2004 Utah Legislative Preview

2004 Utah Legislative Preview

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Richard Piatt reporting The matter of parental rights could dominate the Utah legislature this year.

The gavel will drop exactly a week from now.

But already, there is competition for the legislature's attention on the hill: At least 200 bills have been pre-filed for consideration.

Today Legislative leadership admitted parental rights issues will probably consume a lot of time this year.

This springs from the well-told case of Parker Jensen whose parents exerted their muscle over the state's demand to treat him for cancer.

There are larger issues that involve many more people, however. And lawmakers fully expect to address issues of further defining neglect, and when the state can step in.

Sen. Al mansell/Senate President: "That will be a very emotional issue for many. Because any time you're dealing with parental rights and children's rights, you're going to have a difficult time to balance those just perfectly."

But a lot of people are also keeping an eye on the budget. The Governor has proposed funding increases for Education: Will lawmakers agree? Education debate will also hone in on Tuiltion tax credits: Controversial on it's own. Expect to hear about abolishing the firing squad, and about tweaking the state's death penalty laws.

And there are a few gun bills filed already--most intended as safety measures that will be opposed as anti-gun.

That's just scratching the surface. The Good news is that state revenues are up, which could mean less budget cutting than last year, but there are still no promises being made.

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