An Abundant Life

"Jewish theologian Martin Buber relates a Hassidic tale about a teacher who lived an unusually abundant life. After his death one of his disciples was asked, 'What was the most important to your teacher?' The student answered, 'Whatever he happened to be doing at that moment.'

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Lessons of a Computer

In today's physical isloation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are spending more time in front of our computers, for those of us lucky enough to still have work, to work, and in order to continue meeting with one another via tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Hangouts. We find ourselves using this technology more and more in our lives so that it has become more of a commodity and a necessity.

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My South Valley Story

My pronouns are she, her, hers, and sometimes they. I’ve been coming to South Valley for over nine years, and I guess you could say that I’m a convert, a transplant, and a recruit. The last time I told my South Valley Journey was over two years ago, in October 2017. This has been a tough week for me. In addition to the physical isolation we are experiencing during the outbreak of Covid-19, the earthquake and its 100-plus tremors, I also lost my step-son Josh on May 27. Josh was a strong, loving, and very passionate man. It has been my experience that with intense passion comes incredibly dark sensations. When the flames of passion do not burn openly as a beacon to the world, they can become a destructive ravaging fire that swallows us as the kindling which is our lives. We lost Josh to the dark. I just wish he could see the light that he was to others while he was still here and the man that he could one day yet be. 

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Medical Evaluations and Home Inspectors

On October 17, the Utah Business and Labor Interim Committee met and discussed several issues. They also were presented with hundreds of pages of reports detailing financial organizations, technological incentive programs, and the current state of amendments to international fire codes and building codes as adopted by state code, as well as recommended changes to those codes. Having finally read through that material and currently reviewing the transcript from the meeting, my last report detailed the first three issues considered by the committee, which included discussion related to draft legislation for support animals, suggested amendments to the fire code, and suggested amendments to the building code. This report covers the discussions on the remaining two topics: medical evaluation panels for worker's compensation and licensing for home inspectors.

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Support Animals, Fire Code, and Building Code

On October 17, the Utah Business and Labor Interim Committee met and discussed several issues. They also were presented with hundreds of pages reports detailing financial organizations, technological incentive programs, and the current state of amendments to international fire codes and building codes as adopted by state code, as well as recommended changes to those codes. Having finally read through that material and currently reviewing the transcript from the meeting, this report details the first three issues considered by the committee, which includes discussion related to draft legislation for support animals, suggested amendments to the fire code, and suggested amendments to the building code. 

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Immunity, Appeal Rights, and Massage Therapy

Last month the Utah State Legislature interim committees brought up issues of concern in preparation for the upcoming legislative session. A major concern before the judiciary interim interim committee was the impact of governmental immunity on everyday citizens, while the business and labor committee reviewed draft proposed legislation for administrative appeal rights and licensing exemptions for bowen work providers.

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Diversity, Gender, and Gestational Agreements

This month I attended the Interim Judicial Committee meeting because Senator Todd Weiler is bringing back his bil for gender marker changes on the birth certificate, which in its current state poses a couple of problems for the transgender community because it requires a minimum age of 18 and requires the change be annotated on the revised birth certificate. The Transgender Inclusion Project, which I chair, felt strongly that if those two requirements are not removed, they would oppose the bill. So I wrote an email to Senator Weiler, spoke with my representative who sits on the committee, Bruce Cutler, and with Senator Gene Davis, who is the Senate Minority Leader and also sits on the committee. I went fully intending to speak, but delegated my position in line to people who were better messengers as there was not enough time for everyone to speak. There was a lot of content is that meeting, so I will be focusing on the first three issues in this newsletter: diversity on the bench, change of legal gender, and gestational agreements.

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Interim Meeting on Peer-to-Peer Storage, Beer Retailer Licensing, and the Inland Port Authority

In the month of July, the interim committees met once again on Wednesday, July 18th. The judiciary committee had on its docket discussion of the sex marker change bill for birth certificates, but due to the tyranny of the clock had to postpone the discussion until next month's meeting in August. The Business and Labor Committee met to discuss peer-to-peer storage rentals and to hear two bills that were scheduled for special session that afternoon regarding off-premise beer retailer licensing and the Inland Port Authority.

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Interim Session on Amusement Park Safety, Housing Discrimination, and Dram Shops

This week the Utah State Legislature Interim Business and Labor had its second meeting of the year. The study items on the table were amusement park safety, housing discrimination, and dram shop laws.

 

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Payroll Fraud and Peer-to-Peer Vehicle Rentals

The interim legislative session started up again on May 16. All the respective committees met to discuss what study items they wanted to focus on for the 2019 Legislative Session that starts up in January. For the next six months, the committees will be meeting once a month to focus on specific issues. The Business and Labor subcommittee focused on what seems to be an epidemic of payroll fraud and the emerging market of peer-to-peer vehicle leasing. What follows are my notes from the meeting:

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