Thirty-five concerned Episcopalians gathered at the capitol building for the annual Episcopal Day at the Utah State Legislature to talk to representatives about social justice issues. The Coalition of Religious Communities organizes the faith days in hopes that voices for the voiceless living in poverty, oppression, and fear will be heard. Of special interest is a legislative movement to double the sales tax on food in Utah. Impoverished persons are impacted the most by increases in food taxes.
Bishop Scott B. Hayashi also discussed gun bills that are before our legislature. A “concealed carry without a permit” proposal is being tied to domestic violence prevention in a way to persuade the governor to sign it, if it passes. The bishop also discussed legislation that would allow 18 year-olds to obtain concealed carry permits. The bishop pleaded with the gathered Episcopalians to continue writing and visiting representatives throughout the session. Utah legislators have a reputation for responding to emails and frequently leave the legislative floors to talk to those who have requested visits.