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2017 Legislature - Week 5 Summary!

The 2017 General Session of the Utah State Legislature is flying by. Just 11 days left.  Thank you so much for all of your support.  It is truly an honor to represent the great residents of District 33.  Just a few highlights from the week:

Special Events at the Capitol

  • Honoring Firefighters at the Capitol - Visit from West Valley Fire
 
This las week we honored firefighters throughout the State at the Capitol building.  I was fortunate to visit with firefighters from West Valley (including West Valley Fire Chief John Evans) and discuss with them their successes and concerns. Thanks so much to these heroes who literally put their lives on the line every day.  





  • Visit from the PTA

 

This week the PTA came to the Capitol to share their thoughts and concerns regarding our public school system.  So great to hear their thoughts.  Schools work so much better with involved parents.  Thanks so much of visiting!




  • Visits from students attending the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind
 
One of my favorite visits to the Capitol every Session is from the students who attend the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind. Here are a few. Such great kids that work so hard. Thanks for visiting!
 



  • Visits to the Capitol! / Visits from Constituents

 

One of our State's treasures is the State Capitol building.  And visiting during the legislative session is the best time of year to visit.  Lots of action happening every day.  I would love to give your family / school group / church group / etc. a behind-the-scenes tour of the State Capitol.  Here's a photo of two great constituents that visited this week.  Give me a call/email/text and we'll make it happen. 





  • Visits from Members of Congress

Every year, Utah's members of congress visit the Utah Legislature.  Below is a photo of Congressman Stewart. Thanks to our federal delegation for the visits and letting us know what's going on in Washington D.C.





2017 Legislation

This last week we continued the process of voting on non-budget bills.  Of course, you can always watch the new reports.  But the best way to track any legislation is at the Legislature's website at http://le.utah.gov.  Here are a few of the more interesting bills that were discussed this last week:
  • A measure that would create a statewide mental health crisis hotline is awaiting the signatures of legislative leaders before heading to the governor's desk. [DNews]
  • The Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that would increase the age requirement for wearing a helmet on a motorcycle from 18 to 21. [Trib]
  • The Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee advanced a bill to make sexual extortion its own crime. [DNews]
  • Criminals convicted of aggravated human trafficking or child exploitation that led to death could be subject to capital punishment through a new measure that passed through  the House by a single vote. [KUTV]
  • Legislation that would limit "surprise billing" - when hospitals and doctors charge the difference between what someone's insurance company is required to pay under federal law and what the hospital and doctors want to pay - advanced unanimously through a House committee. [Trib]
  • A House committee voted to hold a bill that would have created a process to remove lawmakers due to mental incapacity, with the bill's sponsor acknowledging the legislation was "not ready for prime time yet." [Trib] [DNews]
  • A bill would increase the penalty for drug-related crimes committed within 100 feet of a government-funded homeless shelter to a third-degree felony. [Trib] [DNews]
  • The House voted unanimously to perform more frequent checkups on Utah's school buses, a measure that now heads to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature or veto. [Trib] [DNews]
  • A bill that aims to keep guns out of the hands of people convicted of domestic violence or who have protective or restraining orders against them gained unanimous approval as it made its way through the House. [Trib] [DNews]

Rep. Hall's Legislation

I have several bills this session, here are a few:
  • HB86 - Inactive Voter Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 70-0 and the Senate 25 -0.   Sen. Karen Mayne was the Senate sponsor.  
This is a relatively simple bill which helps make sure that voters don't get kicked off the voter rolls due to a technicality.  I was asked by the Lt. Gov.'s Office to sponsor the bill and I am happy to help them achieve this goal.  
  • HB105 - Early Voting Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 73-0. Passed the Senate 28-0.
State law currently allows early voting from two weeks before Election Day, until Friday before Election Day. This bill would extend early voting until Monday before Election Day.  I was asked by the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office to run this bill. This is a great bill which will give more options to Utah's voters.  Here's some press coverage regarding the bill. [SLTrib] This is a bill that clarifies how to determine damages in the event of securities fraud. I was requested by the Utah Attorney General's office to run this bill.  
  • HB218 - Poll Location Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 75-0 and the Senate 28-0. 
Some of you may remember the long lines on Election Day.  Last November, the Clerk's Office wanted to open more poll locations, but there was a notification deadline that had already passed - effectively prohibiting the Clerk's Office from opening more locations.  This bill will allow the Clerk's Office to open a poll location at the last minute if they determine more locations are needed.
  • HB288 - School Sunscreen Provision - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 68-1.  Passed the Senate 27-0.
Did you know your child is not allowed to bring sunscreen to school unless he/she has: (1) a parent note; and (2) a doctor note?  Ridiculous, I know.  The reason this is the case is because sunscreen is considered a "medicine," and medicine is not allowed in school.  This bill will allow your child to bring sunscreen to school without going through the hassle of a doctor note and a parent note. Here is some press coverage regarding the bill. [DNews]
  • HB245 - School District Procurement Process - I am the chief sponsor for of this bill.  Passed House 70-0.  Off to the Senate.
Currently if a school district wants to build or repair a school, the district must place the project in the newspaper (the actual newspaper) to let contractors know of, and bid on, the project.  However, industry practice now is that contractors go online to find notice of these projects.  So this bill still requires that notice of these projects be placed online, but eliminate the need for them it in the physical newspaper.
  • HB132 - School Bus Safety Requirements - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Transportation Committee 7-3. Bill was voted upon by the full House and failed 30-40.
This bill would require seat belts in new school buses (model year 2017 buses and newer).  I was first introduced to this issue when a friend of mine, while I was living in Texas, had a daughter who was seriously injured in a school bus that tipped onto its side while on their way to a soccer game. Two of her teammates died as a result of the accident.   

I appreciate all the feedback I've received regarding this bill.  I've been in close contact with the school districts discussing ways to improve the bill.  Thanks to all those who have reached out.  Here is an article regarding the bill: [SLTrib] Administrative Law Judges adjudicate items when a citizen has a dispute with a government agency.  Currently there is no requirement for these judges to be law-trained.  These judges deal with issues that are legally complicated (health code, insurance code, etc.) and I believe it is best practice for these individuals to graduate from law school before they rule on legal rights for Utah citizens. There are hundreds of cities and towns throughout Utah. Each of them can set their own per diem rates.  This bill will cap the per diem rates at the State rate. This will help avoid excessive reimbursements to city officials throughout the State.

Town Hall Meetings!

I've had three town hall meetings over the last four weeks!  Thank you so much to those who have been able to come. Great conversation and great questions!!! 

Please return your survey!

I have mailed a survey to constituents within District 33.  The answers you provide to these survey questions are invaluable.  Please, please, please fill it out and return! (Below is a photo of some of the paper surveys that have been returned!). I am very interested in your perspectives. Your comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated.  You can also take the survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RepHall2017 if you prefer that method.  Thank you so much!





Ways to Contact Representative Hall

I make a concerted effort to reach out to all of my constituents.  For that reason, I use as many different forms of communication as possible.  Most of you have received mail from me.  I also have frequent town hall meetings (more on that above).  You can follow me online at www.votecraighall.com.  For even more frequent updates, you can follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votecraighall and/or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hcraighall.  You are also welcome to call my cell phone anytime.  (801) 573-1774.  I will be in many meetings throughout the legislative session, so if I don't answer right away, feel free to leave me a message and I'll try to call back as soon as possible.  I will also be sending out regular updates via email.  Probably the quickest way to get ahold of me is by email.  My legislative email address is chall@le.utah.gov.

Thanks for your support. Contact me anytime.

Read all previous email newsletters here: http://bit.ly/YJCYy1

Representative Craig Hall

Legislative email: chall@le.utah.gov
Personal email: hcraighall@yahoo.com
Website: www.votecraighall.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/votecraighall
Twitter: www.twitter.com/hcraighall
Cell phone: (801) 573-1774

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Craig Hall
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