Morning Buzz

Happy Friday, Day 12 of the 2011 legislative session. Today miss Sen. Hatch on the House Floor at 11:00 AM.

* Bill Status as of February 3, 2011 8:00 PM

Total Requests Minus Abandoned Bills – 892

Total Numbered Bills – 404

Total Feral Cat Bills – 2

There is currently a muffin war happening on twitter between the House and Senate.

@sausagegrinder (Joe Pyrah) Us: “But this is the House.” Delivery Girl: “I know, I know. Just take them.” Us: “Fine by us.” http://yfrog.com/h3jorvmj #utpol

Response:

@utahsenate This will not stand. RT @sausagegrinder: Us: “This is the House.” Delivery Girl: “Just take them.” http://yfrog.com/h3jorvmj #utpol

* Gov. Gary Herbert visited an open House GOP caucus Thursday to talk budget.

* Rep. Dean Sanpei will be the House sponsor of Sen. Dan Liljenquist’s medicaid reform bill

Rep. Bill Wright unveiled his guest worker immigration bill Thursday and suggested his proposal might be the framework for a comprehensive piece of legislation that has so far been elusive in the legislative process. Wright, R-Holden, said employers should have the right to access and hire the most productive employees. “It’s about productivity. We as a people aren’t productive anymore, so we’re going to require employers to hire people who aren’t productive?” Wright said. “This isn’t a conservative principle.”

* Rep. Chris Herrod and Rep. Steve Sandstrom joined the Utah Coalition for Illegal Immigration to make a statement that they oppose all forms of amnesty to illegal immigrants and possible guest worker programs that are being discussed by lawmakers.

“I can support a guest worker program for individuals who have respected our laws and who enter the country legally,” said Representative Chris Herrod. “However, I cannot support guest worker bills that reward those who have violated our laws that discriminate against people who play by the rules and that allow disreputable employers to profit from illegal activities.”

* A bill proposed to tax the cost of food is back in legislature this session. Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, says that imposing a tax on food will reduce the cost of property taxes. Noel says the tax code is too complicated and property taxes are too high for retired seniors. He wants to reduce property taxes and raise the sales tax on food a little more than one percent.

* Utah: Hotels not forced to allow guns and explosives

* Rep. Steve Handy’s bill to allow 16 year-olds to donate blood in Utah passed the House.