SALT LAKE CITY — A proposal to increase the sales tax on food passed through the Senate on Monday.
SB270, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, calls for an overall lowering of state sales tax, while making an increase on food tax.
The food tax was lowered three years ago when Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. was in office.
“Sales tax on food wouldn’t peak as high as on cars and furniture,” said Adams. “It takes wild swings. We need to put it back on food so that it will stabilize.”
Opponents to the bill contend raising the sales tax on food will hurt the poor. Most Democrats in the Senate voted against SB270.
The bill now moves to the House where it may be modified before it is considered.
Modified ‘feral cat’ bill passes House
SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, has taken a great deal of heat over HB210, better known as the “feral cat” bill. He even received some threats, and national comedians poked fun at his expense.
But he’s remained committed to having something in place for farmers and ranchers who need to control the feral animal population without concern over being charged with animal cruelty.
A “kinder, gentler” bill was finally passed by the House after it was amended to only apply in areas where hunting is not prohibited.
As the bill passed, Oda continued to take some razzing as several representatives meowed when casting their votes.
GRAMA law hits bump in committee
SALT LAKE CITY — A bill sponsored by Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, that would prevent the release of names and salary information for public employees who make less than $85,000 a year, has stalled in committee.
The Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee elected not to vote on SB309, choosing to move onto other matters.
Those in the media opposed the bill, charging it would weaken the open-records laws, stifling the ability to investigate nepotism and government hiring or overpaying of people who are not qualified for positions.
“If you are an elected official the public is entitled to know what you make,” said Stevenson. “But if you are a secretary, or you cut the lawn, the public doesn’t need to know your salary.”
SB224 would end
nonpartisan election for school board
SALT LAKE CITY — The Senate Education Committee advanced SB224 Monday, which would end the nonpartisan process for electing state school board members currently in place.
A committee appointed by the governor chooses at least three candidates for school board seats, then the governor chooses two of those nominees to be placed on the ballot.
Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, is sponsoring SB224 with the idea that making the elections partisan would provide a “better quality of candidates.”
The method of selecting school board members has come under fire in the past.