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Legislature wrestles with budget, immigration
by Rep. Becky Edwards
Feb 23, 2011 | 8309 views | 1 1 comments | 76 76 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rep. Becky Edwards District 20
Rep. Becky Edwards District 20
At the beginning of the session we began to address a $315 million hole in the budget called the “structural imbalance.” Over the first four weeks we put together a base budget with cuts across the board to address that problem. The understanding has always been that the base budget is a starting point, like pouring the foundation of a building before you can build the walls.

Since we introduced our base budget, the rumor mill has been buzzing with concerns over specific programs being cut. Balancing the budget and correcting the structural imbalance while funding quality education is a difficult process, but it’s a challenge we are happy to accept. It’s a challenge you elected us to handle. And we have: the entire House, serving on appropriations and executive appropriations committees, has spent countless hours reviewing, discussing, debating and preparing the public education budget.

The final budget will be different from the base budget and part of that is anticipated to be funding millions of dollars for new growth in education. Two weeks ago in our Republican caucus meeting, we released our top three priorities, which include a focus on accountability and excellence in education.

Utah has unique challenges with an exploding student population; this requires serious solutions on the part of the Legislature.

Excellence is about improving student performance and exploring the best possible ways to deliver quality education. Accountability means that the state, school districts and teachers must be responsible for ensuring the ongoing success of the students.

On the House floor, we discuss a wide variety of issues. This week we OK’d funding for body armor for dogs, agreed that refugees could take their first driver’s license test with the help of an interpreter and passed a resolution calling on our federal government to pass a balanced budget amendment.

We also began the official discussion of the first of many immigration bills. HB 70, Rep. Sandstrom, is primarily an enforcement bill. Let me first say that I have tremendous respect for Rep. Sandstrom and the way he has conducted himself during the past year while this issue has been debated. He has put in countless hours and been respectful to the process and those who oppose him.

During the past year I have gathered data from the legislative questionnaires returned from close to 700 people in our District, discussed the potential impacts with law enforcement and other affected entities, and studied the issue extensively. Interestingly enough the data from the people in our District indicate a strong desire to couple enforcement with some type of guest worker program, very few who are on the extremes and want either wholesale deportment or 100 percent welcoming arms to those here illegally. I tend to agree.

I found myself very frustrated last week during the discussion for HB 70. I am in strong support of a comprehensive bill that combines both enforcement and a worker permit program.

The more I’ve listened to the debate over the months and on the floor, I’ve become convinced the House body has no will to move the direction I’m hoping for. While there have been amendments that have addressed some of my concerns with HB 70, making a bill better does not make it good.

However, we are at an impasse in the House. I have lost confidence in our ability to continue to craft and shape this bill. The House is absolutely intractable on a combination type bill. We must get this bill out of the House for further work to take place. My vote last week was a hope that the Senate will craft a comprehensive, or significantly amended/ substituted, bill and send it back to the House for a concurrence vote.

I have confidence that the Senate has the capacity and political will to craft such legislation. This issue, and even this bill, is not over. There are several other bills addressing drivers privilege cards, in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants, use and enforcement of eVerify for small businesses, and others.

These can and will be debated individually on their own merits and will become part of the big immigration picture at the end of the session. Many of those ideas have my support. However, it is critical that immigration be dealt with in a comprehensive manner addressing the economy, an imperative federal solution, realities for law enforcement and cities/counties, and is in harmony with the principles of the Utah Compact,which I strongly support.

I’d love to hear from you, my constituents, on this issue. The time is now to weigh in on the specifics. Please take a look at the latest amended version of HB 70 and share your recommendations with me. Here is the link: bills/hbillamd/hb0070.htm.
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February 23, 2011

Those States that are still catering to the illegal alien invasion will not get any sympathy from the majority of Americans. By now all States have seen the developing costs associated with people stealing across our national border and entering into this country under the pretext of being a tourist or student. Every year from every corner of the world, thousands come to the US, to have their children fully aware that this child will have dual citizenship and can take financial advantage of the 14th Amendment provisions. Many States-- like the illegal alien popular State of California and now Nevada is bearing towards disaster with their unregulated use of tax dollars to pay for the education for their offspring, and the need for the uninsured--medical care. Arizona was so close the border fence that it accumulated hundreds of thousands of uninvited guests, lowering job opportunities for less educated citizens and yet hardly aiding the tax base.

Every State now has the opportunity to mandate E-Verify, Local police action law 287(g) and Secure Communities operations nationwide or become that money magnet for illegal nationals. Have the leadership in Washington; other than the Tea Party politicians, forget that there are over 10 million legitimate workers around praying for a job? In many instances any job, but they are still combating business owners who are concealing those foreign nationals in their employ. Since the joke of the 1986 amnesty the leadership both Liberals-Democrats and Republicans have colluded to put not to emphasis on sealing the border, as both parties had agendas. Businesses filled lawmaker’s campaign chests to flaunt the US labor force, while the opposite party has added large numbers of illegal hires into the unions, which were losing members dues. It's scary to think that 8 million plus illegal workers have not been purged from the job market? But then when certain politicians have the ear of the Liberal progressives, big business and the wide-open floodgate border fanatics, we cannot expect anything else but corruption.

Documentation from the GAO (General Accounting Office) has disclosed finally, that for every one dollar spent by illegal nationals; they get a return of between three and four dollars. But this problem is beyond credibility as the taxpayer’s bill, keeps on mounting rapidly. All politicians had better care that's happening here, because American people have finally begun to wake and learning why their taxes keep rising. As the Federal management has failed to pay attention, so the States are trying to defend their own inhabitants from illegal labor occupation. A reasonable question to ask all the leadership in Washington and all State lawmakers is where are thousands of illegal immigrants whose lives were disrupted by Arizona's policing provisions--flew to places unknown? My guess is they didn't go far?

As more State legislators are fighting for their own survival and they enact tough illegal alien restraining enforcement the likely destination is California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, perhaps Utah and anywhere further afield that panders to the large ethnic blocs and illegal immigrant and migrant families. One only can imagine the chaos as hundreds of thousands of these people end up in welfare lines, hospital waiting rooms and adding to even higher expenditures to join the millions already there. Countless thousands will join the already clogged neighborhoods in the social service State of California, others will go elsewhere. California is already burdened with a 24 billion dollar deficit meltdown, Nevada will be looking for another $3.billion to cover its debt as Carson City is investigating another tax hike. An estimated $113 billion dollars goes to support illegal aliens yearly and these dollars are also climbing throughout America. Many States that includes Indiana, Utah are still meandering around any no tolerance laws, which will also attract multitudes of illegal aliens looking for jobs and yet another welfare office.

Now is the time to shield this nation from foreign invaders, from drug dealers, criminals and those who come and expect citizens and legally authorized residents to keep paying for the rest of the world’s poor. This is why the Tea Party was organized on a grand scale and that's why hundreds of pro-sovereignty groups are recruiting people who have just had enough of the games played by our politicians. One amnesty was enough that turned into a travesty and burned every taxpaying American. ICE should go into every Sanctuary City in force and arrest every Mayor, Elected officer who has engineered these provisions. NumbersUSA has a million regular citizens who want to prevent further exploitation of this nation by foreign countries, to elevate their pressure valve of growing impoverished, wanting populations.

Considering this Administration didn't carry on the construction of the 2006 Secure Fence Act as designed, it's no wonder the fence was mismanaged. It is supposed to be a two layer fence, electrified and topped with concertina razor wire. The border fence has not even been half completed?

Donald Trump for President? He would stop the unfair trade practices of Communist China's commerce and the billions of dollars owed that country in cheap inferior goods.

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