As predicted, the Utah legislature takes $101 million


The Utah legislature convened a special session today to talk about taking the $101 million in “Edu-jobs” federal dollars. There were impassioned speeches – Senator Madsen’s was my favorite – and there were amendments and a substitute bill. There even was an awful lot of sauntering on the Senate side which generally means they don’t have the votes. That added slightly to the non-drama of the day. But, in the end, the House passed the resolution put forward by Speaker-elect Lockhart and accepted the money with 14 no votes. The Senate passed it on a 22-6 vote.

The House Reps who voted no were Dougall, Herrod, Noel, Sumsion, Frank, Mathis, Oda, Wright, Francis Gibson, Morley, Painter, Harper, Newbold and Sandstrom. The Senators were Buttars, Madsen, Stowell, Dayton, Howard Stephenson and Urquhart. Details can be found on the state website.

Interestingly, when this bill was passed on a federal level, only one member of the Utah delegation voted FOR it. Any guesses who?


9 Responses to “As predicted, the Utah legislature takes $101 million”

  1. Matt Says:

    Anybody know where I can find the actual votes? I’d like to congratulate those that voted “No”.

  2. Aaron Says:

    Jimbo McMatheson?? šŸ™‚

  3. tom s. Says:

    Im disgusted by Lockhart and the rest of the crew who pushed this crapper through. Let us recognize and honor those who had the guts to vote NO!

    Holly, tell us who voted no…

  4. Myranda Says:

    All details can be found by searching the website — here is the specific page for HJR-201

  5. hollyonthehill Says:

    I updated the blog with the names, as requested, and including the link to the state website. And @Aaron – yep.

  6. Cherilyn Eagar Says:


    I’m going to use some strong words here because education is one of my areas of focus since 1990 when I ran for the school board in Dallas.

    The corruption described in this one incident is not isolated. It is one of the reasons I ran for public office.

    The argument that “if we don’t take the money, it will go to other states” (earmarks?) or in this case, “if we don’t take the money, then we will lose control of how it’s used” is hollow. It perpetuates the very problems about which we are all so concerned. It is precisely why the states have lost their sovereignty, states’ rights and balance with the federal government.

    As I see it, and also from my discussion with one of those 14 courageous NO votes, here’s Utah’s missed opportunity:

    The Republicans own the Utah legislature by a wide margin. Had they not allowed themselves to be so emasculated (I know, strong word) by the all-powerful federal government, they would have simply voted “no.”

    Then Utah would have had “cause” to file a lawsuit against the federal government to “stay” the federal funds before they began to be disbursed to local entities.

    Now we have nothing, and it was a huge missed opportunity. Yet, this federal action against the states is entirely unconstitutional. If it is not, then of what use are state legislatures? To rubber stamp what the federal government imposes? This is what their job description has become. These kinds of egregious federal actions were at one time in our founding history called “tyranny.”

    On the other end: Our Washington DC delegation, with one exception, did vote NO. Their next step is to work with our state Republican leadership on a strategy to turn this charade around and move it to the courts. They also have the power to do this if they would.

    In the end, only 14 votes out of 75 could be found and only two short weeks after an election, with a clear mandate to make dramatic changes and to restore constitutional governance. Please tell me this is not true. All but 14 representatives voted for a provision that is unconstitutional? Where were the rest of our “Republicans?” Where was the accountability?

    Nothing will change until we elect more courageous state (and federal) representives who actually have the “brass.” (…another strong word, but I could have used a stronger one. šŸ™‚ )

    Perhaps we need some conservative women to run for state office in 2012 who aren’t afraid of the ol’ boys club in D.C. that some progressive women belong to? šŸ™‚ I say call the fed’s bluff for a change and bring it on.

    Cherilyn Eagar

    P.S. BTW, this is nothing new … and it gets worse. In 2008 I debated Rep. Carol Spackman Moss on the radio challenging the state funding going to the International Baccalaureate program she sponsored. She knew next to nothing about the program except that her daugher is an IB teacher. It’s an expensive international curriculum with no studies to show its effectiveness against the AP curriculum.

    It is administered from Geneva, Switzerland. Even though the state legislature controls the funding, the program itself already circumvents the state school board. None of the costs are tracked, and if there is any legal challenge, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce is where you must go to arbitrate!

    As I said, the state legislature has been rendered impotent (yes I said it). When will we begin to put the pressure on those who still don’t get it? Or perhaps they do.

  7. Kris Kimball Says:

    I was in the House and was very surprised and saddened to see so many Republicans vote to take the money. The States are the last barrier to protect us against an out of control Federal Government and yesterday our State rolled over and had it’s belly scratched.

  8. JBT Says:

    One more time right wing political ideology is more important that educating Utah’s school children. What is wrong with you people?

    It is interesting that those legislators who voted against accepting the money are the same lot who have been instrumental in keeping Utah’s schools the lowest funded in the nation with the largest class sizes. But, hey what is more important —101 million dollars for Utah’s cash strapped schools facing an additional 50 million shortfall this year, or the chance strut around crowing about how awful it is that the federal government is forcing us to take our own tax dollars back to help keep teachers employed during a recession.

    It is a good bet that none of the previous posters have had the opportunity to work in one of Utah’s overcrowded classrooms with inadequate supplies for less pay than teachers in surrounding states.

  9. MW Burkett Says:

    Disappointing. Very disappointing. When will state legislators learn that they have got to stand on principle, that we can fund our own programs and that we are better for it! SHEESH!

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