The Utah State Legislator is now in session. Once again it is time for new laws and statute changes to make their way through that insane process we call the legislative session.
Now that I am not working in the human services field, I have lost touch with some of the inside information I used to get on the proposals that winded their way through the quagmire every year.
This year the surplus and how to spend it will be the hot button issue. After years of cutbacks and belt tightening of many programs, there will be many hands out vying for a piece of the pie.
More funding for education is always at the front of the line. I have some mixed feelings about some of the proposals, but face it folks we need to put our money where our offspring are. If we have them, we need to educate them.
Programs for the elderly and disability groups have taken some serious cuts and have been under funded for years. The federal government has pulled support from many of the needs that have blossomed as our population rapidly ages. Even though I may not need to take advantage of programs, our society is much richer for the safety nets we're providing for those who need help.
That safety net needs to extend to properly funding programs to assist the poor. Well spent dollars that allow individuals to weather bad time and help them to get on their feet will save society millions over time. Crafting and subsidizing agendas that move people into jobs that pay living wages will not foster a generation that is dependant, but will in fact lessen the need for aid in the long run.
In the end, it will be interesting to see where it all shakes out. Some class will probably do a school project to find out how the process works and we will end up with a state pie (cherry?) or something. It is a good way to learn about the process.
For the rest of you, go to the state web page and check out the legislative process. Find a bill that has importance to you and follow it as it makes its way (or not) through the session.
As a matter of fact e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a bill you think is important to our community and I will let people know how to get involved.