On Monday, January 27, the legislature kicked off the 2020 General Legislative Session. It’s been a busy first week and I wanted to give you an update on what I’ll be working on this session and an update on the past week.
On Tuesday, the House voted on H.B. 185 Tax Restructuring Revisions – Repeal, the bill passed in both the House and Senate to repeal the tax reform bill passed during the special session. I voted no on S.B. 2001 during the special session in December and voted in favor of repealing it this week.
Speaker Brad Wilson delivered his opening address the morning of the opening ceremonies, he said, “Today is the first legislative session of the 2020s. As in decades past, we face significant issues, and how we address them will significantly impact the direction of our state for years and decades to come. We have an economy that is evolving, our population is growing at an unprecedented rate, and we are charged with educating a tech-savvy generation of students who will operate in and change the world in ways we can scarcely imagine.”
Governor Gary R. Herbert gave his last and eleventh state of the state address. I appreciated his warm welcome and look forward to celebrating the centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment and the 150th anniversary of women voting in Utah. Utah will be sending a larger-than-life-statue of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, the first woman to serve in Utah’s legislature and in the country, to represent Utah in statutory hall in the fall. You can read Governor Herbert’s full remarks here.
I have enjoyed meeting with constituents and advocates from our district this week—particularly the fifth graders from Silver Crest Elementary. I met with Herriman, Riverton, and South Jordan City council members and mayors, as well as the Utah League of Cities and Towns to discuss local government issues. I attended the Olympia Hills hearing in Herriman and shared the details of my bill during the public comment. Today my family and I participated in the Riverton High School Hope Walk for suicide prevention. This is just a highlight of the many different meetings and events I participated in this week.
My Legislation This Week:
This week I presented my bill, HB 30: Workforce Services Amendments, to the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee—the bill passed unanimously out of committee. In addition, I presented my bill, HB 42: Heritage and Arts Amendmentson the House floor which passed unanimously and is on its way to the Senate.
I am currently working on four other bills, they’re still in the drafting stage, but I will be sharing links to the bill language once they’re public. They are the following:
1. Impact Fee Amendments: This bill addresses the issue of first class counties approving large economic development projects in unincorporated area and empowers immediately adjacent cities to collect impact fees. An example of this is the Olympia Hills development that the Salt Lake County Council is reviewing. This development will have serious impacts on cities in our district’s law enforcement, roads, schools, water, city resources, etc. The developer is avoiding $40 million in impact fees, critical for our cities in absorbing the impact of such a large development.
2. Public Information Website Revisions: This bill cleans up the statutes dealing with the State's public information websites and helps streamline the process for reporting budgets, information, etc. on state websites, increasing transparency and access.
3. Penalties for Misconduct with Students: It is unfortunate that I have to run this bill; I was contacted by the Utah State Board of Education and was informed there is a loophole in current code that when a teacher engages in sexual misconduct with a student who is not a minor (example: an eighteen year old senior) who does not attend their school, but goes to a school in their district, they are not penalized as if the student attended the school they teach at. This bill extends the penalty to sexual misconduct within the educator’s LFA and extracurricular activities they assist with.
I currently serve on the House Government Operations Committee,House Health and Human Services Committeeand the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee. You can learn more about my committee assignments here.
How to stay engaged this session:
Stay engaged this legislative session by tracking bills, listening to committee hearings and following votes. All this can be done on the Utah State Legislature’s website, here.
Thank you to all of you who attended the Constituent Tour, it was a huge success! Be sure to mark your calendars for my next town hall on Saturday, February 22ndfrom 1-2:30pm at the Herriman City Library.