Your Utah House Reps are sitting giddily on the edges of their seats, of course, waiting to learn what their constituents think.

Added bonus, via the Trib's Pat Bagley:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Science Saturday Special

Science is totally mind-boggling, ainnit?

Ok folks. We've let a little too much time lapse since we last posted our last  Science Saturday topical post. So without any further ado, we'' "get on the stick"  Accvordingly here's the "best of the best" latest science stuff we've sniffed up since then :
    1) This one has distinct political implications, we think:
    If only scientists could implant US GOP politician/rodents with human brain cells, "all would be well," we think.

    2) Here's another:
    Take that, evil Koch Brothers!

    3) Here's another good one:
    Wanna live forever trough a "mind clone"experiment? Helpful hint: We don't think that's a good idea, either.  If you do this, make sure you've written youself out of your own will..

    4) Scientific accidents happen!
    Thank Gawd for the "scientific screwups," we say. Einstein, for instance...

    5) Here's one more, just for good measure:
    Science is totally mind-boggling, ainnit, LOL?

    Remember! You're just a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here.., and the Universe is laughing behind your back:
    Comments anyone? Ferris?

    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Breaking: Medicaid Expansion May Be Dead This Session - Updated

    Tyannical House leader on Medicaid expansion: ‘We’re done’

    Via Utah Policy, there's bad news for fans Utah health care reform this morning, folks, as these various Northern Utah media sources report that Governor Herbert's Health Utah medicaid expansion plan is likely dead in the water:
    • The Utah Senate passes the Healthy Utah plan, but House leaders say the plan is dead [Utah PolicyTribune, Deseret News].
    • Sen. Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund says there's a good chance the 2015 session will end without lawmakers taking action on Medicaid expansion [Utah Policy].
    Once again... The Trib's Pat Bagley "nails it":

    Update 2/27/15 8:30 a.m.: Just like clockwork, House speaker Hughes is receiving serious blowback from our highly disappointed Governor Herbert, who's spent the past year and a half nailing down federal concessions to craft his Healthy Utah Plan:
    Tightwad Senator Allen Christensen's alternate "Frail Utah" alternative to Healthy Utah has been killed in the Senate, BTW:
    Our take?  Healthy Utah ain't quite dead yet.

    In that connection, here's an online petion for those WCF readers who'd like to roll up their sleeves. engage in active citizen action and throw in their own 2¢:
    Comments, anyone?

    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    Salt Lake Tribune: Study: Utah’s Mike Lee Is Most Extreme Senator

    As to today's WCF history lesson... You're welcome

    In the interest of provoking a "wee" bit of WCF discussion, perhaps, we'll highlight Interesting pair of stories, which have been floating around the internet over the course of the past few days, concerning Utah's tea-party (crackpot) champion Mike Lee, who'll be standing for election again in 2016.  In the context of our continuing Weber County Forum discussions of Senator Lee, we're certain that nothing contained below will be a surprise to anyone:
    Just to add a little addition intigue, however, we'll highlight this fascinating background info from the latter story, wherein our Gentle Readers mayevebn  yet find a few surprises in store:
      Lee’s score of .991 makes him the most conservative Senator ever from Utah. Barber said that, to find the next most conservative Utah Senator, one must go back to the state’s founding.
      “The next closest legislator was actually the first senator who ever served from Utah or one of the first (since there were two), Sen. [Arthur] Brown,” he said. “He served from 1896 to 1897. He had a score of .812.

      And here's the kicker, folks, which might bring along a few surpises.  Seems that, unlike esteemed "conservative" Utah Senator Arthur Brown, Senator Lee has not yet been murdered by his mistress:
      As to today's WCF history lesson... You're welcome, Gentle WCF Readers

      And... speaking about ultra conservative, wing-nut Senator Mike Lee?  We'll be keeping our ear to the ground, awaiting future "conservative" news developments.

      Wednesday Morning 2015 Utah Legislative News Roundup

      Count My Vote delay falls in the Senate. Healthy Utah wins Senate approval, but there's not enough support in the House. Lawmakers may sidestep a vote on relocating the prison.

      Via Utah Policy, here are this morning's "top ten headlines," folks:
      • The Utah Senate kills a proposed delay to the Count My Vote compromise [Utah PolicyTribuneDeseret News].
      • Gov. Gary Herbert's Healthy Utah plan wins preliminary support in the Senate, but House leadership says there is not enough support in their body to pass the Medicaid expansion alternative [Utah PolicyTribuneDeseret News].
      • Lawmakers may let the prison commission make the final decision on relocating the Utah State Prison, allowing them to sidestep a politically risky vote [Utah PolicyDeseret NewsTribune].
      • Gov. Herbert says he's still optimistic that lawmakers will go along with his proposal to pump $500 million into public education coffers [Deseret News].
      • A new poll finds 55% of Utahns support the fight to win control of public lands from the feds [Utah Policy].
      • The Utah Senate passes a bill giving the Utah Attorney General 18-months to file a lawsuit laying claim to public lands within the state's borders [Tribune].
      • Gov. Herbert is worried a proposed death with dignity bill could turn into a "Kevorkian scheme" [Tribune].
      • A Senate panel approves a bill setting campaign contribution limits clears a House committee [Deseret News].
      • Registration fees for alternative fuel cars could see a huge jump under a bill approved by the Senate Transportation Committee [TribuneDeseret News].
      We're toying with idea of making this a regular daily feature during the final 15 days of the 2015 Utah legislative session.  What do you think about this, folks? 

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