Man, things are kind of dusty around here – I mean, it has been a while since I have done anything on this blog…but man, the cobwebs!
I want to let you know that the BTW series will be back for its fifth installment starting tomorrow. It should be an interesting session, if only because of the new batch of freshmen legislators will be stepping in to fill the shoes of legislators who are pursuing higher elective office.
But that does not mean that we will be devoid of terrible legislation; a quick glance at the Leg’s website shows that there is plenty of bills out there that deserve a little more attention.
On that note, I tried something new last year and added a -5 to 5 point scale to “score” bills. I would like to bring that back but refine it slightly. At first it was simply called an “urgency score” however, upon reflection, this phrase did not really get the convey what point I was trying to get across. This year there will be three scores: impact, need, and overall.
Impact will be scored on a scale of 0-5. A score of 0 indicates in my not-so-educated opinion that the bill will have little to no impact on the “average” Utahns life; conversely, a score of 5 would mean that the bill has a very large reach that affects most (if not all) of the population.
Need is scored on a scale of 0-5 as well. A score of 0 implies that I feel that the bill is not needed at all, but is (most likely) a message bill that is not designed to address any real issue; a 5 indicates that I feel that this is urgent legislation that needs to be passed to ensure a “better” Utah (again, in my own eyes).
So, as an example, a bill that would, say, designate a state hand gun would receive an impact score of 1 and a need score of 0. A bill to raise taxes to fund schools would receive an impact score of 5 and a need score of 5.
The final metric is the elusive “overall” score. This score ranges from -5 to 5 and is my reflection on the bill overall. A score of -5 means that I think it is a horrible bill and should be scrapped before it even makes it out of the gate; a score of 5, as you can probably deduce, means that I feel it is vital that the bill is passed as soon as possible.
So there you have it. Bills To Watch 2012 kicks off tomorrow. You will note that I have added a “Bills to Watch 2012″ tab to the top of the webpage for easy access to a listing of all bills covered. If you have a suggestion for a bill you would like me to watch, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or message me on twitter: @blueinredzion. Stay tuned for the ride!