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Utah Works To Repeal Anti-Transparency Law 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the eyes-wide-open dept.
Foldarn writes "Recently on Slashdot, Utah's Governor was honored with the Blackhole Award. Governor Herbert has now released a statement and a meeting with a concrete date to repeal the opaque law from the books in an effort to stay in offi... err, restore confidence in the public. The law added time for lawmakers to respond to information requests, removed the number of items that can be requested, and increased the prices of those same items. It's currently scheduled to become law this summer."
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Utah Works To Repeal Anti-Transparency Law

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  • by marbike (35297) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @04:12PM (#35592062) Homepage

    This bill got passed thanks to some legislative tomfoolery that is apparently quite legal in Utah. The legislative leadership can bypass the normal process for introducing bills if it happens in the last days of legislation. This bill got fast tracked and bypassed normal debate. Once it was passed, the outcry was enough to have the Governor and some others think that it was worth a repeal. The working group to re-write the bill will hopefully not screw it up a second time.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Svartalf (2997)

      Heh... They're going to screw it up. They managed to do an even worse law that effectively gives amnesty to illegal aliens that're in Utah- that even more desperately needs repealing than this botch job we're discussing.

      • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @05:02PM (#35592598)

        If Utah wants to do that why not?

        The whole illegal aliens thing is quite easy to solve anyway, incarcerate the person who is directly responsible for hiring any illegal and the CEO of the company. Also fine the company $25k per day per illegal worker. If no one was hiring them they would not be crossing the border.

        • by Sique (173459)

          If you outlaw all employers employing illegal aliens, only illegal employers will employ illegal aliens - and suddenly you get a large illegal sector in your economy, not paying any taxes, not obeying any laws. If this is your goal, then proceed.
          (You seem to live under the misconception that illegal aliens start at home with checking the U.S. laws to make sure they get employed legally before entering the U.S. illegally.)

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Please don't use that cop out "if X is illegal then only criminals will have X". It essentially states that there should not be laws against anything (since the same argument can be made for any subject. It's a slogan not an actual logical argument). If taken to its logical extreme... should we have no laws because that would mean only criminals would do illegal things?

          • by scot4875 (542869) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @06:29PM (#35593494) Homepage

            If you outlaw all employers employing illegal aliens, only illegal employers will employ illegal aliens - and suddenly you get a large illegal sector in your economy, not paying any taxes, not obeying any laws. If this is your goal, then proceed.

            You've just described the system that WE ALREADY HAVE.

            --Jeremy

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            I have no such beliefs. In fact any illegal that rats out his employer should get a green card. The employer is the criminal here.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Score Whore (32328)

              The employer is a criminal because they don't have the investigative capability to detect all false documents? That's particularly interesting since the Feds are shitting on AZ right now for passing a law that requires e-verify for new hires. The e-verify requirement is listed specifically in the Feds complaint.

              If they really wanted to deal with the illegal immigration problem there is a solution, it's a bit draconian bit it would work:

              1 - everytime someone is caught illegally in the US, you take DNA sample

              • I'm not advocating this, but it does illustrate that there are solutions to the illegal immigration problem if so desired

                N. Korea have stopped illegal imigation into their country by shooting people who try to leave, no second chances!

                • by fishbowl (7759)

                  That stops *emigration*. *immigration* isn't really a problem when your country is a shithole even by the standards of other shitholes.

              • by h4rr4r (612664)

                The jobs would still bring them here. Your supply side solution is not going to work.

            • by Sique (173459)

              The employer might actually do you a service.

              1. Illegal immigrants will come. The conditions in the regions they come from are so bad that you can't make it worse. You might try to wage a war against parts of your population Mexico style to get close though. So any idea to repell illegal immigrants by being evil is useless and evil at the same time.
              2. Once they are here you have to deal with them. You can try to catch as much as you get to send them back. But then the illegal immigrants will just start to h

        • If Utah wants to do that why not?

          Umm,. because immigration control is FEDERAL law, not State law.

          Utah has no more power to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants than they do to select new US Supreme Court Justices.

      • by swillden (191260)

        Heh... They're going to screw it up. They managed to do an even worse law that effectively gives amnesty to illegal aliens that're in Utah- that even more desperately needs repealing than this botch job we're discussing.

        You may disagree with it, but the "Utah Compact" wasn't a mistake, it was very deliberate. And it's getting a lot of positive attention nationwide, with many other states modeling their own laws on it.

    • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @04:28PM (#35592230) Homepage Journal

      I've thought for many years that legislative bodies should have some kind of electronic revision control system that requires changes to be authenticated wtih a legislator's digital signature. It's wouldn't be technically hard, and you'd know who put what feature into a bill. In this case we only know that the bill was put through with the connivance of the legislature's leading officers, but even so they'd be less ready to do that if the offensive language had their signature (or shall we say fingerprints?) on it.

      • by AdamWill (604569)

        'git blame' for laws? what a delicious idea!

      • by Teancum (67324)

        That does exist... after a fashion. There is a paper trail in terms of amendments and discussion (sort of like a Wikipedia talk page) for most legislation, but it is so chaotic and haphazard that to pull that information together is usually to easily done. It certainly is not usually done electronically, except that the documents are scanned and put "on line" for those legislative bodies who do so.

        What makes the Utah legislature so bad is that the Republicans have a super-majority (about 70% of the legisl

    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      [1] This bill got fast tracked and bypassed normal debate. [3] Once it was passed,

      Whoaa!! Slow down! You missed the step [2] where representatives voted in support of a bill that did not receive any debate. Every person who voted on a piece of legislation, without reading it, without seeing a debate on it, should be impeached. They are not keeping to the oaths they swore.

      I wonder if this happened 100 years ago if they probably really would be impeached. Today, this is just standard operating procedure. Truly truly sad.

      • by Teancum (67324)

        If this happened 100 years ago in Utah, the People's Party would have simply held a sustaining vote on any legislation... that came from the 1st Presidency's office.

        While the LDS Church doesn't get involved much any more with legislation like that, the political leadership likes to think they have a calling from God himself to be in the positions they are at... forgetting that Utah public officials don't represent just Latter-day saints nor are they really acting with much piety either. It is simply raw th

      • by dwillden (521345)
        Not that I agree one bit with how it was passed but a big reason for it not getting any debate is that nearly every congress critter was listed as a sponsor. Why debate something they've already all participated in working out. Of course that is the problem, they worked it out in the Party Caucus rather than in the committees and on the debate floor like is supposed to be done, and then they just passed it through both houses so fast the media barely caught it happening.
    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      They didn't screw it up the first time, it was exactly what they wanted.

    • Once it was passed, the outcry was enough to have the Governor and some others think that it was worth a repeal.

      Bullshit. The governor didn't veto it because the legislature had enough votes to overcome the veto, so he's trying to get it overturned in other ways. He was against the bill even when it was passed.

      • by Politburo (640618)
        No, that's bullshit. If you're against a bill, you veto it. Even if you know the veto will be overridden and want to save some time, be nice, whatever, then you still don't sign the bill. It automatically becomes law in 10 days (not counting Sundays) if the Governor doesn't take action. Actually in this case since I believe the legislature adjourned shortly after passage, it would become effective 20 days after adjournment.
        • I actually agree with that, but claiming that the governor is only doing this when he was very clear about it while it was in the legislature is dumb. I think he should have vetoed it anyway, but claiming he's changing his mind after the fact is just wrong.
  • Go figure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @04:15PM (#35592110) Journal

    A state run by religious conservatives is also highly authoritarian. Who would have thought?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Funny, the US government is run by conservatives, religious conservatives, liberals, religious liberals, communists, socialists, libertarians, environmentalists, lobbyists, corporate shills, and even an occasional statesman, and is also highly authoritarian. Who would have thought?
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Funny, I've only seen 4 of those actually holding public office.

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Religious Conservatives? Hardly. If they were, they'd not have passed the law that gives those that break our nation's laws a pass- they basically made a law that gives effective amnesty to those who are in Utah and are here in the US Illegally.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Sounds like turn the other cheek to me.

        Get this through your thick skull, the illegals would not be here if no one hired them. Make it a felony to hire one and fine 25k per day per illegal and that problem will sort itself right out.

        • Illegal immigrants are doing jobs no American wants to do. I see it all over down here in Texas. Most Americans are shooting for a job in some facet of business. Illegal immigrants cannot do these jobs, so they do janitorial / house cleaning, basic labor, construction, and lawn maintenance. When is the last time you saw a born and bred American actively trying to do one of those jobs or complaining that they couldn't do one of those jobs because of the damn illegals? Sure, they don't deserve health care ben
          • by dwillden (521345)
            Americans don't do those jobs because while paying taxes and not packing twenty men into an apartment, the Americans who are willing to do that work (and there are many) are so substantially undercut in costs by the illegals that they can't make a living if they try to match costs. The reason you are not seeing Americans doing construction, lawn maintenance and the like is because they've been driven out of the business by illegal labor that can do the job at a cost the tax paying American contractor can't
            • Easiest way to fix that is to tax them, and that is where perhaps we agree in some way. However, even so 90 percent of Americans would not try do the jobs they do anyway. Maybe that's why we have almost a 10 percent unemployment.
          • Americans don't do those jobs because they pay below a living wage, obviously. The lack of labor protections has already pushed citizens out of that market altogether.

            • I agree with you in part. Im just arguing that throwing out all the illegals wont necessarily fix the problem. Americans don't want these jobs, so someone else fills the niche.
              • by h4rr4r (612664)

                If they cannot find people to do the work the wage for that job will go up. That is how the free market works.

                • A free market would include letting anyone from anywhere in the world compete for your job. If you want to have your job up for grabs by anyone more qualified than you, then you are a true free market guy. Otherwise, if you want labor protections, job security and special treatment as a citizen you are not free market at all. You can't have it both ways.
                  • by h4rr4r (612664)

                    Then we would have to allow people to immigrate to any country they want. Right now the employer can move to that job, but the worker cannot follow.

                    Equal labor protection in the form of safety regulations are not anti-free market.

              • by stinerman (812158)

                Does anyone really want a job? I'd rather sit at home all day, jack off, and watch TV. But I can't.

                I don't want a job picking lettuce or being a gardener or roofer, but if it paid $50/hr I'd take it.

                If we really did throw out every last undocumented worker, I think you'd see some native Anglos taking some of the same jobs, but some people would just do without. If they had to pay a guy $30/hr to landscape, they'd just go without. The fact you can pay undocumented workers a lot less provides an incentive

                • In a free market there is always going to be a lowest class of people that gets shit wages for hard work. Unless you want to dramatically restructure society so that everyone is paid according to their works, and not the works of their wage slaves, you will never get equality.
          • While that may seem like a valid excuse for the pseudo capitalist running around in this country, all that means is that the wages being offered are too low for the work. After all, supply and demand works for products and labor. Unfortunately, most businesses think that capitalism is only good then it helps them and not the other way around.
            • I agree. Corporations are quick to adapt socialist viewpoints when it benefits them, or spout out "free market" propaganda when it benefits them as well. The problem is, I don't harbor any ill will towards illegal immigrants. They are just trying to survive like everyone else.
        • by swillden (191260)

          Sounds like turn the other cheek to me.

          Get this through your thick skull, the illegals would not be here if no one hired them. Make it a felony to hire one and fine 25k per day per illegal and that problem will sort itself right out.

          Exactly. And to make your approach work even better, here's another tweak: Offer green cards to any illegals who turn in their boss. So the one person the boss absolutely can't fool about his workers' status is highly motivated to rat him out. I doubt we'd even have to hand out many green cards... the employers of illegals would become so terrified of their employees that they'd can them immediately.

        • by Kozz (7764)

          Sounds like turn the other cheek to me.

          Get this through your thick skull, the illegals would not be here if no one hired them. Make it a felony to hire one and fine 25k per day per illegal and that problem will sort itself right out.

          Perfect idea. Now all you have to do is give employers a reasonably-priced system by which they can verify someone's right to work, and indemnify that employer from any damages or fines for any violations against the employee who "passed" the system's tests. Got that handy?

          Talk is cheap. Solutions are much, much harder.

          • by dwillden (521345)
            Yep, it's called E-verify it, and it works quite well when employers are willing to use it.
            • for most cases, the illegal's documentation is so bad than anyone with an IQ above room temperature can tell the difference. My sister in law worked for awhile at a company that employed illegals. When the inkjet printing on their Social Security cards are already running, it's pretty easy to spot the fake. she quit shortly thereafter.
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            No I do not. That is their problem. I suspect the free market will solve it quite quickly though.

            The paperwork illegals normally have no one with a room temperature IQ would be fooled. Heck, just make the standard reasonable and no automatic checks are needed.

            • No I do not. That is their problem. I suspect the free market will solve it quite quickly though.

              For small businesses who don't have a legal team, and are trying to add their 2nd, 3rd, 4th employee, etc., the "free market" owner will solve it by not hiring anyone whose skin is brown or who doesn't speak perfect English.

              How else do you think the free market can verify if supposedly government-issued work authorization is legitimate? The government has to get involved in that somehow unless you want to privatize work authorization too. And if that happens, hello millions of suddenly, newly authorized w

  • "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -- Thomas Jefferson

    They thought nobody would notice. They were wrong. The problem is, there is nothing to stop them from attaching similar provisions as riders to totally unrelated bills until they finally succeed in slipping one through.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    That previous /. story on the Blackhole award had over 150 comments on it and not a single crack about Goatse! How is this stuff that maters?

  • Is Governor Herbert really trying to "restore confidence in the public"? Are we sure he's not trying to restore their confidence in him? I'm not sure that anyone would ever have confidence in the public as a whole - small groups and individuals are fine, but beyond that...

    • by Daemon69 (892528)
      The bill originally passed with enough votes to override a Herbert veto. He made the right call.
      • So make them override it. kowtowing to them is hardly a right or respectable call.
    • by Teancum (67324)

      Governor Herbert just jumped the shark [wikipedia.org] with this special session. Confidence? What little I had went away with this proposal.

  • by Teancum (67324) <.robert_horning. .at. .netzero.net.> on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @05:00PM (#35592568) Homepage Journal

    The purpose of this special session is to deliberately derail the referendum drive so that the effort to put this onto the ballot in November is completely wiped out. Right now there is an effort to collect about 100,000 signatures state-wide to put this onto the general election ballot this year (which is normally just for municipal elections in Utah) and that effort is gaining steam and public support.

    Very likely, if this stays in the public spotlight, it will mean the end of the elective office careers of many of these state legislators, and they know it. It is also likely that this legislation is going to be repealed through the ballot box, and these guys want to stop that process.

    What they are trying to do here is to repeal the law that has all of these signatures and will be defeated by the voters of this state, and instead introduce a whole new law to take its place... a law that says essentially the very same thing and causes the same problems that is gaining all of the attention. As a new law, they can quash the referendum drive completely.

    A really cute thing about this tactic is that the laws in Utah governing the ability to put up a referendum do not take into account legislation put forward in a special session, so effectively they are vetoing the will of the citizens at the ballot box on this particular issue. If it weren't for the fact that I'm so ticked off at the legislators pulling these tactics and the fact they wrote these exemptions explicitly to keep the public under their heels, I would call this stinking brilliant. Brilliant like a dictator, but none the less brilliant. The Supreme Soviet was never this good at ignoring public opinion.

    • by jlechem (613317)
      Sadly it's not the first time they've done this. Utah legislators get all uppity with any kind of citizen voted initiatives. Like we the people don't know how to govern ourselves. All of this because they don't want their text messages and emails to be public. If you don't want it to be public don't sext your wife during the legislative session.
    • by Beau6183 (899597)
      For those interested in supporting the referendum drive, see http://savegrama.org/ [savegrama.org]
      • If you're not a Utahn you probably shouldn't get involved as signing the petition or whatever will just create work for people who have to verify signatures.

    • There are no government official in either state or federal government that give a shit about public opinion. They are only there for themselves and their buddies in corporate America to get richer. Even if people are outraged, they will think up some way to divide the people and make them fight amongst themselves. Issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc. come to mind. None of these issues actually effect ANYONE beyond some moral outrage (which frankly people should keep morals to themselves). People need t
      • by stinerman (812158)

        You've got it just about right. They can pretty much ignore public opinion on anything other than the hot-button social issues.

        You don't like the new anti-transparency law? Well its me or the homosexual, socialist baby-killer. Guess who wins the election?

        • Meanwhile they get richer and richer on economic policies no one can understand because they are too busy worrying about who their neighbor is fucking, or who got pregnant, or who is cheating on who. Our society is a joke. I only want everyone to be more or less equal according to their works. A CEO that does blow all day and makes millions off of the misery of others should not be paid more than a laborer that works their body to the bone six days a week.
  • Off with their heads.

    -Hack

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