Accountability and Transparency in Government
Transparency and accountability for government officials has been an issue since the divinely inspired creation of our nation's constitution. To better bring this transparency to light, in the General Session of 2008 Representative Daw sponsored and passed HB 29.
HB 29 Election Law: Financial Reporting brings a greater transparency in Government, including at the local level, leaving a greater accountability of our elected officials to the people they represent.
As our community continues to grow, the needs for proper transportation planning become increasingly important. To address the needs of our district Representative Daw helped in the moving forward needed reconstruction on I-15 in Utah County. He also serves as the Vice-Chair of the House Transportation Committee and has had great influence over the planning for how to best move forward to meet the community and state's transportation needs.
Those in attendance last night asked Brad to be certain that the sections of I-15 laid in Utah County are of high quality and durability. We expressed, vehemently, that we do not want to pay for the same stretch of freeway five times over because the job wasn't done right the first time. He agreed.
We also asked that there be efficient oversight of the contractors so that the debacle which occurred in Salt Lake City with their freeway redo does not happen in Utah County. He also agreed with that.
Of all the talk on how to deal with the issue of illegal immigration recently, only two pieces of legislation passed in the 2008 General Session; SB 81, loosely based on how Arizona is handling their illegal immigrants, which Representative Daw voted for, and HB 171 which Representative Daw sponsored.
HB 171 Driving Privilege Card Amendment restricts the use of the Drivers' privilege card to its original intentions. It clarifies the card may not be used as a form of identification for voting or any other government function. As well, it restricts its use as a form of identification acceptable for the purchase of alcohol, tobacco or firearms.
I'll admit, I have problems with HB 171, but Brad made an excellent point last night. He wrote this bill to protect Utahns from uninsured illegal aliens. He said that 75% of illegal aliens with Driving Privilege Cards have automobile insurance. This is a good thing, certainly.
But let me point out the obvious here! If we know that 75% of illegal aliens have Driving Privilege Cards and insurance . . . why are they still here?
Prescription Drug Addiction
This issue has become a plague of epidemic proportion in our community, with hundreds of deaths annually, other lives ruined, and the devastation of the families of those addicted to pain medication as a result. Representative Daw has taken the lead in combating this devastating erosion of our community. He sponsored and passed HB 137 and HB 119.
HB 137 Pain Medication Management and Education (passed in the 2007 General Session and received continued funding in the 2008 General Session) provided funding for the Health Department to implement a campaign to properly educate the population on prescription drug addiction and its dangers.
HB 119 Controlled Substance Database (passed in the 2008 General Session) provides Physicians, Pharmacies and Public Safety with a real-time database of the prescriptions for controlled substances, halting the ability of an addict or distributor to duplicate a prescription or receive multiple prescriptions of controlled substances unbeknown to the prescribing physician. This tool will help Utah to lead the nation in combating prescription drug addiction, and more importantly save lives.
I know this to be a viciously pervasive problem in Utah. We experienced it personally with a neighbor across the street (who no longer lives there). She was addicted to painkillers and would do anything, including break into your home or con you into picking up her "prescription," anything to get her hands on those painkillers. She was in and out of rehab and finally arrested when her prescription fraud was finally noticed. Brad's bills to combat this are a good thing.
Pornography is an insidious problem in our community. While pornography has been a problem for many years, the internet has made it far more widespread and allowed it to claim far more victims than it would have otherwise.
HCR 3 Resolution Urging Congress to Stop Internet Pornography to Children and Employees. This resolution affirmed the legislature's ongoing commitment to keeping pornography away from children and those who do not wish to see it. Since the passage of the resolution, Representative Daw has been working with government and civic leaders to find ways to accomplish this.
I questioned Brad on this thoroughly. He talked about a sweet wi-fi spot at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City. From that point, you can apparently access multiple wireless connection and cruise whatever sites you want. His point is to have everyone with a wireless network lock it down with a security key, given only to those who should have access, in order to prevent children from access pornographic sites.
Utah has a wonderful and dynamic higher education system that produces world class research and development in many areas. Bringing university research together with the business community is a great way to create good jobs right here in the state.
HB125 Centers of Excellence Amendments. This bill cleared the way to bring market savvy entrepreneurs together with university research and create new business opportunities in the state.
Brad has a watchful eye on our community and its economic growth.
Brad also talked about working with health care, vouchers and a few other things.
I have linked every single one of Brad's bills, so please read through them so that you are able to see what he has accomplished in office. I am emailing Brad and Linda Houskeeper, his opponent, a list of questions. I will ask for further information on health care and vouchers, as well as any other issues Brad feels are important. Brad has already committed to answer them and allowing me to put them on this blog. It is my hope Linda will do the same. I anticipate having those interviews in place some time next week.