He said there were no easy answers but Utah Republican Congressman Rob Bishop listened attentively Monday as several local mayors and other elected officials discussed issues that ranged from immigration to the need for road money.
Logan City Councilmember Holly Daines told the congressman her city has had problems getting a response from Union Pacific, “even though we have the money to pay for what we need.” She was referring to improved railroad crossings and the fact that when trains are left running all night it contributes to air pollution. Bishop expressed surprise that the city had not had a response and said he would, “try to put the pressure on.”
Told about Cache County’s need for road money, Bishop said a transportation bill is in the works but it would be a short-term solution when a long-term solution is really what the country needs.
When the issue of immigration came up, the Congressman said immigration reform can only come when we have border security and, “there is definitely no border security at the present time.”
Bishop said he still has hopes of switching some federal lands to state ownership but admitted it is an uphill battle. He expressed the opinion that much of the public land could be used for outdoor recreation and other areas should be open to development. He said the money Utah could get from that development would go a long way in helping provide more revenue for education and other needs in the state.
Bishop was in Logan just after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision that declared that certain employers cannot be required by the federal government to cover contraceptives for their employees. He said religious freedom is a fundamental constitutional right and he was pleased that the Supreme Court decided that right should be protected.