Morning Buzz

* House Schedule: Day 31

* New Freshman Class video – Rep. Stephen Handy (R-Layton)

* Utah could become the first state in the nation to implement its own guest worker program under legislation that passed the House on Wednesday. But Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, said the bill offers the federal government the opportunity to work with the state to resolve an otherwise intractable problem.

“Our country is hungry for a solution. I see with the time and effort we’ve spent on this issue that we’re hungry for a solution,” Wright said. “If we don’t get something like this, we’re going to paralyze our community. We’re going to paralyze business in this state.”

* A measure to weaken the tenure system in higher education died Wednesday in the House Education Committee, where it encountered a bipartisan wall of resistance.

HB485 would have barred public colleges and universities from offering the promise of lifetime employment to incoming faculty, putting an end to an “archaic” system that has outlived its usefulness, according to sponsor Rep. Christopher Herrod, R-Provo.

* The House advanced a bill Wednesday that would prohibit school districts from paying teachers on leave from the classroom for union duties. HB183 would also require teachers or unions to reimburse districts for unpaid association leaves of more than 10 days. For the past two years, similar bills have failed to win passage, but the House voted 46-22 on Wednesday to move HB183 to the Senate.

* Rep. Brad Wilson writes an op-ed in the Davis County Clipper about the legislative process, the number of bills working their way through the legislature and the bills he finds most interesting.