Our Official Utah Voter Guide5 min read

Our Official Utah Voter Guide5 min read

It is election season! Ballots are in the mail, meaning it is time we, as citizens of a free nation, make our educated voices heard at the ballot box!

But what if we haven’t read through these citizens initiatives? They can be quite lengthy and tedious to read (which is why we elect representatives to read and write legislation for us), so how do we make an informed decision? How can we tell what was written by special interest groups and corrupt corporations?

Well, as long as we have citizens initiatives, we all have to be informed. Then again, if you’re not sure, you could just vote “no” anyway. Frankly, it’s the safer choice if you are unsure what the bill means. You could also read the proposition’s name, and then assume it means the opposite of what it claims….

Prop 1: The 33% Gas Tax

The poorly named, “Our Schools Now” tax claims to be a tax to raise funds for schools. 

It is not.

Prop 1 is a gas tax increase, and according to the Utah Constitution, the State cannot tax citizens for one thing, then use it for another. 

Rather than just saying, “We are going to raise your taxes,” they do so under the guise of “Think of the children!” 

You will hear that a lot this year, by the way.

Video courtesy of Phill Wright

The way this bill claims to work is as follows: 

  1. Raise the price of every gallon of gas for everyone in Utah.
  2. Use that money to fix the roads and build new ones. That’s all a gas tax can legally be used for.
  3. If there is anything left over, then it can go into a general fund. They promise us that there will be a surplus. Cross their hearts, hope to die. They are super serious about this, and we can trust the government not to waste funds.
  4. If the general fund is not over budget, then the surplus from the gas tax can go to education. They promise us that there will be a surplus. Cross their hearts, hope to die. Again, super serious about keeping this promise. The funds will get to the teachers and students…. eventually.

Prop 2: The Marijuana Bill

This proposition has been the most divisive to Utahns in the Republican Party. Nothing said or written at this point will convince most people one way or the other, however, the primary reason Delegate Digest opposes this proposition is this:

Prop 2 is not small government friendly. It specifically does not allow local governments the ability to determine where marijuana can be grown and sold, meaning it can be grown and sold in the middle of any neighborhood, near any school, or near any park. 

Specifically: It can be grown in any home if there is no dispensary within 100 miles (and there will be none within 100 miles at first, meaning anyone can grow if they start right away); and it can be dispensed in any commercial or industrial zone, regardless of its proximity to areas that citizens would rightly oppose.

Video courtesy of The Libertas Institute

If Republicans support any form of government, we ought to support small government. The closer citizens are to the government, the more easily we find consensus among our community. Of equal importance, the closer government is to the people, the easier we can act as watchdogs to protect our families, our communities, and our rights.

There are many other issues with this bill, most (if not all) of them having been resolved with the compromise between the Libertarian organization, The Libertas Institute, and the Utah legislature. 

If Prop 2 is passed, Delegate Digest sincerely hopes that the compromise will be honored. 

Prop 3: The Obamacare Bill

This is an expansion of socialized medicine. If we want healthcare costs to go down, we need to stop subsidizing them

Seriously, stop it.

Let the markets find new ways to offer healthcare at lower rates, rather than taxing our citizens to death. 

And on top of that, any time we subsidize a market, guess who is writing those laws. 

Video courtesy of The Libertas Institute

Prop 4: The Gerrymandering Bill

Why is this a bad proposition? In short, unelected bureaucrats deciding our voting districts is not right.

The long answer is that the people behind this prop say they want to draw the lines to be “more fair.” More fair to who? 

Republicans have the majority of the vote in this state, and we have a majority of the representation for the House and Senate. Republicans generally win over 75% or more of the seats in the State legislature. Do we really want to hand 50% of the power to people who claim to represent their party, instead of the electorate? Because the way districts are drawn now by elected officials who (at least generally) represent the values of the voters. The way it is supposed to be.

Allowing unelected bureaucrats to draw haphazard districts around Salt Lake City, with the intention of taking a federal House of Representatives slot from Republicans and give that Congressional seat to Democrats is not “fair.” It is deceitful. 

Democrats are in the minority, which is why our state runs so much better than California.  That should be reflected in our representation on the Federal level, not gerrymandered away under a false claim to “fairness.”

2 thoughts on “Our Official Utah Voter Guide5 min read

  1. Sorry, DD, but your comments opposing Prop 2 have very little based in fact.
    Zoning is NOT compromised under Prop 2. The only thing Prop 2 does is prevent a municipality from refusing to issue a business license solely because the business is a dispensary. All business, zoning and fire prevention codes must be followed by the dispensary. A municipality can require a dispensary to be located in a “C” Commercial zone, or B Business zone, even an I Industrial zone. They just can’t discriminate because it’s a dispensary. If you can show me where Prop 2 says a dispensary doesnt have to follow zoning laws, I’ll buy you dinner.
    The distance setbacks required under Prop 2 are exactly the same as state liquor stores. A dispensary cannot be any closer to churches, schools, parks and residences than a state run facility.
    While I’m here, how about we address Gayle Ruzicka’s heartburn with a 28-page ballot initiative? But this “compromise” she’s all goo-goo over is 126 pages long…and thats acceptable to her. Oh, brother.

    • A fair criticism, and I edited the section to reflect what you shared, however the concern remains the same. It can still be grown anywhere that doesn’t have a dispensary within 100 miles, and for the first few months that will be… well, everywhere except the Colorado border. And dispensaries can still set up shop in any commercial or industrial zone, even if that is right down the street from a school or park.

      The concern, therefore, stands, even with clarification on what “no power to zone” means. The local cities and counties still cannot zone these things, so the statement is still true.

      That said, neither of us is going to change the other’s mind, we are both convinced, so I thank you for your feedback.

Leave a Comment