We’ve made it to our final week of the General Session and have already passed 388 bills that will have a significant, meaningful impact for all Utahns. You can attend committee meetings virtually and listen to floor debates at le.utah.gov.
Because of a holiday, and then massive snow storm, we had to reschedule our family night at the Capitol. Thankfully we've been able to reschedule it for Monday, February 27th at 6:30pm. Plan on meeting me in the Capitol Rotunda! You can RSVP by responding to this email, or by emailing email@example.com.
This week we wrapped up our committee meetings, and will have just one last committee meeting left early next week. In the Government Operations Committee we've reviewed many bills related to election reform, strengthening the caucus system, addressing the issue of plurality of candidates in elections, and increasing transparency in government. In the Education Standing Committee, which I chair, we've reviewed bills that foster more innovation in education, increase teacher pay, and empower parents with more options to customize their child's educational experience.
You can watch my weekly update below!
Passed Historic Tax Cuts
This week I voted in favor of three important bills to cut taxes and reduce the burden of government on Utah families.
H.B. 54 Tax Revisions cuts the income tax rate from 4.85% to 4.65%; expands the social security tax credit eligibility to individuals earning up to $75,000 per year; provides a tax benefit for pregnant women by allowing a double dependent exemption for children in the year of their birth; increases the earned income tax credit from 15% to 20% of the federal credit.
HB 101 Food Sales Tax Amendments removes the state portion of sales tax on food (contingent on removing the constitutional earmark for income tax revenue.)
HB 170 Child Tax Credit Revisions enacts a child tax credit for young families with children under the ages of five years old. Rather than throwing more money at childcare subsidies this expanded tax credit will go to families who know best what their family needs, whether it goes towards childcare or their family budget is up to them.
Putting more of people's hard-earned money back into their budgets is one of the most important things we will do during this legislative session.
HB 511 Crime Victim Identification Amendments
This week I presented HB 511 to the House Law Enforcement Committee, the bill passed unanimously.
HB 511 works to protect the privacy and safety of victims who are minors, and their families. I was honored to have the Lopati and Tahi families join me to speak to the bill and share their experience.
Tragically, these families' two sons were killed and their names were released without the families' knowledge and many of their family members found out they had died from media reports. This bill directs law enforcement entities not to release the names of victims who are minors without consent of their parent or guardian. While this is a best practice for many of our law enforcement entities, this should be standard across the state.
No parent should have to endure the tragedy of losing a child, and their nightmare should not be compounded by their child's identity being shared prematurely.
HB 161 Foreign Language Education Funding Amendments: This bill was funded by the Executive Appropriations Committee and should be voted on early this week by the Senate. HB 163 Protecting Student Religious and Moral Beliefs Regarding Athletic Uniform Requirements: This bill has passed both the House and Senate and is just waiting to be signed by the Governor! You can read the Deseret News' most recent coverage of the bill here. HB 186 Stand Land Purchase Restrictions: This bill passed the House and the Senate Economic Development Committee. The bill should be voted on early this week in the Senate. HB 429 Pregnant and Postpartum Inmate Amendments: This bill passed the House unanimously and will be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Monday. For a full list of legislation I'm working on, you can visit here.
Session Wrap Up Townhall With the session coming to a close, I'll be hosting a town hall to discuss the policies and legislation passed during the session and what I'll be working on over interim. Join me on Saturday, March 4th at 11am at Herriman City Hall.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve our district. Please feel free to email me with any concerns or questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your home address so I know you live in my district!
Candice B. Pierucci
State Representative for House District 49