My notes from Legislative Interim Meetings held on May 15th, 2013

May 15, 2013

These are my notes from Legislative Interim Meetings held on May 15th, 2013. The legislature holds interim meetings 1 day each month when the Legislature is not in Session.


Conservative Caucus Meeting

Chris Martenson is an economist and spoke to the Conservative Caucus meeting.

I tweeted a some of his slides, here are links:

Money is a claim on goods and services; claim on wealth; debt is a claim on money

Money is a trust and a bond we have with one another

Money is loaned into existence

You will always have more debt and than money in a financial system

Tomorrow’s growth is the collateral for today’s debt

China and India are importing all exported oil

22 year old has had half of world oil burned during their lifetime

24 half of all copper has been mined during their lifetime

The next 20 years will be completely unlike the past 20 years

GDP 1.7% in past decade

Growth as we know it is over

The past will be a poor guide for the future

Risks are enormous, badly understood, and hardly ever talked about

Opportunities are enormous

Black Swans (societal changing catastrophes) will be the rule

Energy per capita will surge as a percentage of income

Food prices will mirror energy; unrest will follow

What will happen to our exponential money (debt) system without growth?

In 2008 we were within hours of total global system collapse

Events will unfold rapidly

Income tax receipts are the best indicator of financial stability

Debts will not be paid back

Who’s going to take losses? Taxpayers, states, bond holders

2 easy way outs: default; print money;

Feds printing $85 million a month and propping up the system

Prediction: we have a fiscal crisis because of entitlements

Cut federal budget by 40% or raise taxes by 40% or we will have to keep printing money

We are not in a position to default on loans to china because of our dependence on their imports

We still import 1/3 of the oil we burn

Expect a Dramatic spike in interest rates, just like Greece

During next depression there will still be a need to pay people, use resources, etc it is just that there is no faith in the economy

We need a Utah Shakeout like practice to prepare for financial bad times



Education Interim meeting

Joint House and Senate committee meeting

 Margaret Bird, Director, School Children’s Trust, Utah State Office of Education

First time in 119 years that we have ever had a report on how the lands are helping the schools

Will get an annual report going forward

In 1785, founding fathers established 1 square mile out of every 36 square miles for schools

Not state lands but school trust lands

Duty to make trust property productive

At statehood we got 6,007,192 acres for school rights

By 1983 half of the acres were sold

State school fund had only $18 million


Funds distributed by School Community Council; must be approved by school board or state chartert school board

$30 million to be distributed to schools in July 2013

Rep.McCay isn’t land the best hedge against inflation?

Sen. Stephenson: Growth has been exponential since Margaret Bird managed the school trust lands

In 1983, 2/3 of fund was taken by state govt to balance budget

Large high school will get $100k+ each year. Small elementary will get $30k


Spencer Eccles GOED

1,980 iPads distributed as part of the 3 year pilot program

$2.4 million from HB244

STEM video

Almost all of the 30 fastest growing occupations in the next decade will require STEM education

17% growth

Job seekers outnumber jobs 3.8 to 1

STEM job postings outnumber unemployed 1.9 to 1

HB139 STEM legislation

34% of students that took ACT in Utah or 85% of all high school students did not meet the college readiness benchmark in math


Superintendent Menlove

UT GOP Resolution contains several less than accurate statement about Common Core

The USOE will not adopt standards for that is not adopted locally


Classroom size reductions

We should get data by November interim session for next school year. They are not generating the data from previous years.


During lunch I got to visit with other legislators. This is a photo with Rep. Angela Romero and Rep. Dana Layton.

Transportation Committee Mtg

Sources of taxes for transportation:

  • User fees motor fuel tax
  • special fuel tax is primarily Diesel
  • Registration fees
  • Proportional registration
  • Highway use tax
  • Special transportation tax

Current state gas tax is 24.5 cents per gallon

How can we property tax electric vehicles for their use of the roads?

Are there local sources other than B&C?

Transportation funding discussion in Utah presented by Shannon Halversion

Discussion of Transportation Roles and Responsibilities



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