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Legislators Address Education and Immigration Bills

Legislators Address Education and Immigration Bills

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Richard Piatt ReportingThere's action on two major issues as the Legislature winds down. One of them takes on the Bush administration; the other takes on illegal immigration.

Utah Lawmakers say they're taking action on the immigration issue because Congress won't. At the same time, they hate the Federal control 'No Child Left Behind' dictates to educators. And on that issue, Governor Huntsman has arranged a 'hold' to avoid a political firestorm with the White House.

It's about control: Whose education standards should Utah schools follow? Representatives Margaret Dayton and Kory Holdaway strongly feel ‘No Child Left Behind’ is touched with 'Federalism' and could make local school boards obsolete.

Rep. Kory Holdaway/(R) Taylorsville: “It’s the tail wagging the dog.”

Rep. Margaret Dayton/(R) Orem: "It's in conflict with itself in certain places, it's in conflict with the federal provisions. And the part I address in house bill 135 is its in conflict with our state priorities."

But there will be no vote on House bill 135 this session. Governor Huntsman has requested an April or May special session to give him time to negotiate details of the Act with the White House.

Rep. Margaret Dayton/(R) Orem: "There's no discussion to dilute it. There's only a discussion to delay the final vote."

A House vote did come on Senate Bill 227: A bill to create a driver's privilege card for undocumented immigrants--the card could not be used as ID. An addition now requires proof of citizenship to get a regular license. Now it's back to the Senate for final approval.

Robert Gallegos, Community Activist: "We're going to be subject to profiling in the stores, with the police. Wherever these people show their identification card, they are going to be labeled as second class citizen."

Curtis Bramble, (R) Provo: "There's a model very similar to this in Tennessee. It's been in effect for some time now. They've not had problems with profiling, they've not had problems with uninsured motorists. It's actually working rather well."

Other states are watching Utah on both issues. In fact, 33 states are also fighting parts of ‘No Child Left Behind’ and the Bush administration doesn't like that Utah is leading the way.

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