The lot of a freshman legislator is hard.
This week Rep. Dionne P. Halverson, D-Weber, got her feet wet when she introduced to the House Education Committee a simple item of legislation that dissolves the American Bicentennial Committee - obviously no longer needed since the bicentennial year is now far in the past.The committee passed her measure, but not before subjecting her to a healthy dose of twitting. Rep. Joseph L. Hull, R-Hooper, claiming it would be un-American to support such a proposal, moved that it be tabled. The committee unanimously supported him, with collective tongues in collective cheeks.
However, on a roll call they all, ostensibly with great reluctance, voted to rescind the original legislation and allow the bicentennial to join its rightful place in history. Halverson chalked up her first success.
(BU) Rep. Hugh D. Rush, D-Salt Lake, got a more positive response to a legislative suggestion Wednesday than he anticipated. He introduced HB106 primarily to test the waters and move an issue to interim study and found about half the House Education Committee eager to embrace it.
The bill would move local school board elections from general election years and make them coincide with municipal elections. The theory is that school board elections would get more attention and would not be lost in the many races of a general election. Gigi Brandt, former League of Women Voters president, asked Rush to sponsor the bill.
Rush was so surprised when the committee voted 7 to 7 on a motion to move the measure out favorably that he admitted the notion has not even been broached with the districts that would be affected. As written, it would apply only to city boards - Salt Lake, Murray, Park City, Logan and Ogden. The committee seemed inclined to broaden it to include all 40 school districts.
The tie vote defeated Wednesday's attempt to move the bill further along the legislative path, but it was left on the table for later consideration in the current session.