As the fourth week of the legislative session wraps up, I hope you and your family are doing well. I wanted to follow-up with you on legislation I’ve been working on with my colleagues up at the legislature.
Please join Senator McCay, Representative Strong and me for a mid-session townhall on Thursday, February 17th at 7pm at Riverton City hall. For those who prefer to watch online, we'll be doing Facebook Live from my Facebook page @Representative Candice B. Pierucci.
This week we were privileged to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving our country. It was a sobering reminder of the cost of freedom and the loved ones left behind by our service members. To donate to help Gold Star families, visit here.
Tax Cuts On Thursday, I voted in support of SB 59: Tax Amendments; the bill has now passed in both the House and Senate. This bill will do the following:
Reduces the income tax rate on an individual's taxable income from 4.95% to 4.85%.
Expands the social security tax credit for seniors.
Establishes an earned income tax credit for low and moderate income working families.
Overall this is $190 million dollars in tax cuts for Utahns. I think it is important as legislators to constantly be looking for ways to reduce the tax burden on individuals and families and take less of people's hard earned money. I will continue to advocate for a common-sense approach to spending, and promoting the efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars. As a legislative body, we have had many discussions on reducing the sales tax on food. This is a conversation we will continue to have as we consider additional ways to reduce burdensome taxes on Utahns. HB 341: Birth Certificate Modifications Right now, parents are required to fill out a 100+ question survey to apply for a birth certificate before they can be released from the hospital after having a baby. The Department of Health does not ask for the individual’s permission to share the personal information from the survey, or inform the individual the data will be used for a never ending list of research projects. This is clearly a problem. HB 341 will do the following:
Reduce the number of required questions asked in the survey from 100 to 27 and make the remaining questions optional.
Require the Health Department to inform parents how and when their data will be used.
Put protections in place to require the Health Department to adhere to a regular schedule of deleting personal information and reducing the amount of personal information collected and stored.
Require the Department of Health to create a pathway for an individual to recall information that has been shared from previous surveys conducted.
The goal of this bill is to limit the burden of government and protect the privacy of individuals particularly new parents.
You can read KUTV’s extensive report on this problem here.
Utah birth certificates withheld in exchange for personal information
Where does the personal information given for a Utah birth certificate go?
HB 346: Funding Independence in Foreign Language Education When it comes to our children’s education, we should be self-reliant in funding language learning programs. Last year, I ran a resolution to close the Confucius Institutes in Utah. This bill is a follow-up to that resolution, codifying and finalizing the closure of a Confucius classroom at one of our school districts and the closure of the Confucius Institute at SUU. It is essential for students to have access to language and cultural offerings free from manipulation of the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies. Equally important, this bill would increase funding to the state’s dual language immersion program and establish a new language learning center at SUU to offset the loss of funds that will no longer be acceptable from China. According to recent census data, Utah has the second fastest growth rate for people who speak more than one language inside the home.With these increases, the state dual language immersion program has maintained and grown in demand. Scaling the funding for this program up to the level of growth and demand will help maintain Utah’s independence in funding our language programs and ultimately, better serve the educational needs of Utah’s children.
In The News Opinion: This is why education choice is so important in Utah The Hope Scholarship: Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson Utah Legislative Website For a full list of bills I’m running, you can review them here. Additionally, you can find committee meetings, bills, weekly schedules and passed bills on the state legislative website at www.le.utah.gov
Thank you again for the opportunity to represent our community, it is truly an honor to work with you and for you.
Bills Passed This Week