Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
State governmen t is preferred to federal government for getting things done. I accepted a research analyst position with the Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel to staff two full legislative committees while completing the Presidential Management Internship.
A main focus researched the need and impact of economic deregulation on the intrastate motor carrier industry. Utah was heavily regulated for 50 years with established 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.
Regulated truckers wanted more regulation for economic protection. My research trip to Arizona after participation in the White House Conference on Productivity in San Diego confirmed Arizona's deregulation worked well. Further investigation in Utah uncovered misrepresentations, inequities, and malfeasance. As committee hearings progressed, Committee Chairmen assigned me to create a task force to study and recommend three examples of trucking deregulation. I chaired the 26 member research committee. The Transportation and Public Safety Committee chose the federal deregulatory option to consider.
Opportunities arose to write speeches for legislators and travel throughout the state investigating legislative issues. Key to success required being 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 tended 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 to his office for a bit of good ole boy arm twisting. After he made the case of his importance and how he would not allow an impact of 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 had.