Under Title 36 Chapter 11 Section 102 of the Utah Code we find the following:
(10) “Lobbying” means communicating with a public official for the purpose of influencing the passage, defeat, amendment, or postponement of legislative or executive action.
(11) (a) “Lobbyist” means:
(i) an individual who is employed by a principal; or
(ii) an individual who contracts for economic consideration, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses, with a principal to lobby a public official.
(b) “Lobbyist” does not include:
(i) a government officer;
(ii) a member or employee of the legislative branch of state government;
(iii) a person while appearing at, or providing written comments to, a hearing conducted in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act or Title 63G, Chapter 4, Administrative Procedures Act;
Now further in this same section a “public official” is defined as
an individual appointed to or employed in a position in the executive or legislative branch of state government if that individual:
“occupies a policymaking position or makes purchasing or contracting decisions; drafts legislation or makes rules; determines rates or fees; or makes adjudicative decisions; or an immediate family member of a person described in Subsection (15)(a).”
First established is that the head of Department of Health is a public official.
Second, from the above we can ascertain that State Senators are not “lobbyist”. Good to have gotten that cleared up. Under strict interpretation of the Utah Code, or in the parlance of attorneys, “splitting hairs” over thirty pieces of a gold cross, eliminates any well deserved criticism if a State Senator were to engage in such lobbying.
However, I wonder if when this particular piece of legislation was passed the entire legislature had something different in mind. Perhaps their intent was to allow legislators and their staff adequate access to “public officials” to properly educate themselves on salient points of proposed legislation. Could it have been that members of the legislature did not perceive that “one of their own” may conduct themselves in a manner unworthy of their office? I suppose that could have happened.
Of extraordinary concern is the fact that a local business has been driven out of business. Knocked to their knees, if you will, on the whims of a few with zeal. The Ruling of State Department of Health, which is dressed in the emperor’s new cloths, created that significant negative impact on hundreds if not thousands of lives in St. George. As I await copies of documents and information to be delivered from the Attorney General’s Office (which was completely unnecessary to elevated to them) a more thorough evaluation of the Ruling reveals only one factor for the real decision.
The dispatch service is promised to be better. When my wife is following the “new” ambulance to the hospital, with me in the back of it, which she has done before she will have one thought on her mind. “I wonder if this company is using the newest and best dispatch microphone?” We have discussed this in depth. That is what will be on her mind. I have told her, with emphasis, “Dear, you make sure that they used the best microphone. If I am in cardiac arrest, I don’t want them using some crapo piece of walkie-talkie. I don’t care about the defibrillator. The heart monitor is second fiddle to that brand new microphone.”
Now, lest you mistake my commentary for sarcasm, this post really is about appropriate and proper communication. As of this date, most of what I have seen appears to have been defensiveness of conversations held out of earshot of the public.