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August 2015 Legislative Update!

August Interim/Special Session

Following the completion of the general legislative Session begins the off-season, or "Interim" Session.  Once a month we meet in committees comprised of both House and Senate members and begin to craft and discuss proposed legislation for the 2016 session.   Our latest Interim Session was on August 19, 2015. On that same day, we also had a "Special Session" to vote on various bills (see below).
 

Items discussed during the August 2015 Interim/Special Session included:
  • Prison move - The Utah Legislature voted to move the state prison to Salt Lake City. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [ABC4] [Fox13] [KUER] [UtahPolicy]
  • State School Board - A legislative committee discussed a proposal to give the state's 15 largest school districts each a seat on the state school board but would force the remaining districts to share four to six seats. [Trib]
  • Police Body Cameras - Some Utah legislators want local law-enforcement agencies to write and follow their own standards when it comes to how and when police body cameras should be used, but others said the hands-off approach could lead to public distrust. [Trib] [DNews]
  • Medical marijuana - Received a presentation by experts in law enforcementpain managementneuropharmacology, and cannabis research on the physiological impacts of marijuana use and other issues related to state legalization of marijuana or marijuana products for medical use. 
  • Carpool lanes - UDOT revealed that 18 percent of vehicles in the carpool lane on Utah's Interstate 15 are violating the law. Despite issuing 1,616 tickets for these violations in the last year, Deputy UDOT director Shane Marshall said enforcement is tricky because it's difficult to pull cars over in the small left shoulder of the highway. [Trib]
  • Elections - Starting in 2016, it will be possible to have three or more candidates on a primary election ballot to win a Party's nomination for a state-wide, legislative or county race.  Lawmakers debated how to select a nominee if no candidate wins a majority in the primary election. [Trib]
  • Parental rights in education - Received the presentation “Data Collection and Parental Rights in Utah” and a presentation on parental rights from parents of school children regarding the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program. 
  • Air quality - Received a presentation from the Department of Environmental Quality on air quality and economic development.
  • Everything else - See here for a summary of everything else discussed by the 24 Interim Committees.  
Other items
  • Back to School!
Thanks to tall the parents / students / teachers / staff for helping to start off a great 2015-2016 school year.  Best of luck to all of you!! Here's a photo from the Valley Jr. Back-to-School night. 

  • Town Hall Meetings
We had two Town Hall meetings in West Valley this last month.  One with Congressman Stewart, and one with West Valley Police Chief Lee Russo. Thanks to these two for being willing to talk to West Valley residents about their latest efforts to help keep West Valley a great place to live, work and raise a family.

  • Prison Relocation
During the August Special Session the legislature voted to move the state prison to the location recommended by the Prison Relocation Commission:  I-80/7200 West in Salt Lake City.  Thanks to all of you who got in contact with me regarding this issue.  I greatly appreciate your thoughts.  More information on the process, the data involved in the decision, cost/benefit analysis, and a history of how we got to this point can all be found below.          
 

 


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