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Week Three Newsletter is in Progress. Here is Week Two.

We have wrapped up the second week of the legislative session and third week has taken on a speed much faster than the two weeks before. Last week, we passed a base budget that included a $400 million increase in funding for public education, gave state employees a 3% raise, and set the groundwork for next year’s state budget. Additionally, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee passed HB 85, which would provide our senior population with a social security tax cut. We have several important pieces of legislation to look forward to and many challenges to address in coming weeks.

Base Budget Bills

During the second week of each session, the Legislature passes a base budget for the following fiscal year. This week’s podcast features Representative Brad Last, Chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee. Listen here to learn more about Utah’s base budget including why it’s important and how it came to be.

Additionally, SB 1, Public Education Base Budget Amendments passed both the House and the Senate this week. This is the single biggest investment for public education in state history with nearly $6.5 billion in funding for FY 2022 and FY 2023.

  • HB 1 Higher Education Base Budget

  • HB 4 Business, Economic Development, and Labor Base Budget

  • HB 6 Infrastructure and General Government Base Budget

  • HB 7 National Guard, Veterans Affairs, and Legislature Base Budget

Resolution Recognizing Donovan Mitchell

This week, the House passed HR 3, House Resolution Honoring Donovan Mitchell over Shaquille O'neal. Wearing her referee jersey, Rep. Kera Birkeland presented the resolution recognizing Donovan Mitchell for his indomitable spirit and dedication on and off the court stating, “The House of Representatives of the State of Utah recognizes the exemplary service of Donovan Mitchell Jr. to the Utah Jazz and to the people of the great state of Utah.” Although Shaq may think otherwise, we think we are pretty lucky to have Spida represent Utah. Sporting his #45 jersey from the dais, Speaker Wilson said, “We’ll take Spida over Shaq any day! [Donovan Mitchell]’s greatness extends far beyond the court. He’s an example of service, dedication and selflessness and Utah is lucky to have him.”

Congressional Delegation Visits

We look forward to welcoming members of Utah’s congressional delegation each session. Last week, we were joined by our newest Representatives, Congressman Blake Moore and Congressman Burgess Owens. We discussed their roles in D.C. and how we can work together to better the lives of Utahn's.

COVID-19 Vaccination Questions

We are excited to see more and more Utahns receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. The Utah Department of Health has created a comprehensive document that answers many questions and provides in depth information on the vaccine. View the fact sheet by clicking here.

It Takes a lot of People

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with policy analysts and members of Utah Retirement Systems to discuss the fiscal note and the variables that can affect the note attached to my Retirement Amendments Bill HB150. There is a lot that goes into getting a bill numbered, getting the bill through the Rules Committee, Standing Committees, through debate in the House as well as the Senate and finally signed by the governor. There are a lot of people involved in the process and I am glad to have as much support as I can get along the way.

Committee Debate

As a member of the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Standing Committee we debated HB 220, Pretrial Detention Amendments. Most committee meetings this session have had few members of the public attend, however, the debate for this bill filled the committee room. I am glad to see so many people involved in the process whether in person or virtually. When the debate finished I voted to send the bill to the full House for a vote.

My First Bill

Last Tuesday was my first opportunity to stand and address the entire House of Representatives as the Floor Sponsor of a bill, SB24, Property Tax Revisions. There must be something I still need to learn, the bill passed the Senate unanimously but there was one dissenting vote in the House. I am very grateful for my colleagues at the capitol and for the opportunity to represent House District 29. Challenges and victories that lie ahead but with participation and debate we will get the job done for Utah!

Bills Passed last week:

  • HB 8 State Agency and Higher Education Compensation Appropriations

  • HB 15 Controlled Substance Amendments

  • HB 30 Tax Amendments

  • HB 34 Medical Respite Care Pilot Program

  • HB 42 Education Agency Report Process Amendments

  • HB 46 Student Prosperity Savings Program Amendments

  • HB 49 Commercial Interior Designers Act Amendments

  • HB 50 Government Insurance Amendments

  • HB 60 Conceal Carry Firearms Amendments

  • HB 99 Public Employees Health Program Amendments

  • HB 129 Office on Domestic and Sexual Violence

  • HB 131 State Facility Energy Efficiency Amendments

  • HB 141 Municipal Service Amendments

  • HB 181 Personalized Competency-based Learning

You can keep track of all of this year’s bills here.

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