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  • Writer's pictureRep. Candice Pierucci

Week 1 Legislative Update: Survey, Capitol Tour Family Night, Legislation Highlights

Updated: Feb 4

Dear Constituents, 


I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. This past Tuesday signaled the beginning of the 2024 General Legislative Session. This week has already kicked off what will be a very productive session. I am grateful to be back with my colleagues, working hard each day to pass legislation that will have a meaningful impact on our district and state.

 

If you haven’t already, please take my constituent survey for this session. The survey asks big picture questions and policy-specific questions that we'll be considering in legislation over the next six weeks. You can take the survey here.



 



Capitol Tour Family Night

 

Mark your calendars for my annual Capitol Tour Family Night on Monday, January 29th at 6:30pm. You and your family are invited to meet me in the Capitol on the main floor in the rotunda at 6:30pm for a policy discussion, refreshments and a tour. Public parking is available on the East side of the building.




Legislative Highlights 


Here is an update on the legislation we passed this week in the House of Representatives:


Keeping Our Students Safe

 

Every child deserves to feel safe in their classrooms. Over the last year, schools across Utah have received an increase in hoax threats against students. These hoaxes have an enormous cost, both monetarily and mentally on our students, teachers, and first responders. The perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable. This week, we passed H.B. 14 School Threat Penalty Amendments to do just that. This bill increases criminal penalties for those who make threats against our students and schools, creating a needed additional deterrent.

 

Equal Opportunity Initiatives: Eliminating DEI from our Universities

 

On Wednesday, in our House Education Committee, we heard 90 minutes of public comment from more than 45 individuals both in favor and in opposition of  H.B. 261. It passed the committee with a favorable recommendation 12-2 and today H.B. 261 passed with a supermajority support for the legislation. I voted in favor of the bill both in committee and on the floor. This is an important step in getting our universities back on track and providing the right resources for student success across our state.

 

H.B. 261 accomplishes 3 main goals:

  • Focuses on removing barriers and ensuring fairness so all students can succeed. It

  • Ensures common-sense policies in state agencies and higher education institutions by no longer requiring applicants to provide submissions or attend trainings that promote political ideologies.

  • Prevents discriminatory practices based on an individual's race, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, or gender identity.

 

Institutions of higher education play an important role in preparing students to join our dynamic workforce, build strong communities, and engage effectively with our civic

institutions. In order for higher education to fulfill these goals, our colleges and universities must focus on their core missions of embracing academic excellence, fostering innovation, and cultivating a free marketplace of ideas. 

 

We are focused on removing barriers for all students who overcome adversity through

hard work, initiative, and talent. A narrow focus on diversity metrics unavoidably forces leaders to come up with arbitrary targets that are difficult to justify. Therefore, we must get back to the principles that foster viewpoint diversity, academic freedom,

freedom of expression, and political neutrality.

 

You can read the bill here.

 

Sex-Based Designations for Privacy, Anti-Bullying, and Women’s Opportunities 

 

H.B. 257 was passed in the House today by a super majority vote of 52-17. This bill incorporates the best parts of Title IX into state code, requiring government

entities to ensure girls and boys have access to equal facilities and athletic opportunities. Currently, Title IX complaints are handled solely by the federal government. The bill will give the Utah Attorney General’s office authority to receive and investigate complaints to improve responsiveness to Utah students and parents. 

 

Additionally, this bill defines “woman” and “man” for the entire state code and improves privacy by ensuring that people in government facilities use multiple-occupancy restrooms, locker rooms, or showers that correspond with their sex or they can use the unisex bathroom. Every day, Utahns access facilities based on their sex. This legislation would enact a common-sense standard we should all support: protecting Utahn’s privacy.

 

You can review the bill here.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve our district. Please feel free to email me with any concerns or questions you have at cpierucci@le.utah.gov. Be sure to include your home address so I know you live in my district!



Sincerely,



Candice B. Pierucci

State Representative for House District 49

































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