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.
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.