Category Archives: department of alcoholic beverage control

Getting Ready for the 2012 General Legislative Session

The 2012 General Legislative Session starts today, January 23rd. Many bills, however, have already been written and queued up. We took a dip into the current backlog to see what’s in the pipeline for our favorite local circus.

House Bills

HB49 – In the presence of “threatening behavior”, possession of a firearm no longer violates various statues. It also provides that no governmental entity (local authority, political subdivision, municipality, or any other state entity) may not enact, maintain, or enforce a law, ordinance, rule, regulation, code of conduct, or contractual obligation that limits or prevents the otherwise lawful possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, whether visible or concealed. So state carry laws (or don’t carry, just have a gun within 10 feet of you) become the law of the land. So much for “big government” intruding on the lives of local groups who want to do their own thing. One would think state lawmakers would be sensitive to pushing their way into community life.

HB50 – Eliminates the “Election Campaign Fund” and removes the ability to donate to it from your income taxes. So much for public campaign financing.

HB59 – Allocates 10% of gross revenues from the sale of liquor to the Education Fund to be distributed as deemed necessary, and 90% to be distributed on a per student basis. The collective livers of Telestial State staff will be happy to know that their suffering has bought some crayons for the children of Utah. It’s always about the children.

HB199 – Elimination of DST in the State of Utah. Please for the love of every single thing you love let this pass. Some view this as a middle finger to the Federal Government, but at this point I don’t give a rat’s ass. In addition to irritating, DST is an outdated (and expensive) operation.

HB201 – Designates “skiing and snowboarding” as official Utah State Winter Sports. This is alongside Utah’s official state cooking pot (the dutch oven) and Utah’s state folk dance (the square dance, which is legally defined as the folk dance that is called, cued, or prompted to the dancers and includes squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line, and heritage). I’m so glad we can devote important taxpayer resources to such bullshit.

HB245 – Amending the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act (who didn’t just read that in the voice of the overhead announcer lady at the airport?) to ban the use of eCigarettes in public places and redefining “smoking” to include any heated tobacco (as opposed to just burning tobacco), the use of hookah, or “using an oral smoking device intended to circumvent the prohibition of smoking”. So no turning a cucumber into a pipe and trying to act all non-chalantly. eCigs are harmless to anyone but their users. In another case of anti-vice Utah making sure you don’t break the Doctrine and Covenants, this is a far overreach of government into the lives of individuals. If lawmakers were truly concerned about our health, they’d work on cleaning up our terrible air quality. But that would require imposing limits on particulate emissions, and why should the state stop my F150 from idling endlessly in traffic. No, this is pure and simple morality legislation that needs to die.

House Joint Resolutions

HJR1 – Shockingly this encourages the Utah State Board of Education to build green school buildings and to conform to LEED Silver certification or greater. Expect this one to die a fast death.

HJR10 – Proposes an amendment to the state constitution that would remove language requiring that state legislators live in the districts they represent. Because why should the people changing things about your life actually live in the areas impacted? Presumably this is so the legislature could gerrymander the shit out of the state without hurting anyone’s feelings. This is probably a result of the redistricting oops from earlier this year, where it was determined that Rep. Craig Frank didn’t actually live in his district. Akin to redefining cancer as “spontaneous organ growth” to heal the patient, getting rid of this rule is their solution to that problem. Also, they’re probably doing it so they could all live in an underground bunker at an undisclosed location, stockpiled with the Utah State Firearm™, cooking with the Utah State Cooking Pot™, and feasting on the Utah State Fish™ while wearing the Utah State Tartan Colors™.

Senate Bills

SB12 – Allows electric corporations to enter into contracts to supply power service from renewable energy facilities. I’m mostly shocked at the friendliness to renewable energy facilities. Perhaps I missed the language where coal was reclassified as a “renewable energy” because the cavemen killed dinosaurs 4000 years ago and it made some coal, so we could totally start doing that now and renew our sources of coal. Or something. Science isn’t the legislatures’ strong suit.

SB22 – Permits the Division of Wildlife to issue wolf hunting permits, as well as establishing penalties for non-permitted destruction of wolves. They just got de-listed from the Endangered Species list, so we can’t let them get all uppity and forget who’s the boss around here.

SB25 – Repeals the currently legislated provision that the state cannot participate in the REAL ID act, and states that the Drivers License Division may participate. Data from the Utah State Drivers License Division will be fed into the national database and state identification will have to conform to national standards for use in the national database system.

SB31 – Limits the number of students per teacher in K through 3, to be 18 students in kindergarten, 20 students in 1st grade, 22 students in 2nd grade, and 24 students in 3rd grade. The bill comes with no funding to work such miracles, however.

SB34 – Exempts agricultural products that are made and remain in the state of Utah from federal regulation and creates and enforces a “Made in Utah” identification program. A “Utah agri product” refers to any agri product that is made, grown, or produced in Utah. Another middle finger to the big bad federal government making sure that Monsanto isn’t trying to poison you. Guess that means you can get some tasty unregulated stuff in your CSA box soon.

SB107 – Adjusts penalties for graffitti and makes possession of any graffiti implement a class B misdemeanor. So don’t get arrested with a bag full of Sharpies or they’ll slap another charge on.

Senate Joint Resolutions

SJR5 – Proposes to amend the state constitution to move control and supervision of the public education system away from the State Board of Education to the Governor. Because it’s a lot harder to bend the will of a group of people than it is the Governor. Plus you can override his decisions in the Legislature, where you have to work harder with the State BoE. This is what an unmitigated power grab looks like. In fact, the text of this bill is exactly the same (ignoring the new title) as 2011′s SJR9. When you fail, I guess you get up and do the exact same thing expecting a different result. Einstein would call that “insanity”, but he’s no Einstein.

SJR6 – Proposes to amend the state constitution to require a 2/3rds vote of the Legislature whenever a tax or fee increase is being voted on. This is the sort of thing that California has, which coupled with their attrocious proposition system that lets voters enact unfunded mandates, has sunk their state budget. The legislature wants to enact half this equation to appease some tea party minded groups hell bent on making sure that we only ever cut taxes.

Notably Absent

I know it’s still early, but not seen were bills revamping the DABC, school vouchers, crazy middle finger “message bills” to the federal government/aliens/that guy in your ward who snaps his gum in priesthood/petulant badgers, bills that will cost the state money in federal court when it’s identified early on that they are illegal but we want to pass them anyways (see message bills), money for education, giveaways to various pet companies/projects for legislators, or attacks on GRAMA, voter access, the environment, illegals, brown people, women, science, climate change, and seat belts.

That’s just some of the highlights of what’s been posted. Expect much more crazy to get posted as legislators wrap up counseling from their bishops and trek to the gayest city in the world, to meet in a building that has a reinforced copper ceiling to cope with the hot air generated without collapsing. You can follow the fun here at TS or read the gory details as they happen by following in the 1990 style web access portal.

Utah’s State Dems Novel Idea: Solve Utah’s DABC Woes With “Better Government”

Utah’s democrats, all three of them in the Utah Legislature, held a token Twitter town meeting on January 5th to discuss the Utah DABC woes. While it’s nice to have a pretend democratic process, the meeting itself was about useful as, well, the Utah DABC.

As the bastard great grandson of Orin Porter Rockwell, Brother Brigham’s finest mass murderers and brewers, I felt it was my patriotic duty to attend such silly proceedings.

Some of the highlights include:

Privatization of the DABC:

@Saintless: @DABCReview I don’t understand why, with the recent scandal, combined with the cutbacks, the DABC doesn’t privatize liquor. #DABCreview

@DABCReview : @Saintless One option that’s being discussed is a mini-DABC outlet in grocery stores which could sell wines. #DABCreview

@slclunches: @DABCReview The point I’d like to make is if it’s still going to operate like a regular DABC store it’s no better 4 consumer. #DABCreview

In other words, no fucking way will they relinquish 80 million in profits. God only knows if the private market would have a better idea of how to invest that money back to the free market.

After a barrage of questions from citizens, those eccentric Utah Democrats responded by telling everyone that they’re not there to change the laws, just to make the DABC “better”. Their premise was that more/better government is always the solution. Free markets and pro-consumerism sentiment were conspicuously absent in this Twitter Town Hall meeting. I’m surprised that Wall Street bankers were not in attendance.

@DABCReview : @BlueInRedZion That’s a Q. for the DABC. As the #DABCreview Comm, we’re making more structure recommendations. But hopefully more later!

Transparency within the DABC was an issue, but nobody had an idea of how to make the DABC transparent enough to operate publicly. It’s probably because The Church doesn’t want their secret meetings exposed as a secret plot to frustrate Gentiles into converting.

Tourism was also an issue. The Democrats didn’t respond to allegations that the liquor laws make Utah look like backwater hillbillies. One recent tourist created a cartoon to explain Utah’s liquor laws in a nutshell.

As with every government bureaucrats and politicians, the “Think of the Children” battle cry was eventually called, as they really don’t want to make a change for the better. Public Liquor equals better school lunches.

So what did I learn?

  1. There will be no privatization of the DABC. Brother Herbert and company know how to spend that money better than the free market.
  2. Stupid fucking Utah laws like Beer Burkahs, Death to Happy Hour and 3.2 beer are here to stay.
  3. The state will not provide customer service to the Gentiles in the terms of chilled wine, beer and holiday hours.
  4. Simplified licensing will never happen.
  5. Who fucking cares if tourists want a drink.

The outcome of this meeting is just like all town hall meetings held around the USA. You can bitch but nobody really fucking cares. At least Carl Wimmer has resigned.

Everything You Need to Know About the New Year

Good morning Utah! Have you kept your New Year’s resolutions so far? JK, we don’t give a shit. The world’s going to end in 354 days anyway*, so if there ever was a time to get fat and max out your credit cards, it’s now.

Telestial State was on a bit of a hiatus over the holidays, so here are the stories you need to be caught up with:

  • Jon Huntsman said on CBS’ The Early Show that he’s betting on New Hampshire instead of Iowa because “Iowa picks corn, not presidents.” Yes, insult Iowans… that will definitely work. This further strengthens my theory that Huntsman never wanted to be president, because he’s too busy being a brilliant Andy Kaufman-esque performance artist.
  • The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is currently searching for a new executive director to recommend to the governor, despite the fact that the DABC’s future is cloudy. Look, we understand that the odds of winning the new position are slim, but we’re honored just to be nominated.
  • Gross Warren Jeffs, the former president of the FLDS Church, is currently in a Texas prison after he was convicted last year of two felony counts of child sexual assault. Instead of instructing his followers to, oh I don’t know, bake him a cake with a metal file in it, Jeffs has commanded his followers to not have sex while he’s in prison. At all. Like, not even a quick little poke.
  • Mark Shurtleff — your Attorney General and our best friend — is suing the Bowl Championship Series for denying Boise State a bowl game, because this is totes important for some reason.
  • Mitt Romney said President Obama’s failure to keep promises makes him similar to the Kardashians, and he’s totally correct, because Kim Kardashian getting a fucking divorce is totally equivalent to failing to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.
  • We wrote a goddamn book, y’all: The Best of Telestial State: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. If you enjoy Telestial State, you can support us by purchasing our ebook for only $1.99. It’s currently available in .epub format, but a version of the book will also be available on iTunes in a few days. If you would like a PDF version of the ebook instead, let us know and we will happily email you one.

Happy New Year. Or whatever.

*According to the Mayans and/or your racist uncle.