Morning Buzz – The Super Awesome Bonus Edition: January 30-31, 2014

We’re super late, so here’s a bonus edition of the Buzz. Day 3 and 4 will now be in one post. Amazing!

First, January 30, Day 3 was a mixed bag of trees, water, and alcohol.

The Governor gave his State of the State address yesterday, live from the House Chamber. Among more traditional talking points, the Governor made a few mentions regarding aspen trees. Here’s why.

Here’s a quick recap from Rich Piatt and Lisa Riley Roche from KSL/Deseret News.

While we work through the state budget in appropriations subcommittees, water issues become the focus of the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Appropriation Subcommittee. They discussed the lower snowpack this season, and the possible effect on the wildfire season later in the year. In 2013, the cost to the state fighting wildfires rose above $6 million. The committee discussed possible prevention methods, which you can listen to here.

Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R – Ogden, spoke with Doug Fabrizio on Radio West yesterday about proposed amendments to alcohol. He’s expected to run a bill to remove the Zion Curtain statute, originally passed in 2009. In the interview, he discussed the lack of data supporting the effectiveness of the Zion Curtain, as well as his jump to involvement in the issue. His segments begins at 20:45.

January 31
– Day 4 again focused on budgeting and appropriations. Public Education reviewed the Utah State OFfice of Education’s budget, and Natural Resources received reports on the Public Lands Policy Coordination Office and the Office of Energy Development.

The Business and Economic Development AC also kept busy addressing a few legislative audits that came out over the past year. One legislative audit discovered some troubling information regarding both competition of government entities with private enterprise. Another found issues with job reporting numbers from Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR). Learn more here.

Reps in the News:

– We’re not sure if it’s the side effect of a sugar buzz from all the taffy, but Robert Gehrke has some article or something about an education intitiative. Might be worth a look.

– Rep. Lee Perry on proposed changes to DUI laws, from the Salt Lake Tribune.

– Rep. Gage Froerer has a bill designed to legalize oil from cannibas, which has been shown to help children who suffer from serious epilepsy. This bill should be viewable to the public over the next few days. More from the Trib.

During yesterday’s caucus meeting, we were briefed on the state’s appeal to the recent overturning of Utah’s Amendment 3. While it was closed, the Deseret News spoke to a few members of the House about it.

Today, we’re continuing with appropriations subcommittee hearings, including USTAR and GOED.

On the House floor, we’ll be pleased to hear from Sen. Hatch, who will be starting around 11:40 this morning. Tune in at le.utah.gov.

Finally, gif of the day(s)! Comment below to submit yours.

Everyone getting into bed this evening.