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Legislature Close to Adjournment

Date: March 03, 2014

Gavel scheduled to drop at midnight, March 13

In her update from the Utah Legislature, State Director Candace Daly reports on an effort to increase the minimum wage and the importance of lawmakers taking a stand on a federal matter.


House Bill 73 by Rep. Lynn Hemmingway would raise the minimum wage in Utah to $10.25 and adjustment it every year after to the Consumer Price Index. This assures that it will rise every year, but this bill would guarantee that it would never fall below whatever current level it’s at, if the CPI drops. The measure would also require the Labor Commission to set the minimum wages for those workers 16 years old and under. NFIB will testify in opposition to HB 73.

A Balanced Federal Budget

Small businesses are very concerned about the consequences coming our way if we don’t act now and do something to require the federal government to balance its budget. Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to force Congress’s hand, and two measure before the Utah Legislature would join our state to a growing number of others calling for serious action.

NFIB is working for passage of both House Joint Resolution 8 proposing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution and House Bill 392 outlining the responsibilities of delegates to a constitutional convention. Both measures are carried by Rep. Kraig Powell.

The federal government doesn’t seem to be paying attention to what is happening around the world. Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Ireland and others are all in different stages of economic collapse due to unchecked spending by their governments. The United States would be no different if nothing changes.  That’s why small business cares.

The good news is that 21 states are paving the way to a constitutional amendment that could avert an economic crisis here at home. Ohio in November and Georgia in the past few weeks and now it looks like as if Tennessee is poised to be next. Florida, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin and South Carolina are very close. 

Let’s add Utah to that list. The race to 34 states is on. 

Article V* authorizes states to take action. I am certain that our founding fathers knew this day was coming when they put Article V in place, so we could take actions when Congress would not.
 
There are those who have expressed legitimate fear about the unknown when an Article V convention happens. That is why HB 392 is needed. It would limit the Utah Delegates to balanced budget issues only, and if they did vote to add another issue to the agenda it would be a second degree felony.  

Ask those who are afraid of having an Article V convention, “Which are you most afraid of, a convention that can be limited or federal spending that is out of control?”
 
(Bolded text by NFIB)

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

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Which are you most afraid of, a convention that can be limited or federal spending that is out of control?

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