Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: The last four days of legislative session a final frenzy

Published: Sunday, March 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

Pignanelli: Passage in the Senate will be tough, but that will not stop me from imbibing.

Webb: I'm not sure if it helped or hurt when Frank climbed up on the Senate dais and shouted into the microphone, "Mr. President and Madam Speaker, tear down that wall!"

Will Utahns be able to carry concealed guns without a permit?

Pignanelli: The state's top gun-rights activists do not want the change, so there will not be a change.

Webb: Packing surreptitious heat should require a permit.

Will the state get into the convention hotel business?

Pignanelli: Opposition from Little and Grand America owners may resonate with House conservatives and stall the proposed subsidy for the Salt Palace development.

Webb: This is another big idea whose time has come. We're losing lots of conventions. The hotel will eventually be built, but these things take time.

Any chance for the state-wide, anti-discrimination statute to protect gay and lesbian citizens?

Pignanelli: Sen. Steve Urquhart is a brave and articulate sponsor of this noble effort, but without the public endorsement of the LDS Church, passage this session is doubtful.

Webb: A few sticking points may prevent passage this session, but the sides are very close.

Will Utah build its own health insurance exchange or lay it on the federal government?

Pignanelli: The federal government will keep postponing the deadline, and as a result, the state will keep pushing the decision down the road.

Webb: I smell a compromise with the state continuing its Avenue H insurance marketplace.

Will legislators continue to bash the federal government, Obamacare and the United Nations?

Pignanelli: There is always time to hammer these boogeymen.

Webb: Will the sun come up in the morning? Actually, this session has been refreshingly "message bill"-free.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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