Friday, February 12, 2016

2015 HB 220

2015 HB 220. The bill is bad policy. However the video from Peter Coroon included no real reasons and is a waste of time. (Which is why I am not bothering to link it) I am not questioning the sponsor's motives. I believe he is trying to fix something that doesn't make sense to him.
 
The truth is the Legislative staff are paid to be non partisan. Mike Christensen, John Fellows, Jonathan Ball, and John Schaff along with many others, include our drafting attorneys and house clerk, etc. If one of these were to step down, it is the Legislative Management Committee, made up of 16 members, 4 members from each party from each house, and 3 subcommittees that take care of selecting replacements or removing them. The staff do work for the legislature and not the republicans or the democrats. Yes, the selections are voted on by the entire legislature, but staff being non partisan is key and very important. Are there perceived issues with some audit requests, yes, but is that out of funding or some other reason? Certainly there are other ways to fix that if it needs fixing.

While we give some specified power for the LMC to act as an executive legislature in some cases like approving UDOT settlement deals under a certain amount, it is the non partisan staff that are at risk with this bill, and if you don't believe me, ask them. They certainly will not jump into this on their own.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Utah House of Representatives Week Two Update

Week Two
Bills that I am running for 2016

http://le.utah.gov/asp/billsintro/RepResults.asp?Listbox3=COXFC


My Bills on the move

HB0011 Referendum Amendments - Passed Interim Committee. Passed House Gov. Ops and is circled (paused) on the House 3rd Reading Calendar. Bill was substituted, failed on the floor and then brought back and substituted. Sponsor: Sen. Luz Escamilla

HB0069 Qualified Political Party Amendments - Passed House Gov. Ops, 3rd Reading Calendar  Senate Sponsor. Sen. Scott Jenkins

HB0152 S01 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications - Passed House Rev. 3rd Reading Calendar Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard

HB0080 Vehicle Impound Amendments Passed House Transportation. 3rd Reading Calendar
Senate Sponsor. not announced


HB0101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments - in House Education Committee. Held to be amended. Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard


HB0065 Exemption from Daylight Saving Time - Left rules to go to to House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee


My Bills still in House Rules
HB0108 Licensing Amendments
HB0109 Construction Trades Education Amendments
HB0121 Building Code Amendments
HB0125 Fire Code Amendments

HB0256 Net Metering of Electricity Amendments

HB0261 Wood Burning Stoves Amendments  
HB0269 Recycling of Copper Wire


My Other Bills
Specie Legal Tender Amendments - drafted, waiting to be numbered

Air Quality Modifications - on Hold, pending status of other bill
Interior Design Certification Amendments - on Hold, pending status of other bill
Prison Study for Draper - Abandoned

Quick explanation of bills on the move

HB0011 Referendum Amendments
allows those running a referendum to wait and see if the Governor is going to sign or veto the bill.

HB0069 Qualified Political Party Amendments
clarifies the requirements of alternate delegates for political parties to avoid twice the number of delegates coming to the convention or a candidate not knowing which delegates are going to convention.

 HB0152 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications
allows the State School Board to pay out to the districts the remaining $25 Million of the $75 Million collected from property taxes to help equalize school funding. $25 Million is an expensive table decoration. The money should either go where it was promised or go back to the taxpayers. (Disclaimer, I voted against the $75 Million property tax increase)


HB0080 Vehicle Impound Amendments
puts the "may" vs "shall" back into impounding cars that do not show up in the insurance data base.

HB0065 Exemption from Daylight Saving Time
opts out of Daylight Savings Time. In 2017, Utah would stay on Mountain Standard Time, (like Arizona)

 HB0101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments
allows a judge to review and decide a guardianship case without a parent or parents hiring an attorney for their disabled adult, in some instances.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 HB 121 Building Code Amendments and HB 125 Fire Code Amendments

As an architect, I have dealt with grassroots national standards and have done so for 35 years, including before I was an architect. There are 350 ICC (International Code Council) chapters around the country and also in other countries. Members include building officials, contractors, architects, engineers, and others. The ICC is truly grassroots. Using experiences, good and bad around the country, they produce our model building codes, including mechanical codes, etc.

Utah also has a Utah Uniform Building Code Commission that proposes amendments to the model codes for Utah. Each year they bring amendments to the building and fire codes that make sense for Utah. They don't always agree, but bring to the legislature their best compromise.  The amended model codes are adopted every 3 years and for those years the number of amendments increases. 2016 is a critical year, as most codes change this year, especially since the legislature failed to adopt the amended 2014 electrical code in 2015. 

2016 HB0121 Building Code Amendments
2016 HB0125 Fire Code Amendments
are their recommendations along with the Utah Fire Prevention Board.

It is my proposal again this year that their recommendations be treated like a base budget bill and passed. Any other proposed amendments be treated like a supplemental budget bill, where those changes can be fought over separately.

Prior to 2010, the board adopted the codes though DOPL. Since then, the legislature has adopted the changes as bills. Part of their recommendations were not adopted in 2011 and 2012. In 2015, their entire recommendations didn't pass because of time. This was not because they didn't submit their recommendations in October or November prior to the session, but because we were still trying to change not only their recommendations but the code adoption cycle, something they don't agree with.

Many of these groups reluctantly agreed last year, as they felt they were over a barrel. This year, almost all of those groups are not supporting the code adoption cycle change or any bill that didn't go through their very public and detailed process.

2016 HB 121 and HB 125 are supported by building officials, counties, cities, architects, engineers, clean air and energy groups, school boards, and the Association of Special Districts.

The clean are groups are supporting these bills because buildings are a very large source of energy use and pollution in the state. While those groups didn't get everything they wanted in the submitted compromise, they are supportive of it and believe it will make a big difference. There is a separate bill dealing with improving the clean air of water heaters. It is worth having a separate supplemental policy discussion about.

The Governor appointed members include: See below and http://www.dopl.utah.gov/programs/ubc/ 

Uniform Building Code Commission
Patrick J. Tomasino, Facilities Construction & Management,
Casey T. Vorwaller, Fire Official
Alex Butwinski, Utah League of Cities and Towns / Utah Assoc. of Counties Rep.
Justin D. Naser, Professional Engineer
Ron McArthur, General Contractor
Kevin Emerson, Public Member
Vacant, Plumbing Contractor
Bryant F Pankratz, Public Member
Richard E. Butz, Building Official
Christopher D. Jensen, Architect
Chris Joyal, Electrical Contractor

UBCC also has subcommittees which include:

UBCC Architectural Advisory Committee
Gary R. Payne, Building Official
Vacant, Residential/Small Commercial Contractor
Scott Marsell, Building Official
Jerry L Jensen, Architect
David W. Triplett, Architect
Kenney P. Nichols, Architect
James Sullivan, Residentail/Small Commercial Contractor

UBCC Mechanical Advisory Committee
Tyler G. Lewis, Utility Company
Roger L. Hamlet, Mechanical Engineer
David A. Wilson, Utah Energy Office
Trent Hunt, Mechanical Engineer
Brent C. Ursenbach, Building Inspector
Dennis L. Thatcher, Building Official
Davud Halverson, Mechanical Contractor

UBCC Electrical Advisory Committee
Rhett Butler, Commercial Electrical Contractor
John S Brunt, Architect
Jason C Van Ausdal, Residential Electrical Bldg Inspector
Joseph Wayne Taft, Professional Engineer - Electrical
Steve Woodman, Licensed Electrician - Instruction
Christopher M. Jensen, Licensed Commercial Electrical Building
David E. Winger, Residential Electrical Contractor
Chris Joyal UBC Commission Liaison

UBCC Plumbing Advisory Committee

Robert C. Patterson, Plumber
Nelson Hooton, Building Inspector
Linda G. Ebert, City / County / State Agency
Jeffrey H. Park, Plumber
Nathan Lunstad, Dept of Environmental Quality
Andrea Gamble, City / County Health Dept.
Jody L. Hilton, Building Inspector
Vacant, Professional Engineer
Vacant, Professional Engineer

UBCC Structural Advisory Committee
Mark Urry, Building Official
Jerry B. Thompson, Building Inspector
Michael D. Buehner, Professional Engineer
Vacant, Home Builders Assn
Jerel Newman, Professional Engineer
Peter W. McDonough, Professional Engineer
Jeremy L. Achter, Professional Engineer

UBCC Fire Protection Advisory Committee/Unified Code Analysis Council
Jeffrey Darr, Contractor - Fire Suppression
Casey T. Vorwaller, Uniformed Building Code Commission Liaison
Paul E. Bauer, Building Inspector
James M. Williams, Architect
Thomas W. Peters, Building Inspector
Vacant, Contractor-Fire Suppression

UBCC Education Advisory Committee
John A. Chase, Electrical Building Inspector
Craig C. Browne, General Bldg. Insp.
Patrick J. Tomsino, Mech. Bldg. Insp.
Kathy LeMay, Plumbing Bldg. Insp.
Jim Thomas, Electrical Contractor
Jennifer A. Saunders, Educator
Rob Allen, Mech/Plumbing Contractor
Kevin C. Phillips, Architect or Prof. Engineer
Shane Honey, Factory Housing
Richard E. Butz, UBC Commission Liaison


The Utah Fire Protection Board
is appointed by the Governor and currently includes members from the following groups:
  • Building official
  • Citizen appointed at large
  • City or county official
  • Fire Marshal’s Association of Utah
  • Licensed architect
  • Licensed engineer
  • Member of the State Firemen’s Association
  • State Fire Chief’s Association
  • State Forester
  • State Labor Commissioner

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Utah House of Representatives Week One Update

Week One
Bills that I am running for 2016

http://le.utah.gov/asp/billsintro/RepResults.asp?Listbox3=COXFC


My Bills on the move

HB0011 Referendum Amendments - Passed Interim Committee. Passed House Gov. Ops and is circled (paused) on the House 3rd Reading Calendar. Will likely be voted on Monday, Feb. 1. Senate Sponsor: Sen. Luz Escamilla

HB0069 Qualified Political Party Amendments - Passed House Gov. Ops and is to be read on to the 3rd Reading Calendar on Monday Feb. 1.  Senate Sponsor. not confirmed

HB0152 S01 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications - Passed House Rev. and Tax and is to be read on to the 3rd Reading Calendar on Monday Feb. 1.  Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard

 HB0101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments - Left Rules and was sent to House Education Committee. Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard

My Bills still in House Rules

HB0065 Exemption from Daylight Saving Time
HB0080 Vehicle Impound Amendments
HB0108 Licensing Amendments
HB0109 Construction Trades Education Amendments
HB0121 Building Code Amendments
HB0125 Fire Code Amendments

My Other Bills
Net Metering of Electricity Amendments - Drafted, waiting to be numbered
Recycling of Copper Wire In Process - Being Drafted
Specie Legal Tender Amendments - Being Drafted
Wood Burning Stoves Amendments - Being Drafted

Air Quality Modifications - on Hold, pending status of other bill
Interior Design Certification Amendments - on Hold, pending status of other bill
Prison Study for Draper - Abandoned

Quick explanation of bills on the move

HB0011 Referendum Amendments
allows those running a referendum to wait and see if the Governor is going to sign or veto the bill.

HB0069 Qualified Political Party Amendments
clarifies the requirements of alternate delegates for political parties to avoid twice the number of delegates coming to the convention or a candidate not knowing which delegates are going to convention.

 HB0152 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications
allows the State School Board to pay out to the districts the remaining $25 Million of the $75 Million collected from property taxes to help equalize school funding. $25 Million is an expensive table decoration. The money should either go where it was promised or go back to the taxpayers. (Disclaimer, I voted against the $75 Million property tax increase)

HB0101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments
allows a judge to review and decide a guardianship case without a parent or parents hiring an attorney for their disabled adult, in some instances.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Is the Signature Party Nominee Route Fair

A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune asks some questions about the new election law.

http://www.sltrib.com/home/3369406-155/some-utah-republicans-face-huge-hurdles?fullpage=1

 I don't mind talking to thousands of people at their door, but if it is going to take too many hours for one person to do that in the few weeks that are available to get the signatures, and that time is primarily during the legislative session, I would rather a legislator spend the time reading bills that they would be voting on and having town hall meetings than doing the signature route.


A federal judge has ruled that a portion of the law that passed in 2014, SB 54 Elections Amendments, is not constitutional for two political parties, the Utah Republican and the Utah Constitution parties. This part of the law requires the political parties allow voters who were not members of their party to select their party’s nominee. Because of that ruling, candidates of the Utah Constitution Party cannot use the optional signature route to get on the party primary ballot. (They don’t have enough members). They are OK with the ruling because they didn’t want the State telling their Party how to select its nominees.

Voters can only sign one candidate petition per race but might be able to sign a form to remove their signature, if they act fast enough, and sign someone else’s petition.

In some areas of the State, there are not enough registered Republican Party voters to make the signature party nominee route fair. Candidates using the signature route likely will have to register to do so prior to the legislative session and then all candidates will register after the legislative session. If someone decides to run for Party Nominee after the legislative session, there is almost no time to gather signatures.

The Utah Republican Party, who wasn’t part of the “compromise” is still contesting the law in court. A special legislative session to fix the law based on the court ruling was not called by the Governor
 
I have personally fought the signature party nominee route because I believe it favors the incumbents, the rich and the famous. While I am now an incumbent and plan on running for re-election after the legislative session though the neighborhood caucus and convention system, I am not also using the signature route because I do not believe that route is fair.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

For the 2016 General Legislative Session

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I really appreciate representing the great people of this area of West Valley City. As your State Representative, I have worked hard to read the bills, speak up, and also vote on the bills, taking into account different viewpoints. This year I was again able to have several bills pass the legislature and be signed by the governor. Many of the bills I sponsored were at your request.

For 2015, I was given a 100% rating from the Utah Taxpayers Association for voting against tax increases and looking out for the taxpayers. I also received a Salt Lake Chamber 2015 Business Champion award for working to help Utah businesses grow. I worked hard this last year to make sure the legislature didn’t ignore the idea of replacing the prison in Draper, which I believe would have saved over $100 Million. I have over a dozen bills I am working on for 2016. Be involved. Public officials can't know what you are thinking if you don't tell them. The best way to contact me is to write via email, or come to one of my Town Hall Meetings.


Sincerely, Rep. Fred C. Cox
fredcox@le.utah.gov



Come meet Representative Fred Cox and ask questions at any of the following Town Hall Meetings:  All at the Hunter Library Meeting Room, 4740 West 4100 South
Thu., January 21, 2016, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Sat., January 23, 2016, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Sat., January 30, 2016, Noon-1:30 p.m.
Sat., February 20, 2016, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

My January 2016 survey is at:
http://www.fredcox4utah.com/Survey2016.pdf

Monday, November 30, 2015

Elections and March 22

This has two responses I sent out Nov. 23, 2015 re: the questions about elections for 2016:
_____________

When you stick a knife into a well crafted sweater, it starts to unravel. (Whether or not you liked the sweater, isn't the point).

There are several other issues.

See Robert Gerhke for a few of them.
http://www.sltrib.com/home/3219561-155/herbert-wishes-he-wouldve-vetoed-sb54


In my opinion, several decisions the Lt. Gov. has issued this week based on the advice of the AG (office) are in direct conflict with the judge's judgement, and statements from the AG in court.


Below is based on my understanding.


First,  IF a QPP must allow all 3 options (Caucus/Convention, Signature, or both) that doesn't match Fact 14 from the judgement based on #12 from the state AG.

Second, It also doesn't match the ruling that the constitution party can be a QPP as they can't do the signatures as the law currently reads with the judgment and the signature route was only declared constitutional if the unaffiliated were not allowed per the judgement if they didn't want them.

Third, based on the ruling, it is the opinion of the Lt. Gov. that the Democratic party can't have the unaffiliated as part of a primary. That violates the idea that the party gets to choose.

[The judge came back and said the ruling only effected the GOP and Constitution Parties. That raises another question. ]


Fourth, the judge made it clear that the GOP could determine membership and based on the judges judgement and list of facts, the GOP can be a QPP.

Fifth, as stated above, the QPP signature gathering numbers restrict signature gathering by some parties in some or all areas/races.

It is true that James Evans said this last week that the party wouldn't have any issue if someone gathered signatures for grassroots or other reasons, they just couldn't get on the ballot with them, they had to follow the convention threshold requirements to get on the ballot. We already have a congressional member/candidate that has announced he isn't doing signatures and he isn't alone.

If the QPP sweater has unraveled enough that only a RPP is allowed, there are other constitutional issues that were not covered before because a party had a choice between and QPP and RPP.  At least one of those items left a former Utah Supreme Court justice to say during the race to replace the former AG that it raised a strong constitution concern based on the US Constitution. Many of the flaws of the RPP/CMV option were fixed with 2015 SB 207 this year, but not all.

The bill I had drafted for 2015 that ran in both the house and senate and went to standing committees and passed a senate committee delaying implementation of a signature requirement for a QPP until 2018 wasn't "ripe" yet. It didn't pass last session. Perhaps it is time now.

Fred

PS, this is what I sent to my school district contact and the state school district contact. I thought you should know. it deals with March 22.

__________________

Count My Vote's (CMV's) biggest complaint at their press conference was the doctor or police or firefighter or parent with sick kids not being able to come to their neighborhood caucus night. The SCC passed the same day ballot system to help with that. 



While the Utah GOP meetings had well in excess of 115,000 attendees in 2012, it is likely that the attendance in 2016  will exceed that. It should. So should the Democratic party attendees which is likely to also exceed tens of thousands.

The fact is that our POTUS is nominated by national delegates elected by state delegates as it was in 2008, 2012 and will be in 2016. CMV did do nothing to change that, and the 2014 SB 54 as fixed by 2015 SB 207 did not effect the US President races re: the delegate system.



In Utah, the first round of voting, the delegates votes are bound, the other rounds they are not. In the past the first round vote was decided by the June Primary. It is too late for the parties this year and so the decision was made by the parties to decide their nominee in March at or around their neighborhood caucus meeting. The GOP typically has a winner take all system for their delegates. Not so this year if the top votegetter doesn't get a majority. The GOP will have some online POTUS preference voting available, but the precinct leaders and delegates will be chosen that night.



It is my opinion, any school concert, sports event or fencing class on March 22 2016 is a disservice to the citizens of this state, nation and world, as that will be where we really decide who our POTUS will be.



Not only will the state delegates that pick the national delegates be voted on, but the POTUS nominee preference vote will be that night as well. There will likely be a push from POTUS candidates to get their base to the neighborhood caucus night on March 22nd. 

On Saturday, at the GOP State central committee the two districts that were mentioned to complain to the Governor about was [...]. It has been known since last March 2015 that the POTUS nomination would not be decided in June but in March. The 22nd. (some online voting for the POTUS nomination will occur)

In the case of Salt Lake County GOP, the Vice Chair of the party also provided the specific request for the schools on March 22 within the first week of school this year. As far as I know, none of the High Schools came back as available.  That is rubbish. There shouldn't be anything else happening that night. I worked hard to get both of the major parties on the same day.

I will bring this up on Dec. 7th at the state school district meeting. It is my hope that this is solved this week and we don't have to wait until then.

We still are getting some districts around the state that are reportedly taking advantage of the parties, according to state law, re: the cost and availability of getting the schools for the neighborhood caucus night.

Several legislators have been contacted to open bill files to amend the law to be more clear. The Governor is on board to talk to the state school board. Depending on what the districts do the next couple of weeks, that may not be required.

Since much of the budget for the 2016 session will be decided by Dec. 16 of this year, if the schools want part of the $3 Million of savings we have for not having a special US presidential election, to help with the funding of the neighborhood caucus night, they would have to show they were actually helping instead of hurting. The schools promote that they are community centers. They should act like it.

Fred C. Cox
House 30
West Valley City, UT 84120