The first two weeks: Emergency Contracts & Education Spending
The first two weeks of the session have been busy! I hope you and your family are doing well. I wanted to give you an update on what I’ve been working on.
This week I presented HB 43: Emergency Procurement Declaration Modifications to the House Government Operations Committee. This bill passed out of the committee unanimously. Over interim I worked closely with the Administrative Services and the Division of Purchasing & General Services on language that allows the executive branch to be nimble and responsive while putting guardrails, checkpoints, and caps into place to encourage transparency, accountability and ultimately the competitive bid process. In a nut-shell, this bill limits emergency no-bid contracts to thirty days.
In addition, this week I presented HB 63: Impact Fee Amendments to the House Political Subdivisions Committee, the bill received a unanimous favorable recommendation. Over the summer I worked on this bill with the League of Cities and Towns and the Land Use Task Force to clarify and ensure that the cost of an impact fee study can be included in an impact fee.
For a full list of the legislation I’m working on, check out my legislative page here.
Base Budget & Appropriations
During the second week of each session, the Legislature passes a base budget for the following fiscal year. This week, S.B. 1 Public Education Base Budget Amendments passed both the House and the Senate. This is the single biggest investment for public education in state history with nearly $6.5 billion in funding for FY 2022 and FY 2023. This bill includes a 6% increase to the WPU and a bonus for teachers and school staff.
As a member of the Social Services Appropriations Committee, I have been reviewing state programs that are a safety net for individuals in Utah who are experiencing poverty, homelessness, and/or physical and mental health challenges. This past week, I successfully fought to keep funding for our maternal mental health program. This is an important program. Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths for mothers in Utah and 42% of Utah moms experience postpartum depression or anxiety. This is a real issue that we need to de-stigmatize and have the resources available for young moms to get the help they need. If you or someone you love might be experiencing depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after birth, you are not alone. You can find help here.
I do my best to be responsive to constituents during the session! Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 385-414-1488. Due to the volume of emails I receive during the session, be sure to include your address or zip code so I can prioritize responding to you as a constituent.
Bills Passed this Week:
As of Thursday, January 28, the House has passed 55 bills in total. Here are the bills that passed the House during week 2.
HB 141- Municipal Service Amendments
HB 60- Conceal Carry Firearms Amendments
HB 42- Education Agency Report Process Amendments
HB 30- Tax Amendments
HB 34- Medical Respite Care Pilot Program
H.B. 49 Commercial Interior Designers Act Amendments
H.B. 50 Government Insurance Amendments
H.B. 46 Student Prosperity Savings Program Amendments
H.B. 131 State Facility Energy Efficiency Amendments
H.B. 99 Public Employees Health Program Amendments
H.B. 181 Personalized Competency-based Learning
H.B. 7 National Guard, Veterans Affairs, and Legislature Base Budget
H.B. 1 Higher Education Base Budget
H.B. 8 State Agency and Higher Education Compensation Appropriations
State Representative for House District 52