Week 6: Legislative Update
I hope this newsletter finds you and your family healthy and doing well. Just one week left of the 2021 Legislative Session. I wanted to make sure I updated you on this last week.
Significant progress has been made in creating legislation to address emergency powers of the executive branch. My bill that addressed no-bid contracts, HB 43, passed both the House and the Senate and has been sent to the Governor to be signed. Just this week, I voted in committee in support of SB 107: In-Person Instruction Prioritization, prioritizing in-person learning as an option for students.
As a member of the House Government Operations Committee, we will be voting on two bills that have consolidated policy efforts to limit executive powers, as well as the powers of public health departments. SB 195: Emergency Response Amendments will be heard in our committee this week. This bill allows the legislature and local legislative bodies to terminate executive orders from the Governor and health departments. It also prevents the executive branch from enacting restrictions for religious gatherings that are more restrictive than any other public gathering during an emergency.
As a sponsor of one of the tax bills (HB 161: Military Retirement Exemptions), I participated in the press conference announcing that we will be giving $100 million in tax relief back to Utah citizens. The tax cut package focuses on families, veterans and elderly citizens. Details on the social security tax exemption, dependent exemption, and military retirement income tax exemption can be found in the following bills: S.B. 153, S.B. 11 and H.B. 86.
I am hopeful that before the session is done, we as a legislature will come to an agreement on roughly a $1.5 billion bond for transportation needs in our state. Know that myself, and other representatives from the south west corner of the valley are working closely with city mayors and council members and House leadership to have the Bangerter Highway interchanges at 134th and 98th South prioritized. There are two bills to keep your eye on for transportation funding this session: HB 433: Amendments Related to Infrastructure Funding, and HB 244: First Class County Highway Road Funds Amendments.
The Executive Appropriations Committee (EAC) finalized recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget. The recommendations include increased funding for education, healthcare, infrastructure and transportation, and a significant tax cut. The EAC budget will be voted on this week before we close the 2021 session.
- HB 329: Expungement Revisions: I presented HB 329 on the House Floor and in the Senate committee, it passed unanimously on the floor and in committee. The bill is in the lineup to be heard on the Senate floor this week.
- HB 301 Domestic Violence Training Amendments: I presented HB 329 on the House Floor and in the Senate committee, it passed unanimously on the floor and in committee. The bill is in the lineup to be heard on the Senate floor this week.
- HJR 8: Joint Resolution to Protect Utah’s Institutions of Higher Education from Chinese Communist Party Influence: Despite this bill having unanimous support in committee and the House, as well as the support of Senator Mitt Romney, Representative Chris Stewart, and Representative John Curtis, this resolution is being held in the Senate Rules Committee. If you haven’t already, please take a minute to send your Senator an email of support.
For a complete list of the legislation I’m working on, click here.
In the News
I have received thousands of emails this session and am doing my best to respond. 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. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter!
State Representative for House District 52
Bills Passed this week
This week, the House passed 65 bills and has passed a total of 369 bills this session.