Protecting the Public and Creating Jobs

Brent GoodfellowYesterday Senator Goodfellow and Waste Management VIPs were honored to have Governor Gary Herbert sign a ceremonial copy of SCR6, Concurrent Resolution Approving Classification of Solid Waste Facility Solid Waste Permit, passed in the 2010 General Legislative Session.

Waste Management currently operates a landfill in Salt Lake County that accepts industrial and construction waste.  Waste Management is contracted with Salt Lake County and accepts all of the construction and industrial waste from the county.

This bill will allow Waste Management to designate a portion of its landfill to accept asbestos waste.  Our current asbestos waste landfill is filling up, and therefore, Waste Management’s landfill will be the only landfill in the county where there will be a place to dispose of asbestos waste.

The permitting process requires Waste Management to meet all of the conditions through the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), but DEQ cannot issue a permit without approval from the Legislature and the Governor.  This resolution gives DEQ authority to issue the necessary permit for disposal of asbestos waste.

Governor Herbert signs SCR6
A Signature

 Sen. Goodfellow with Waste Management Group
and

 Governor Herbert shakes hands with Sen. Goodfellow
a handshake.

 

Utah’s School Children Deserve Better

Brent Goodfellowby Senator Brent Goodfellow
Senate District 12

School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration’s bonuses are an outrage to the legislators and the people of Utah.  Last year in the Legislative session, a prohibition was placed on bonuses for the 2010 fiscal year.   This did not deny the top executives at SITLA the pleasure of huge bonus payouts to themselves.  On June 30, 2009 (the last day of the budget year), the top two SITLA executives received payments totaling $114,660.   In fact, for the total $428,000 in bonuses paid out to employees in fiscal year 2009, $294,000 was paid to the top six executives. These bonuses were simply a double payout in order for the Administration to get around the prohibition set by the Legislature for this fiscal year.  SITLA defends the bonuses claiming that their goals were met so the bonuses were earned, but they fail to mention that they lowered the target goal by 25%.  This is a topic that needs to be addressed and not tolerated by the people of our state.

More about Teacher Licensing…

Brent GoodfellowAfter a lengthy discussion on the Senate floor yesterday, S.B. 48, Teacher Licensing by Competency Amendments sponsored by Senator Chris Buttars, passed it’s second reading with a vote of 17-11. This bill will allow individuals with a bachelor’s degree to obtain a license to teach after passing competency tests and/or demonstrating skills in the areas they wish to teach.

Senator Goodfellow was concerned about how this bill would affect elementary education, especially reading. “Teaching reading is not something you just pick up,” he said.  “You need to learn the pedagogy, the teaching methods.” (Click here for The Salt Lake Tribune article in this morning’s paper or here for today’s article in the Provo Daily Herald.)

To address his concerns, Senator Goodfellow introduced an amendment today that would exclude the elementary grades from the bill.  Both the amendment and the bill passed today, and the amended bill will now move to the House for consideration.  To read the amended bill, click here or listen to the floor debate by clicking here (select Day 19).

Senator Goodfellow fully supports the current educational requirements teachers are required to take for certification.  He also believes we need to send a strong message of support to all of our teachers.  They are doing an outstanding job, and we thank them for teaching our precious children.


Change in Leadership

The Utah Senate Democrat caucus met today and made changes in the leadership team (necessitated by the recent passing of Senator Ed Mayne). Senator Pat Jones was made Assistant Senate Minority Whip (replacing Senator Ed Mayne) and Senator Brent Goodfellow was elected Senate Minority Caucus Manager (replacing Senator Pat Jones).

We thank Senator Jones and Senator Goodfellow for their willingness to serve on the leadership team in their new capacities, and we look forward to working with them.