I was a state delegate at the GOP convention on Saturday. I support HB116 (the guest worker bill).
When the roll call was taken at the beginning of the day, there were 2158 delegates. However, by the time we finally voted on the resolution to repeal HB116, only 1572 delegates voted. (The resolution to repeal HB116 won 833-739). That means nearly 600 delegates either decided not to vote or had already left the convention.
Even though the resolution to repeal HB116 was the hottest item to be addressed, it was placed at the end of a rather unimportant agenda. We didn't get to it until five hours in the convention, when people were tired and needed to get home. We only debated it for ten minutes before we voted.
Given that 600 delegates had probably left, I wonder what would have happened if this bill had been put up higher on the agenda. Since the more committed (and often extreme) delegates are the ones that stay, and the margin to repeal the resolution was only 100 votes, I think it's very likely the resolution would have been defeated if it had been voted on earlier in the day.
There were rumblings that this resolution was delayed on purpose. I really hope that is not true.
I am concerned that Sen. President Mike Waddoups was quoted as saying that he "expects to see legislation to amend and even repeal the law next session."
Why? Less than half of the elected delegates voted (many didn't even make it to the convention at all), and the winning margin was only 106 votes.
Are we going to let 100 people swing the whole state into repealing this well-crafted legislation? A recent poll in the Deseret News shows that 61 percent of Utahns support the bill.
I hope that the legislature isn't scared into repealing because of a few extreme members of the Republican party. It doesn't seem too democratic to me.