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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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Editorials: On legislature watch ...

Above: It has been suggested that this should be the Utah Legislature's Official Theme Song. "Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone!"

- On education: Legislature fails children - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

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This year’s Legislature was all about sending messages: to Washington D.C., to Democrats (including that smattering of hapless individuals in the two Utah chambers) and, most of all, to the far right wing of the Republican Party where most Utah legislators either make their home or aspire to be recognized. All that is to be expected in an election year.

But most disheartening were the messages sent by the bills, both those passed and those killed, concerning public education. We fear the message is twofold: 1. Conservative legislators intend to continue micromanaging education according to their ideology, and 2. Education is still not the funding priority that it ought to be. ...

Apparently, there's a lot of this going around:

- System fails to serve schools - Arizona Republic Editorial

... Arizona's system to pay for new schools and keep the old ones fit for our children to attend is not doing the job. ...

- A better way to fund school construction - Oregonian Editorial

... it's not cost-effective for local school districts to go it alone, one building or bond at a time, without more horsepower from the state to help plan, design, prioritize and pay for school projects. ...

Other legislative observations:

- Drug testing for welfare - Provo Daily Herald Editorial

... Instead of sitting on its hands for fear of offending someone or failing to solve every problem, the 2012 Legislature improved this one program. That seems a good thing. ...

- Law would make foreclosures more fair - Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial

... Yes, lenders have rights. We must respect those rights or no one will make loans. But taking a home, and displacing human beings, is serious business. It is reasonable that our law make foreclosure a process that is so precise as to almost defy suspicion. ...

- Lawmakers should have let Healthy Frontiers continue - Casper Star-Tribune Editorial

... Wyoming had the state program it needed but didn’t know what to do with, and now it’s gone. It’s a shameful, monumental waste.

- A veto pen run amok - Santa Fe New Mexican Editorial

... As has always been true, one woman's pork is another woman's necessary project. ...

- Bad bills driven by bids for high office - Denver Post Editorial

At least two bills introduced in the legislature in recent weeks strike us as being more about their Democratic sponsors' political ambitions than any pressing need on the part of the citizens of Colorado. ...

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