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Utah House District 47

The Utah House of Representatives is comprised of 75 men and women, each representing different areas of the state, elected to two-year terms.

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    Scott Bell
    (Dem)

  • Steve Christiansen
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

Utah continues to be one of only 11 states with no limit on the amount of money an individual can contribute to a political campaign, and one of only 5 states with no limits on what a corporation can contribute. Do you favor any limits on donations to political campaigns? Why or why not?

What is the legislature’s role in addressing the homeless problem and assuring affordable housing for the working poor?

Not all school districts are able to provide the same resources for their students. How should we support school districts with lesser ability (primarily because of lower property values) to raise revenue?

The Utah State Constitution reads, in part, "Both male and female citizens of this State shall enjoy equally all civil, political and religious rights and privileges." The Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Should Utah ratify the ERA which expresses the same view as the Utah Constitution? Explain your position.

Campaign Email Address ScottBell4UtahHD47@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (385) 429-2681
Twitter @ScottBell4Utah
Current Employment Retired
Education B.S. Mining Engineering, Magna Cum Laude, 1980, Univ of Idaho
Campaign Website ScottBellForUtahHD47.com
I favor limits on donations to political campaigns. I also favor complete transparency. I believe the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling was wrongfully decided.

Let’s face it... money buys influence, and big money buys big influence. We do not want our representatives to be beholden to deep-pocketed donors who game the system to their advantage. Such influence disadvantages ordinary Utahns who don’t have the means, motive or opportunity to buy influence. It also contributes to the growing income inequality in America in which ordinary Americans are being left behind while the rich, powerful and influential are getting richer, more powerful, and more influential. I believe this income/power inequality is fueling anger and despair in America and is a significant contributor to the current divisiveness in American politics.
Profit motive is a powerful and appropriate tool in a capitalist economy. However, in its freest form, unregulated and unscrutinized, pure capitalism is predatory and cruel.

Landlords and real estate developers are quite rightly motivated by profit. Why sell a housing unit for $150,000 to help a poor family when you can sell the same unit to someone else for $300,000? This is where government can help, by creating public – private partnerships that can satisfy the needs of both parties. Land and construction subsidies, rental assistance, and partnering with private companies to build and/or operate affordable housing units are all legitimate and necessary types of government intervention to address problems of homelessness and affordable housing.
The simplest and most obvious answer is to share some of the revenue of rich school districts with poor school districts. I believe this should be the case, at least to a degree. However, the parents in richer school districts will quite understandably begin to resist this as soon as they perceive (rightly or wrongly) that their own children’s school districts are being materially impacted.

A better alternative is to increase revenue for state education. We have the opportunity to do so if we have the will to do it:

 Allow a lottery to operate in Utah and direct the revenues to public education.

 Privatize state liquor stores. Revenues would almost certainly increase.

 Utah is blessed with 63 million acres of public land, rich in recreational, cultural, historic and touristic opportunities. Aggressively market Utah as a tourist destination, tax those recreational and touristic activities and direct the tax revenue to public education.
Utah ABSOLUTELY should ratify the ERA. Below is part of a letter I had published in the Salt Lake Trib explaining why.

“Seventy-two percent of American adults believe the Constitution explicitly protects equal rights of women and men. It does not! ... In 2011, Antonin Scalia astoundingly asserted, “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

Think about that: A Supreme Court Justice held that the Constitution does NOT prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex... That can’t be right.

Adopting the ERA would protect against rollbacks in women’s rights already achieved. It would also allow women to achieve what should already be their right: Equal pay for equal work; requiring sex discrimination offenders to affirmatively prove they didn’t violate the Constitution; and more..."

Please see the full text at https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/letters/2020/08/20/letter-utah-should-pass/
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