2018 Legislature - Week 4 Summary!
Week 4 of the 2018 General Session of the Utah State Legislature is complete. Thank you so much for all 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 Utah's Fallen Soldiers
Every year, the Utah House of Representatives honors members of the military who passed away during their service over the last 12 months. It is such a solemn occasion. We cannot honor them, and their families, enough. Thank you so much for you sacrifice.
- Speaking with Teachers at the Capitol
On Friday, many teachers used their day off to visit the Capitol and share their thoughts with legislators. I was invited to speak to a small group of these wonderful teachers. Thank you so much for your amazing work!
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:
- Pending passage in the Senate and budget deliberations, a new bill would give a tax credit of $600 to many of the state's low-income residents. [Trib]
- The Utah House Education Committee approved a resolution Wednesday that encourages colleges to protect students' first amendment rights. [Trib]
- The Utah House Business and Labor Committee endorsed a bill that would allow state liquor stores to be built at a faster pace. [Trib]
- The House Government Operations Standing Committee approved a new bill that would allow 17-year-olds to register and vote in primary elections if they would be 18 by the general election. [ABC4] [Fox13]
- A new bill would allow small farmers to bypass some state regulations if they properly label their products and sell directly to Utahns for home consumption. [Trib]
- The Utah Senate approved a bill Monday that could prevent under-the-radar tax cuts like the one given to Rio Tinto Stadium. [Trib] [DNews]
- The Senate advanced a bill to provide low-income women with birth control. It will face one more vote [Deseret News, Tribune].
Visits to the Capitol!
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. Give me a call/email and we'll make it happen.
Rep. Hall's Legislation
I have several bills this session, here are a few:
- HB43 - Blood Testing Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 72-0 and passed the Senate 26-0.
- HB92 - Utah Vital Statistics Act Amendment - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Health and Human Services Committee 13-0. Passed the floor of the House 74-0 and the floor of the House 24-0.
This was a bill brought to me by the Utah Health Department. If an out-of-state individual dies in Utah, a Utah death certificate must be issued. However, if that out-of-state family uses an out-of-state funeral home, there have been some difficulties getting the death certificate signed. This bill resolves this issue.
- HB113 - Candidate Filing Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 67-0. Passed the Senate 26-0. I'm trying to get this bill signed by the Governor before the end of the legislative session so that
This bill fixes the situation we saw in the race for Congressional District 4 this last fall. One candidate wanted to file for office, but he was in China teaching a class during the filing period. He called the Lt. Gov's office and asked how he could file. He was told he could not file because the statute says he must file "in person."
This bill allows an individual who is out of state to file remotely through the use of a audio/video connection. This is a no-brainer bill that provides more access to the ballot.
- SB28 - Local Government and Limited Purpose Entity - PASSED! - I am the House floor sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 70-3 and the Senate 27-0.
There are hundreds of "local government" and "limited purpose" entities (water boards, mosquito abatement boards, etc.) throughout the State. An audit this last year by the State Auditor identified several issues with these entities, including the fact that the State doesn't have a good idea on how many of these entities actually exist.
This bill establishes a registry of such entities, and allows the state auditor to withhold certain state funds and property tax disbursements if an entity does not comply with registry requirements.
- HB133 - Employment Amendments - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Has been assigned to the House Business and Labor Committee.
Think it's a good idea for government employees to hire and/or supervise their dating partner? Me neither. This would prevent such situation. See story here. Should be heard in committee sometime this week.
- HB147 - Retirement Forfeiture for Employment Related Offenses - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 66-0. Passed the Senate Retirement and Independent Entities Committee 3-0. Will be heard by the full Senate sometime this week or next.
Government employees who commit a crime in the course and scope of their government employment lose retirement benefits starting the inception of their crime. Occasionally, it's not the employer who catches this conduct, but rather an investigation by law enforcement or an audit by an outside agency.
This bill simply makes clear that the outside agency can notify the Utah Retirement System of the employee conduct and participate in any further investigations.
- HJR9 - Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution - Unreasonable Searches and Seizures - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. To be heard in the House Judiciary Committee this week.
In addition to the federal Constitution, the Utah Constitution protects "persons, houses, papers and effects" from unreasonable searches and seizures. My proposed constitutional amendment would specifically add the same protection for "electronic data and communications." It would simply ensure that such information is protected unless law enforcement shows probable cause and obtains a warrant.
Town Hall Meetings!
We have held two Town Hall meetings so far this year (January 27 and February 6). Thanks to those who attended!. I have one more Town Hall meetings scheduled during the legislative session. The third Town Hall meeting will be at West Valley Library (2800 West 3650 South).
- Saturday, February 24, 2018, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
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/RepHall2018 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your support. Contact me anytime.
Read all previous email newsletters here: http://bit.ly/YJCYy1
Representative Craig Hall
Legislative email: email@example.com
Personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell phone: (801) 573-1774