Letter: From keeping appropriation of funding from public view to displacing folks from their homes: What to make of the Legislature?

The Utah House of Representatives is shown during the final night of the Utah Legislature Friday, March 3, 2023, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Per the quite very discreet article on page 5 of the March 6 edition of The Trib, “Lt. guv’s security detail effectively defunded in lawmakers’ final budget.” The Utah Highway Patrol was funded in a heightened capacity in 2020 shortly after the election to protect our Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and her family due to a threat made on her life. In the 2023 legislative session, this funding has been greatly reduced. There was no indication given if the lieutenant governor now feels safe. The entire budget for this protection began at $600,000. It has now been reduced to $80,900.

Reading on further in this same article, $500,000 was appropriated to “build a fence and for other security upgrades at the governor’s private home in Fairview.”

Now, here’s the point of this letter. “Legislators tucked the money into a bill that was supposed to fund security upgrades at the Capitol. Legislators kept that appropriation from public view, never discussing the appropriation in the open.” And here they are, hiding things from the public! I wonder if anyone else finds this disturbing and deceiving?

The article winds up by detailing how the Legislature has now approved a $30 million upgrade to the governor’s mansion security system now in place that also involves purchasing two apartment buildings near the Capitol grounds. Hmmm, displacing folks from their homes? We need to wake up and pay attention to these findings.

On another note about funds: While spring is approaching and we will start to be attacked by many serious potholes, how about paying to have these repaired by collecting back fees on the many, many vehicles on the roads with expired registrations? I see these offenses on a daily basis. The other day, I noticed a vehicle on the road that had an expired registration from June of 2020.

Money management 101, anyone?

Diane Hernandez, Erda

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