See also the AP Newswire article.
Recent news stories have shown example after example of failed systems that should be protecting underage, vulnerable children.
As a father, grandfather, and lawmaker, I have been keenly interested in Utah's child protection laws and have been actively reviewing those laws over the last several months.
According to Utah's Child Protective Services website, "Utah law requires any person who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse, neglect, or dependency to immediately notify the nearest office of Child and Family Services, a peace officer, or a law enforcement agency. Abuse, neglect, or dependency of a child can be physical, emotional, or sexual." https://dcfs.utah.gov/services/child-protective-services/
However, State statute 62A-4a-403 specifically reads:
“Subject to Subsection (4), the reporting requirement described in Subsection (1) does not apply to:
This exception concerns me. While I understand and deeply value the confession process, providing an exception for clergy when it comes to reporting abuse creates unnecessary ambiguity for both the clergy member and for the person who is confessing. Worse yet, it can delay intervention for innocent victims. There are too many heartbreaking stories of abuse in Utah and across the Nation of help that never came or came too late.
I believe lawmakers, regardless of religious or political affiliation, must revisit this critical state statute to provide much needed clarity in the law. Families and individuals devastated by physical, emotional, or sexual abuse should find safety and protection in the law, not loopholes.
In addition, we must review the procedures at our state agencies with whom a complaint is filed.
I have opened a bill file, removing the exception from the duty to report abuse. At this time, it is crucial that I hear from you on this important and sensitive issue. Please email your thoughts and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org://apnews.com/article/sacred-rivers-religion-arizona-child-abuse-utah-salt-lake-city-881a7eaf1b13fe29cf0b83679dfd2d6b
The ranching family Rod and Jodi Magnuson of Castle Dale Utah presented their experience with the advanced hydroponic fodder system they have installed on their spread.
This new fodder system creates 9000 lb. of freshly sprouted barley fodder per day, using only a garden hose as a water source. Featuring automated computer controls, LED lights, sprinklers and an advanced conveyor system, this installation is equivalent to 450 acres of alfalfa, but with a water savings of over 90%.
View the entire presentation here.
See the article on KSL from June 7, 2022 here.
Many of you have submitted your thoughts regarding my Op-Ed titled "Utah can work out a place for transgender athletes" which the Salt Lake Tribune published, then deleted within 3 hours on March 17th,
See more in the next section below.
I am posting many of your responses here on the page about transgender athletes. Names and cities have been removed for privacy.
Letter to the Editor - Salt Lake Tribune - February 22, 2022
"I respectfully ask the voters, citizens, and taxpayers of Utah the following questions:
1. Should the people of Utah allow powerful lobbyists to manage the election or reelection campaigns of politicians in Utah?
2. Is it reasonable to believe that a politician could hire a lobbying firm to manage his or her campaign, get elected in November, take office in January, and immediately be able to say no to their lobbyist campaign firm that would soon be lobbying them in the fast-approaching legislative session?
3. Does this practice create a conflict of interest? Who would the elected official be beholden to? We the people or the hired lobbyist who managed their election campaign? "
Click here to read the letter in full.
“A lobbyist may not serve as a campaign manager for, or affiliate with an entity that provides campaign management services or other campaign services to, a candidate who, if elected, the lobbyist may lobby.”
Read the Lobby Factsheet here
Letter to the Editor - Deseret News - February 8, 2022
"In certain places in Utah, outside a city’s limits or its “retail water service area,” certain residents rely on “contract water” for their culinary and fire suppression needs.
Unfortunately, many of the decades-old water contracts have not been updated and, in some cases, full-time residents are denied a “continuing (water) service.”
In other words, for months out of the year, full-time residents have no water delivery to their homes, including no water in their fire hydrants. To compound the problem, many of these residents live in high or extreme wildfire danger zones."
Click here to view the letter at Deseret.com.
We must finish the unresolved issues of water service outside of municipal boundaries from Constitutional Amendment D.
It ensures year-round culinary water and water for fire suppression to residents in towns and unincorporated county, wherever the municipality which owns the water rights does not deliver the water directly to the customers.
Read the Water Factsheet
Letter to the Editor - St. George News - February 22, 2022
"....What happens when the HOA board and management company violate the HOA governing documents, ignore state and federal statutes and are the ones out of compliance? What type of protection or recourse does a homeowner have?
It seems the answer is, not much. Unfortunately, homeowners quickly find themselves alone in uncharted territory. Instead of their home as a place of refuge, it becomes a place of conflict and confusion.
It appears in Utah, we have left our homeowners very vulnerable to rogue HOA boards and management companies. "
Click here to view the letter on the St. George News website.
My HOA initiative addresses many of the specific complaints I hear regarding HOA Boards and management companies. It also outlines a desperately needed path for dispute resolution without costly litigation via the States Property Rights Ombudsman.
Read the HOA Factsheet
Freedom of speech is an absolute for me. It is one of our first freedoms, enshrined in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
While I embrace the positive aspects and opportunities social media provides regarding free speech and political engagement, I am concerned about the dangers of social media and the possible distortion of free speech, as well as censorship by big tech companies, and the rapid spread of both ideas and misinformation on these platforms.
It is with this in mind that I am sponsoring a bill titled "Freedom of Speech and Honest Discourse on Social Media".
Read about it here.
A few weeks ago, the Salt Lake Tribune posted my Op-Ed encouraging thoughtful dialogue about this sensitive topic. The Trib deleted it after a mere 3 hours, claiming it was "transphobic".
I would like your opinion. You be the Judge. You Decide. The full Op-Ed and discussion is here.
"Utah can work out a place for transgender athletes. There are several organizations that provide a place for LGBTQ youth to participate."
"Many parents will be relieved and very pleased to learn of athletic organizations such as Queer Utah Aquatic Club (see Q Salt Lake), International Gay Lesbian Aquatics, the Gay Games and more that already accommodate transgender athletes (example: Barbara Nash) and sports enthusiasts.
"Local LGBTQ providers such as Encircle, the Utah Pride Center, Equality Utah, and others, whose outreach includes trans teens, ..... can expand their existing programs by putting in place sports teams, schedules, coaching, funding, and more to meet the critical sports-centered demands for trans teens."
"I am also confident that leaders and donors can meet the apparent demand and need for our LGBTQ youth, especially transgender, as we ensure participation in LGBTQ-sponsored sports programs that will support individuals throughout their life of acceptance, confidence, and health ..... while still protecting the identity of our young girls and women."
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