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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Editorialistas on legislative watch ...

Above: Maybe it would help if they all sang.

- Autism care: Legislators dance with mandate - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

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Oh, the hypocrisy.

Members of Utah’s Republican-dominated Legislature are in a race to bash, subvert, attack in court or get out from under the federal Affordable Care Act, known pejoratively as Obamacare. Yet in an attempt to create health insurance coverage for autism treatment for children — certainly a worthy cause — Rep. Ronda Menlove is championing a bill that would employ some of the same strategies as the president’s signature health care reform.

Menlove’s SB272 would create a pilot program within the state insurance plan for public employees. It would mandate that the plan cover treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome. That would include rehabilitation, early intensive behavior therapy, drugs and psychiatric, psychological and behavioral treatment, occupational and speech therapy and medical treatment.

Plan administrators would set minimum standards of coverage and limits on duration, amounts, deductibles and coinsurance similar or identical to coverage for other illnesses. ...

... Rather like the Affordable Care Act.

- Fund Utah's BRAC investment - Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

Gov. Gary Herbert has lent his support to the Legislature providing $500,000 to the Utah Defense Alliance. We need these ready funds available for supporters of Hill Air Force Base to promote its defense capabilities while the federal Base Realignment and Closure organization prepares for more defense cuts. Spending $500,000 is "peanuts" compared to what Utah could lose if BRAC reduces Hill's role in our nation's defense. ...

- What to do with I-15 windfall - Provo Daily Herald Editorial

There's light at the end of the Interstate 15 rebuild tunnel, and it's not an oncoming train. It is the glint of cash. ...

And, lest you worry that only Utah's solons are in need of constant watching ...

- Measure itself is excessive - Arizona Republic Editorial

A bill to cut government red tape is actually designed to blow up virtually all state and local regulations. Everything from barking-dog ordinances to business licenses would be classified as "excessive regulation" under House Bill 2815. ...

- Session over. Now what? - Santa Fe New Mexican Editorial

Another legislative session, another train wreck at the end, nearly killing such essential items as construction bonds for higher education and libraries. ...

- Location of schools is up to local boards, not state - Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune Editorial

The state of Wyoming has never stepped in and told a local school board that it must build a new school at a different location than its members selected.

Until now. ...

- Internet Sales Tax: Let's Get Our Fair Share! - Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News Editorial

Twenty-four states currently participate in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. Idaho is not among them. ...

- Washington lawmakers must not borrow against future revenues to pay today's bills - Seattle Times Editorial

- Political disclosure deserves second act - San Jose Mercury News Editorial

It's outrageous that state legislators failed last month -- by only two votes -- to pass a bill that would have required political action committees to come clean on who pays for their ads in California. ...

- Take education off the menu - Oregonian Editorial

... It's tough all over for public agencies, and all the budget-cutting proposals in the legislative package and the governor's response would inflict more pain. But schools and schoolkids have taken enough. ...

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