Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
Having experienced federal government employment vs. employment at the state capitol, my interests focused on the State Capitol Offices. My efforts met with greater acceptance and effectiveness. Two legislative analyst positions were advertised about the time my rotational assignment in the Governor's Office was to conclude and I would return to Washington, DC and the Presidential Management Internship (PMI) with the Naval Aid Systems Command (NAVAIR).
I accepted the legislative analyst position to staff the full committees for Transportation and Public Safety and for Judiciary. My first assignment was to research the need and impact economic deregulation would have on the intrastate motor carrier industry. Utah had been heavily regulated for 50 years establishing trucking monopolies. Regulation maintained monopolies denying other truckers opportunity to work unless paying leasing fees from 15% to 33% of gross income to a regulated carrier for the right to work. I completed my PMI with the Utah Legislative Office.
Interviews with regulated truckers provided similar responses of more regulations for economic protection. A research trip to Arizona after my participation in the White House Conference on Productivity in San Diego opened my eyes that Arizona's deregulation was working well. This led to further investigation in Utah and uncovered significant misrepresentations, inequities, and malfeasance. As committee hearings progressed, I was tasked by the Committee Chairmen to create a task force to study and recommend three strains of trucking deregulation. I chaired the 26 member research committee. One recommendation was accepted by the full Transportation and Public Safety Committee that followed the federal deregulatory measure.
Other assignments offered opportunities to write speeches for legislators and travel throughout the state investigating issues leading to legislation. A key to success required remaining divested of personal preferences, demonstrating unwavering integrity, and serving both sides of the political aisle fairly and without bias. I became impressed with the integrity most legislators demonstrated in the performance of their duties. Through the legislative process they tend to arrive at effective conclusions.
One State Senator attempted to skew the motor carrrier reserach to favor his trucking business and invited myself and the State Representative sponsoring motor carrier deregulation into his office for a bit of good ole boy arm twisting. After he had made the case of his importance and how he would not allow us to impact the regulations affecting his business, I had but one option. My integrity was on the line. Being a fighter pilot my judgment was to turn into the fight by informing the arm twisting senior Senator of my intentions to give him the facts, whether he liked them or not. What he did with those facts would be his business. As we departed his office, the Representative observed that we had just tangled with our future. Indeed we did.
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