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Using name was mistake

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Gov. Olene Walker's recent veto of the bill known widely as the "Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship" bill was correct, but the principal reason may be lost on a legislative body that seems to view lawmaking more in terms of whether or not their chances for election are increased, rather than a law's actual merit.

The co-sponsors of the bill made serious errors by naming the bill specifically identifiable to a child. Children, under almost every circumstance where there are legal or civil issues concerning them, have certain rights to privacy; and where they don't exist, common sense should prevail. The Utah Legislature, and Carson's parents for that matter, should have been more sensitive and careful in naming and marketing their bill. Now their actions create a perception of a specific individual that will wax and wane publicly from the credible to the bizarre. No child should have to bear that burden, and no elected official should ever use a child to advance his or her own future.

If the Utah Legislature really wants to advocate for those who have very real and very serious bigger-than-life issues, then it should be more proactive in providing adequate funding and state support for all individuals who have afflictions exceeding their personal resources. Public education, however, should not be used as a legislative bank account, because it seems that too many on the Hill are all too willing to make self-serving withdrawals rather than significant deposits.

John S. Barron