SALT LAKE CITY — As the Senate rushes to get everything done in the remaining two weeks of the legislature, things get heated and then Frozen.
On Thursday, Feb. 26, SJR02, which changes the Utah Constitution involving the rights of political parties and their processes brought a decent inner party debate, which is unusual on the floor. The question of debate was where do political party rights originate, and how does these rights provide for the need to change the Utah Constitution. Ultimately, several senators, who are known lawyers, began debating as to if the bill was constitutionally viable, creating some political heat in the Senate.
Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake, said during the meeting, “When I thought of becoming a senator, this is what I dreamed about, you know, it’s not consent calendar. It’s Jenkins and Bramble and they are there and they are going at it, and they are talking Constitutional issues, and we are listening. This must be what happens in the closed majority caucuses all the time that the rest of us missed out on!”
The gallery laughed at Dabakis’ joke and the body moved forward with the roll call vote. The bill did not pass in the senate today, but senators and the audience were invigorated by the hot debate and the humor of the senator.
The senate then cooled down while talking about a credit bill that was helped researched by an AP Government class from Bingham High School and Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan. The bill, originally proposed by Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, helps monitor the credit of minors. Unfortunately for minors, their credit line is often stolen and used, because the minors are not able to recognize that their credit has been stolen. SB54 allows parents to freeze the credit of a minor until further notice to prevent theft for free.
Upon discussion of an amendment, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, claimed, “I don’t oppose this amendment, but I would like to reserve the right to offer a second amendment before we go to a vote.” The amendment removed the word “frozen” and replaced it with the lyrics from Disney’s song “Let It Go.” Weiler then began to play the hit song over his microphone.
Weiler commented, “You know when Sen. Osmond submitted this to our Business and Labor Committee, he made a more thorough report and he said ‘frozen’ about eight times in a row with respect to minor’s credit. It just dawned on me that ‘let it go, let it go, let it go’ would be an appropriate amendment,” said Weiler as he withdrew his amendment.
Upon summation Osmond said, “I just want to point out to the AP Government students, that this is not a typical process on the Senate floor.”
Ultimately, it was a mild day at the senate with a hot start and a cool ending. However, things will continue to heat up these last two weeks at the legislature.