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Utah State House

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Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to  be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2017 creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children.  John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the  life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggle to connect to their American military fathers. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017 now!

Jenifer Bass
33,286 supporters
Petitioning Wayne Niederhauser, Ralph Okerlund, Gene Davis, Karen Mayne, J. Stuart Adams, Gregory Hughes, Brad Wilson, Brian King, Deidre Henderson, Daniel Hemmert, Michael Noel, Jon Stanard, Lee Perry, Edward...

Family’s Pet Tortured To Death. Pass “Sage’s Law” For An Animal Abuse Registry

Sage was a beloved six year old family cat who lived in Clearfield, Utah. After going missing for four days, Sage managed to crawl back home where he was found by his beloved family. His family was horrified and heartbroken at what they found. Every inch of Sage’s mangled little body had been subjected to excruciating torture. His ribs were broken. His face was beaten and his eyes were glued shut. His whiskers were cut off and his fur was shaved off. The abuse was so severe that Sage could no longer meow or walk -- Some of the torture is too graphic to put into words. Debbie Barnes from the Humane Society of Northern Utah said, “This is the worst case of abuse I have ever seen.” Veterinarians tried desperately to save his life, but after two rounds of CPR, Sage succumbed to his injuries. To date, there have been no arrests for this heinous crime. But even if the perpetrator is caught and convicted, the punishment would be a slap on the wrist: a small fine and little to no jail time. Convicted animal abusers often go on to repeat their crimes, and in some cases, go on to commit violent crimes against humans as well. That’s why I, along with thousands of members of the Cats of Instagram community are taking action. We are urging the Utah State Legislature to introduce and pass “Sage’s Law”. This legislation will establish a public Animal Abuse Registry. People convicted of animal cruelty would be required to register and prohibited from adopting or purchasing an animal ever again. Animal shelters and pet stores would have access to the registry. Local residents, like Sage’s family, would be aware of people living in their own neighborhood who have a history of animal abuse.  Sage's Law also proposes upgrading animal cruelty charges from a 3rd degree felony to a 2nd degree felony with $10,000 fine and 1-15 years in prison, with mandatory 10 year sentences if the animal dies as a result of the injuries. Dozens of states and cities across the country have enacted or have legislation pending to create Animal Abuse Registries. It’s time for every state to have these laws, so we’re taking our plea to Sage’s home state of Utah. Please help us urge the Utah state legislature to make “Sage’s Law” a reality. Let’s make Sage the hero he was always meant to be.  

Gina Durney
18,287 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States

Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!

When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:

Dominick Evans
6,582 supporters
Petitioning The UT State House

Say No To The Killing of Feral Animals

Utah Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, wants to change the state’s animal cruelty law to make it legal to shoot and kill feral animals. This would include not only pigeons and doves, but also feral cats and stray dogs. Shooting is singled out as an acceptable method in his bill, but Oda said other means that would be allowed include using a bow and arrow, clubbing or decapitating some animals. According to Oda, no-kill methods, such as relocation or catch, neuter and release, are less efficient and more expensive. The bill specifically allows "the humane shooting or killing of an animal if the person doing the shooting or killing has a reasonable belief that the animal is a feral animal." It does not specify that only law enforcement or peace officers are allowed to kill the animals. Instead, any member of the public may kill an animal they believe to be feral, be it a true feral cat or simply a family pet who likes to prowl outside. And how is it humane or acceptable to shoot, club or decapitate any animal, let alone a cat or dog? Add your voice and just say no to this amendment to the Animal Cruelty Act.

Kathryn van Roosendaal
3,548 supporters
Petitioning Gary Herbert, Utah State House, Utah State Senate, Wayne Niederhauser, Gregory Hughes, Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart, Todd Weiler, Allen Christensen, Curtis Bramble, Brian King, Daniel Thatcher, Angela...

Say NO to dumping toxic coal ash, lead and mercury on the Great Salt Lake!

An east coast corporation is seeking a Class V permit to dump out-of-state toxic coal ash at the tip of the Promontory Point peninsula - putting one of the nation’s largest industrial waste collections in the center of the Great Salt Lake and next to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and active fault lines. Coal ash, also referred to as coal combustion residuals or CCR, is produced primarily from the burning of coal in coal-fired power plants. Coal ash contains contaminants like mercury, lead, cadmium, selenium and arsenic and is considered to be hazardous. These contaminants can pollute waterways, ground water, drinking water and the air. If approved, this east coast corporation will have created one of the nation’s largest industrial waste landfills - putting humans and animals at risk. Millions of Birds at Risk The proposed coal ash dump is less than 20 miles from the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the Ogden Waterfowl Management Area, and it lies directly on the migratory path of millions of birds consisting of more than 250 species, including such species as the bald eagle, white-faced ibis, american white pelican, snowy plover, black-necked stilt, cinnamon teal and tundra swan. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge contains nearly 80,000 acres of marsh, open water, uplands, and alkali mudflats. The concentrated pollutants in coal ash, such as lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium and selenium, cause fatal deformities in birds nesting and feeding near CCR landfills and polluted waters. Purity of Fresh Water Supply at Risk When you combine one of the largest municipal solid waste landfills with some of the largest bird habitats in the nation, you get double trouble for the drinking water supply of nearby residents. Birds, especially gulls, feeding on decomposing waste deposit very high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus into nearby streams, rivers, wetlands, lakes and reservoirs when they defecate into the water. This results in eutrophication, a leading cause of damage to freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems. Among the results are noxious toxins (e.g., microcystin and anatoxin-a; Chorus and Bartram 1999). Associated algal blooms (HABs) have been linked with degradation of water quality (Francis 1878),  destruction of economically important fisheries (Burkholder et al. 1992) and (3) public health risks (Morris 1999). There is a whole industry related to landfill bird deterrent methods and products, as landfills attract birds. It is simply unacceptable to build a landfill of this size where these birds are already nesting! A Ticking Earthquake Time Bomb Making matters worse, the proposed toxic coal ash dump is located next to active fault lines. Over 25 earthquakes have hit within 70 miles radius in recent history, including one 13 miles NW of the dump and another 19 miles NE. Astonishingly, no significant earthquake study has been done related to the toxic coal ash landfill and the risks of being located so close to fault lines. Like with many other environmental concerns, the east coast corporation that stands to profit from the toxic coal ash dumping is denying any risk. They stated, “The landfill’s geologic and hydrogeological setting is appropriate for developing a landfill because there are no major geologic hazards (active faults or subsidence areas)...” despite the proximity of known faults. Join the fight. Take Action. Sign our petition to keep toxic coal ash from being dumped at the shores of the Great Salt Lake and near millions of birds. Submit a comment to the Governor of Utah and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) related to the lack of comprehensive environmental and geological studies that have been conducted for the proposed dump.Comments to DEQ should be emailed to and include the subject line: “Promontory Point Landfill”. Share this petition with friends and families who are concerned about protecting the Great Salt Lake, Utah’s water supply and the millions of protected birds that call the shores of Great Salt Lake home.

The Great Salt Lake
3,158 supporters
Petitioning Utah State House

Impeach Judge Scott N. Johansen

If Judge Johansen wants to act like Judge Judy, then he should get a reality TV show. In the meantime, his past and present conduct is unbecoming of a judicial officer. On November 11th, Judge Johansen ordered that a child be removed from the home of a married lesbian couple, claiming that the child would be better off in the home of a heterosexual couple over the objection of the foster parents, the Utah Division of Child and Family Services and the Guardian Ad Litem Office assigned to represent the child. After public outcry, Judge Johansen partially reversed his Order. Judge Johansen has previously come under attack for his tactics. In 1997, Judge Johansen was reprimanded by the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission for "demeaning the judicial office" after slapping a 16-year-old boy during a 1995 meeting at the Price courthouse. In 2007, Judge Johansen was criticized for threatening to take a homeschooling mom’s children away if she failed to enroll them in public school and insure that they were in attendance every day. Johansen was also criticized in 2012 for ordering a woman to cut her 13-year-old daughter's ponytail as punishment for the teen cutting the hair off a 3-year-old girl at a restaurant. It is not enough to simply refer to the Judge’s conduct as ‘puzzling’ and suggest that he must follow the law. Judge Johansen should be impeached and removed from office.

The Alliance for a Better Utah
2,877 supporters
Petitioning Alabama State House, Alaska State House, Arizona State House, Arkansas State House, California State House, Colorado State House, Hawaii State House, Idaho State House, Illinois State House, Indian...

Save Lives: Require Spinal Muscular Atrophy Newborn Screening

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month. Please join our efforts to require SMA newborn screening, and help end the deadly effects of SMA.  About SMA: •  SMA is the number one genetic killer of babies and children under the age of two.•  SMA is a motor neuron disease like ALS.•  SMA robs the ability to move, swallow, and eventually breathe. •  One in 40 unknowingly carries the gene responsible for SMA.•  When two carriers have a baby, there is a 25% chance the baby will have SMA, a 50% chance the baby will be a carrier, and a 25% chance the baby will be unaffected.•  One in 10,000 babies is born with SMA.  The FDA approved Spinraza as the first treatment for SMA on December 23, 2016. However, newborns continue to go untreated when they would receive the most benefit, as no states are performing SMA newborn screening. Newly diagnosed Type 1 SMA babies treated with Spinraza didn't lose their ability to move, swallow, and breathe, but instead gained strength. Some even crawled and took steps — steps away from the deadly effects of SMA. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks never lost abilities to SMA, and developed as average babies do. They crawl, eat, stand, and walk. Only newborns with older SMA siblings have been treated this way, as their parents knew to screen for SMA. Every newborn needs to be screened for SMA, so babies born with SMA can develop just as babies without SMA do.  For this to happen, SMA needs to be added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), states need to require SMA newborn screening, and funding needs to be provided for SMA newborn screening. The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Committee) is scheduled to vote to add SMA to the RUSP at its February, 2018 meeting. Once the Committee votes favorably to add SMA to the RUSP, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will add SMA to the RUSP. This is an important step, as many states look to the RUSP when adding new conditions to screen for. This petition will be delivered to both the Committee, and the Secretary of HHS. States also need to require newborn screening, as the RUSP is only a recommendation, it does not mandate states to test for conditions. We will continue to pursue SMA newborn screening in every state, and this petition will help our efforts. Missouri is the only state to enact newborn screening legislation, and will begin screening for SMA in January of 2019. Federal and state funds are also needed to begin and continue SMA newborn screening. This petition will help us as we advocate for funding with the appropriate federal and state congressional members. Act Now: With an FDA-approved treatment, it is urgent we secure SMA newborn screening. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks will have the best chance at progressing as they would without SMA. Every baby born with SMA should be afforded this life-saving treatment. Please sign our petition urging Committee to vote to add SMA to the RUSP, urging states to require SMA newborn screening, and urging federal and state congressional members to provide funding for SMA newborn screening.   

Hunter Has Hope
1,603 supporters


Governor, we have been  listening to your messages regarding the pollution problem in our state, which include leaving cars behind for mass transit.   We would LOVE to support you in that endeavor!       You have asked us to DRIVE LESS but you are considering ONLY the options that UDOT has set for itself, which ENCOURAGE us to drive MORE.  Their recommendations are in direct opposition to your messages.  A major reason for this opposition is that UDOT is motivated to build freeways since they receive almost a quarter from every gallon of gas.     Our message is that we want you to INSIST that UDOT engage in a SHARED SOLUTION with UBET to devise smarter ways to deal with the traffic congestion, economic development and continued population growth than building freeways. UDOT has used the phrase in their advertising (which taxpayers PAY for!)  "locally preferred alternative' which makes it sound to the rest of Utah as if the locals prefer it.  WE DON'T!  THERE IS NO NEED FOR THIS FREEWAY.  THERE ARE OTHER SOLUTIONS THAT ARE NOT LISTED AS ONE OF THE OPTIONS. The PROPOSED West Davis Corridor  is a massive, elevated freeway recommended to begin at Farmington City and run through Hooper, Utah that will cost taxpayers upwards of $600 million!  And that doesn't include the upkeep for years to come.  This freeway will divide communities, spew noise, light and particulate pollution endangering both our citizens and the environment.  Meanwhile, our failing infrastructure issues are not being addressed.  Furthermore, building this freeway actually DISCOURAGES the use of mass transit. PLEASE LISTEN TO US and work on a SHARED SOLUTION, creating a win-win situation for our citizens AND our communities! Utahns for Better Transportation  (UBET) would like the opportunity to work WITH UDOT on a shared solution.  However, the financial burden of researching the alternative is being placed on the backs of private citizens. Governor, PLEASE insist that UDOT bears the expense of exploring and analyzing  this shared solution in partnership with UBET.  We want to work WITH our adjacent communities, not be pitted against them in a survival of the fittest contest. YOU can help! The Shared Solution is  ONE example of how to re-work our existing infrastructure in smarter ways, but it will take more funding and having UDOT experts work hand in hand with UBET to come to a SHARED solution to FIND THE LEAST ENVIRONMENTALLY DAMAGING PRACTICABLE ALTERNATIVE. (LEDPA).. By building the WDC, it will violate the  EPA’s 404(b)(1) guidelines to select the Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative .  UDOT has not studied other solutions which have a FAR LESS DAMAGING IMPACT because they purposely did not include them on their 46 alternatives and did not ask for other alternatives. The nearly 300 members of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment ( have compiled thousands of medical studies confirming the health consequences of our air pollution, which is sometimes the worst in the United States. Those who live within 2 miles of a freeway are the most victimized by this pollution. UDOT is ignoring the entire body of medical research that would condemn this project as a serious health hazard.   One of UDOT's own stated objectives is to "support the objectives of the adopted local land use and transportation plans for communities west of I-15 in Weber and Davis Counties." UDOT is NOT meeting their own stated objective.  The roads we build should improve and enhance our communities. UDOT has come up with its own options for the freeway and has been successfully using a "divide and conquer" strategy to create citizen "buy in"... I even fell for it, writing an article only in support of leaving the freeway out of my backyard.   But, I am now convinced we must work TOGETHER for the benefit of ALL our communities.   BY SUPPORTING A SHARED SOLUTION WITH THE STATE OR FEDERALLY-FUNDED ASSISTANCE OF UTAHNS FOR BETTER TRANSPORTION, UDOT CAN MEET THEIR STATED OBJECTIVE OF IMPROVING AND ENHANCING OUR COMMUNITIES.   UDOT  can't seriously think that a MASSIVE, NOISY, POLLUTION-SPEWING, ELEVATED EYE-SORE of a freeway is going to enhance our communities!   In conclusion, UDOT's proposal is in direct opposition to the Federal Highway Administration's Livability Principles contained in this document:  We, the undersigned request that our taxes are used for transportation projects which do not waste our money.  We also request that UDOT work side by side with other agencies such as Utahns for Better Transportation, UTA, as well as environmental groups to protect Utah's landscape, air quality, and wildlife!  Our infrastructure is outdated and in need of repair BEFORE considering more freeways. ****************************************************************************************** *****EXAMPLES OF SMARTER TRANSPORTATION PLANNING***** Watch this video of the removal of the San Francisco Embarcadero elevated freeway with a boulevard showing how smarter planning can enhance beauty of natural surroundings increasing tourism, reduce emissions, encourage mass transit and other forms of travel, while increasing economic development and tourism.   Read this article on effective bicycle planning: "Urban freeways are also ineffective as transportation solutions. Caught in the vicious feedback loop of induced demand, they cannot be expanded fast enough to keep up with increasing traffic — yet each expansion lures yet more drivers who create yet more congestion and demand more lanes, ad infinitum. The maintenance and expansion of these roadways gobble up transportation funds that could create and maintain less costly and destructive alternatives."   Read this article appropriately called "How to Slay a Concrete Dragon" about the proposed "ramps to nowhere" in Seattle that ultimately went unfunded.  I have personally frequented  the Arboretum mentioned in the article and was fortunate to have seen the natural beauty of the Japanese gardens that were to be removed for these ramps (corridors).     ***********CURRENT NEWS ARTICLES IN REGARDS TO PETITION********* "Meantime, transportation commissioners are hopeful that President-elect Barack Obama will advocate for a stimulus package for states of more than $500 billion over two years to provide 2.5 million jobs by investing in the nation's infrastructure. UDOT would apply for the money. "Hopefully, we'll be able to ramp up some of the projects," Commissioner Meghan Holbrook said." Too bad that "infrastructure" is interpreted as freeways and not other options.   This  news article was just written today AGAIN with Governor Herbert attempting to address the pollution problem... GOVERNOR: TELL ME AGAIN WHY UDOT IS PROPOSING A FREEWAY THAT WILL ONLY ADD TO OUR POLLUTION? PERHAPS, it has to do with this 2008 article which showed that UDOT favors building roads and NOT building infrastructure because it reduces UDOT's capital:  For every gallon of gas, UDOT receives 24.5 cents.  They are receiving incentives to DISCOURAGE mass transit!   EPA is considering reducing the ozone standards from 75 ppb to 60 ppb.  More freeways will create more pollution, idling or no idling.   "EPA Concludes Fine Particle Pollution Poses Serious Health Threats" "Causes early death (both short-term and long-term exposure) Causes cardiovascular harm (e.g. heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, congestive heart failure) Likely to cause respiratory harm (e.g. worsened asthma, worsened COPD, inflammation) May cause cancer May cause reproductive and developmental harm —U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter, December 2009. EPA 600/R-08/139F"   Even the Government's Environmental Protection Agency knows that this freeway is not "smart" planning.  Read the link below: "Four transportation and land use strategies that enhance quality of life and protect human health and the environment are: Smart and sustainable street design. Transit-oriented development. Parking management. Sustainable transportation planning."    EPA REGULATORS LOOK TO REDUCE POLLUTION-CARS STILL BIG PROBLEM   Link between pollution and autism    UNACCEPTABLE AIR QUALITY:   UCAIR, INITIATED BY GOVERNOR HERBERT AND INTRODUCED JANUARY 31, 2012 BECAME A NON-PROFIT ON JUNE 11, 2013 Jan 31, 2012 Governor Announces UCAIR June 11th 2013 UCAIR is now non-profit   CNN MONEY MAGAZINE RANKS FARMINGTON, UTAH THE 12TH BEST PLACE TO LIVE OUT OF AMERICA'S BEST SMALL TOWNS!    UBET attempted to work with UDOT on a shared solution   This section labeled "quality of life" encompasses more advantages for our citizens than the definition provided by UDOT.    Salt Lake Resident wrote letter against building this west davis corridor:   Dr. Moench's article in the Salt Lake Tribune regarding harmful ozone levels in Utah and the effect of the West Davis Corridor.   FEDERAL LAWS THAT PROTECT BALD EAGLES.. There are many in Farmington, Utah.    UDOT 'S RECOMMENDATION AND OAKRIDGE COUNTRY CLUB    Opposers to freeway attempted to meet with UDOT early on:   FEDS RECOMMEND THAT UDOT FUND THE SHARED SOLUTION:     *******************PUBLIC INPUT RALLIES  6-11-2013*********************       *******ORGANIZATIONS OPPOSED TO THE WEST DAVIS CORRIDOR and FAVORING A SHARED SOLUTION WITH UBET AND UDOT:********  (PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOUR ORGANIZATION  WOULD LIKE TO BE ADDED TO THIS LIST)   Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment Protect Utah Wildlifewww.facebook/protectutahwildlife    Utah Tar Sands Resistance Governor We Cannot Breath   University Student Clean Air Network   Utah Birders   Great Salt Lake Audubon   Peaceful Uprising   ****************** CITIZENS SIGNING THIS PETITION:  ********************** PLEASE MAKE COMMENTS WHY THIS ISSUE IS IMPORTANT TO YOU.  OUR GOVERNOR AND ALL OF OUR ELECTED LEADERS NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU! PLEASE MAKE AN OFFICIAL COMMENT ON THE LINK BELOW TO OUR GOVERNOR IN ADDITION TO A COMMENT ON THIS PAGE AND UDOT.   ALSO:  MAKE COMMENTS THROUGH AUGUST 23rd 2013 ON UDOT'S WEBSITE: or VISIT THEIR WEBSITE   Call, email, or write comments to your local leaders.     Syracuse citizens can make their comments via an online form.  Emails are not publicized...   * "Farmington Bay Bald Eagle" Photo Credit:  Used by permission by Brent Clark. All rights reserved.  Taken winter 2013 in Farmington Bay  Farmington, Utah.  ****************************************************************************************

Barbara Stevens
1,257 supporters
Petitioning Utah State House

PASS Senate Bill 54: Promotion of Premarital Education and Counseling

This bill gives couples an incentive to take premarital education classes. Couples will not only get a $20 discount on their marriage license, but they will also be better prepared for the marriage they enter into. We want strong, happy, healthy, and lasting marriages in our communities and state. Passing this legislation will aid in working toward that important ideal and goal. Please join us in signing this petition.   For more information, read below: Senate Sponsor: Sen. Allen Christensen House Sponsor: Rep. Becky Edwards Bill Summary: Bill will encourage a greater proportion of Utah couples to participate in formal premarital education by providing them a $20 discount on their marriage license when they do so. The bill will be implemented only when counties convert to an online marriage application system, which will save counties significant expense and allow for a 2-tier- fee system. (Utah Co. online March 2018; Weber, Washington, Iron Counties working; others will follow quickly or risk losing revenue.) Counties have authority to raise marriage license fees to compensate for the loss of revenue if the savings from online applications do not cover lost revenue. Any rises would likely be $5-20. (Implementing an online application process will result in significant savings.) Those couples who do not chose to participate in premarital education will pay the set fee for their marriage license; they do not get a $20 discount. $20 from marriage license fees of those who do not participate in premarital education will go to support marriage strengthening educational services across the state managed by the Utah Marriage Commission (Department of Human Services). (Any generated funds in excess of $400,000 will be returned to the State General Fund.) Couples may take a class from either a secular or a religious provider; they also can take a high-quality online program with a free voucher from the Utah Marriage Commission. Premarital education must be at least 6 hours in length; premarital counseling (with a state-licensed mental health practitioner) must be at least 3 hours in length. Premarital education or premarital counseling must include information on: (a) important factors associated with strong, healthy marriages; (b) commitment in marriage; and (c) effective communication and problem-solving skills, including avoiding violence and abuse in the relationship. Premarital education must be taken at least 14 days prior to the marriage license date and not more than 1 year before that date. (Ideally, engaged couples will participate together in premarital education but they may take it separately.) Utah Marriage Commission will regularly publicize information on premarital education. (The Commission’s short-term goal is to raise participation rates from about 33% to 50%.) Note: $10 of the marriage license fee currently goes to a state account for the Children’s Legal Defense (services for families who have experienced domestic violence). (Applicants also may elect to donate an additional $10 to fund shelters for victims of domestic abuse). Rationale and Benefits: Anecdotal evidence from two states (MN, OK) that adopted a similar policy estimates that it increases participation in premarital education by 20%. Research demonstrates that participation in premarital education can increase marital quality and reduce divorce rates in the high-risk early years of marriage. Fewer divorces will protect more children from the potential harmful consequences of unhealthy marriages and divorce. Most divorces come from marriages that began with significant problems. Premarital education will provide important insights and skills for all couples and especially for these higher-risk couples. One economist estimates that family breakdown in Utah costs Utah taxpayers $276 million a year. Another Utah scholar conservatively estimated the public cost of divorce in Utah to be more than $18,000 per divorce. (This does not include the personal costs.) One scholar estimates that this policy change could reduce the number of divorces by 500 a year, producing an estimated savings of $9 million over 5 years to Utah taxpayers. (There are about 25,000 marriages and 10,000 divorces a year in Utah. Half of Utahdivorces involve minor children.) 9 states have passed similar legislation (FL, GA, MD, MN, OK, SC, TN, TX, WV). The Utah Marriage Commission, which coordinates and promotes marriage and relationship strengthening educational services in Utah, currently is funded on a year-to-year basis by the legislature (recently at $300,000 = $150,000 from General Fund and $150,000 from federal TANF funds). This policy would provide a steadier source of funding for these services and diminish the need for funding from the general fund. Moreover, federal TANF funding is unstable. Divorcing parents in Utah are required to take a class about the effects of divorce and effective co-parenting before divorcing and pay $50-65 for this class. Logically, it makes sense to provide preventive classes at no charge – think of paying for ambulances at the bottom of the cliff or building fences at the top of the cliff. All Utah married couples, regardless of whether they participated in premarital education, have free ongoing access to educational services to strengthen their relationships because of the efforts of the Utah Marriage Commission. For the first time, marriage license fees would be used directly to support these free services.  

Megan Griffes
750 supporters
Petitioning The UT State Senate

Protect Utah's Community Cats - Support SB 57

Utah Senate Bill 57, sponsored by State Senator Dennis Stowell, would allow municipal animal control officers to bypass a three-day holding period for animals taking part in a local community cat management initiative, where felines are captured, spay/neutered and released in their original location. Current disposition options are limited to humane euthanasia or adoption, and as it stands, adoption -- the preferred choice for homeless animals -- is rarely an option for free-roaming cats, which routinely are euthanized for lack of alternatives. SB 57 deals with the disposition of unidentified, unclaimed stray cats by introducing the concept of a community cat management initiative where cats in the colony are trapped, spayed/netuered, vaccinated, ear-tipped for identification, and then released back in their original location. Ear-tipped cats in a TNR program could be returned immediately to their colonies without being held in the shelter for the mandatory three-day holding period -- saving lives and taxpayer dollars. Tell Utah legislators to support SB 57.

Ledy VanKavage
448 supporters
Say NO to dumping toxic coal ash, lead and mercury on the Great Salt Lake!

Thank you for reaching out regarding the proposed landfill. I, too, am concerned about the long-term impact that this could have on the Great Salt Lake. As of right now, Promontory Point Resources has not yet received approval for their proposed landfill from the Governor’s office and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Their previous application to the DEQ was not approved and they are working to submit further information. After the DEQ approves their application, they will need approval from the Governor before becoming a Class V landfill. You can submit public comments to the DEQ by emailing and reach out to the Governor’s office at If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. All my best, Angela

— Angela Romero, State Representative
6 days ago
Stop the US Forest Service from trading land to private developers without public comment.

Hi Susan, and everyone else who has signed on the petition regarding the Forest Service land above Cheese Park. Thanks for taking the time to care about an issue and to give some input about it. As you may already know, The developer is trying to get a letter from the Bountiful City Council to the Forest Service supporting his idea of the land swap. The Bountiful City Council has taken input on the issue, and is meeting again (and will make a decision ) on Nov 17th. They could do one of three things, they could vote to issue a letter in support of the land swap, they could vote to issue a letter against the land swap, or they could just stay quiet and do nothing. In my mind, your best way to have an effect on the outcome of this issue, is to write an email to the city council and mayor. If you do take the time to write them, you will have the best chance of success, if you keep your email SHORT and POLITE. Remember they are folks who are paid very little for their service, and they put in a lot of time trying to make Bountiful a great city to live in. Their emails are,,,,, If any of you would like to give direct feedback to me, that would also be fine, and my email contact is Thanks again for taking the time to get involved. Ray Ward Utah House District 19

— Raymond Ward, State Representative
2 years ago