Saratoga Springs SR03 – Why I voted to Repeal HB 116

Utah HB 116As an elected GOP Utah State Delegate for Saratoga Springs SR03 Precinct, it was my opportunity and obligation to go to the Utah State GOP State Organizing Convention that was held on Jun 18, 2011.

The convention had a resolution proposed, “Uphold the Constitution of the United States and Republican Platforms:  Repeal HB 116 and Replace” by Keri Witte.   You can read the full text of the resolution by going to the link above.    Basically the resolution calls on all GOP elected officials to do what they can to see that HB 116 is repealed and another bill is introduced to replace it.  There are two main reason the resolution says the bill should be repealed.   First, it is against the Constitution of the United States, and Second, it is against the Utah State Republican Party Immigration Platform.

I do have to say, the GOP party once again surprised me.  There was a lot of heated debate on Facebook and other forums in regards to the Resolution to repeal HB 116.   I was expecting to see some heated debate, and some very unfriendly stances at the convention.  But I was surprised to not see any of that.  People agreed to disagree, and acted in a professional manner.  There were a couple of people who did get upset, but it did not have anything to do with HB 116.

For the record, so that the members of SR03 know how I voted on this resolution, I voted in favor of it.   I voted in favor of the repeal of HB 116 during the convention.  And I want to take a couple of minutes to explain WHY I voted for the repeal of HB 116.  I don’t necessarily agree with the reason for the repeal in the resolution, but I agree that the bill should be repealed.  I am not a US Constitutional lawyer, and I don’t know the GOP platform in and out, but I do have two reason, that I see as very valid, for pushing for a repeal.

FIRST

The bill is not a good bill.  It has a lot of flaws and as such should not be put into law.  You can go to any of the websites that are pro HB 116, and on those sites somewhere you will have someone saying something like this…  “This bill is a starting point.  It is not perfect, and will need to be modified and will need to be changed.”   This is one of the things about our current political system that just BUGS me.  Why are we putting policy into place that we know is flawed, and will need changing?   Just because there is a problem, does not mean you have to hurry up and slap a band-aid on it.  Don’t do the wrong thing, just because you think we need to act now.  If the problem is big enough, it is like putting a band-aid on a cut that requires stitches.   You only hide the problem, and then make the scar even worse in the long run.  Not to mention the chance you can get it infected and make the cut even worse.

Look at it this way…  Lets say that a Republican held House and Senate think they need to hurry up and pass a bill.   That bill has loopholes and needs to be modified to work correctly.   But the next session is not controlled by the Republican party.   The Democrats are now in charge of the House and the Senate.   This bill is now law, and can now be molded by the other party because the bill was not set in stone, or a complete bill.  

Policy needs to be seen as a line in the sand.  Not something that we will just throw in the ring, and hope that we can change it to make it what we want later.  The way politics works, you never know if your party will have the chance to change it later.  Don’t pass legislation that you know will need to be changed later.

SECOND

The bill is just another bill like the Obama Health Care Plan.   It may not be the same size as the Health Care Bill, but it was passed the same way.  The bill was introduced to the Senate floor at 6:05 PM (it is 58 pages long).  It was then passed by the Senate at 8:15 PM.  And Passed by the House at 9:42 PM.  The bill had a 3 and a half hour life.  I am not a really slow reader, but how can you read, and process a 58 Page bill in that quick of a time and think you know it well enough to make it law?  Only 6 of the 73 house reps actually read the bill before they voted on it.  That is a play from the Pelosi play book, “But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

CONCLUSION

I voted for the repeal of HB 116 because I think it is unethical and wrong for our elected officials to pass a bill that deals with this subject that they did not have time to read, and that they knew they would have to go back and fix.

If you disagree with me, please let me know.  My job as a State Delegate is by all accounts done, but I would like to know what you think.  I think I may run again for State Delegate next year as well, so let me know what you think.

In response to the comment (I know someone is either thinking it, or is going to ask it), “How can a Mormon repeal a bill that the LDS Church has approved?”  Show me where the LDS Church says that it has approved HB 116.  The stand of the LDS Church is that something needs to be done, and that compassion should be included in the bill.  No where does the LDS Church say that HB 116 is the correct way to do it, and that it endorses HB 116.   I think I was the only one in Utah County that thought that way.   I heard several people say,  “How can you vote to repeal it after the church has endorsed it?”   Funny, but that is not how I read the statements they made.  Do a search on the LDS Newsroom site, and you will not find any reference to HB 116.

Comments

  1. It is well known that the church’s office of public affairs lobbied for the passing of HB116, and Bishop Burton was present at the signing of the bill, which isn’t common for him.

    I personally disagree with the church’s stand on illegal immigration, in that they simply condemn those who knowingly break the law. I wonder if they show the same amount of compassion to rapists and thieves.

    I support your vote, although not a member of your district.

  2. I voted the same way at the county convention for basically the same reasons. Everyone knows the immigration system in this country isn’t working but I don’t think the state’s HB11 bill is the way to go about fixing the system.

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