June 2014 Legislative Update
Thanks again for all your support. I truly appreciate all the emails, phone calls, returned surveys, Facebook comments, and any other way that you are able to reach out to me. Again, feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions, concerns, complaints or comments. All of my contact information is at the bottom of this email.
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 2015 session and other issues on the Master Study list. Over this interim period I will be serving on the Judiciary and Political Subdivisions Interim Committees.
Items discussed by the legislature during the June Interim Session included:
- Discussions regarding potential reforms to the state's sales tax policy. See article here.
- Possible regulation of electronic cigarettes. Article here.
- Presentation about the need for more affordable housing for senior residents throughout the state. Article here.
- Received presentations from a legislator, a university professor, and victims regarding the prevalence and effect of abusive workplace conduct.
- Received a report from the Utah Department of Corrections regarding the impact that education programs for inmates has on recidivism. The department's initial findings indicate lower recidivism for those who received an applied technology certificate. See report here.
- Convened a panel of teachers to describe their challenges, the elements that contribute to high student achievement, and what the Legislature can do to promote student learning. Presenters' written comments can be found here.
- Discussed the possibility of eliminating income taxes on social security income. Article here.
- Received a "Long-Term Planning Needs and Update" presentation from the Utah Dept. of Transportation. Very interesting presentation here.
- West Fest!
Thanks to all of you who were able to attend West Fest during June 18-21. We were able to help during the 5k/10k run by handing out water/Gatorade to all of the runners. There were over 300 runners. It was great seeing everyone and congratulations to all those who participated!
- Flag Day Event
Thanks to the Westshire neighborhood for inviting us to their annual breakfast on Flag Day! Wonderful tradition. It was great to see so many of our wonderful neighbors. And thanks to Mayor Ron Bigelow, Sen. Karen Mayne, and police chief Russo for attending as well.
- Tour with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox
Spencer Cox and I were both elected to the Utah House of Representatives in November 2012. We quickly became great friends. Governor Herbert later chose Rep. Cox to become his Lt. Governor. A few weeks ago, we were able to bring him out to the West Side and show him some of the wonderful apprenticeship and training facilities we have in this state. Thanks Lt. Gov. Cox for coming along on our tour!
As most of you know, I am running for re-election in 2014. I feel great about what I have accomplished over the last 17 months. But there's more to be done! Things are going fantastic with the campaign.
Some of my accomplishments over the last 17 months include:
- Passing the most significant piece of legislation in several years dealing with campaign finance / ethics in Utah.
- Recognized as one of Utah's "most effective" legislators.
- Passing bills protecting and helping victims of sexual abuse.
- Passing several bills guaranteeing greater fairness in Utah's election process.
- Named by the Salt Lake Tribune as a "refreshing example of bipartisanship."
- Sponsoring and passing bills making our State government more transparent and accessible.
- And more!
We're looking forward to a successful November! Thanks to all those who have helped so far. We have a lot of work ahead of us between now and November. If you would like to help in any way with the campaign, please let me know!
Also, unfortunately, political campaigns have become incredibly expensive. We have thousands of brochures to purchase, hundreds of yard signs to order and dozens of other miscellaneous costs, I would love your help. If you're willing and able to contribute, you can donate here: http://votecraighall.com/contribute
Thanks! We're looking forward to a successful November!
Summary of the 2014 Regular Session
For those interested, the legislative staff has put together some good summaries of what was accomplished during the Legislative Session:
- A complete list of all bills that were passed can be found here: http://le.utah.gov/asp/passedbills/passedbills.asp
- A good explanation of some of the more interesting bills that passed can be found here: http://le.utah.gov/session/2014/pdfdoc/2014SelectedHighlights.pdf
- FY2014 - 2015 budget. If you want to know how Utah will be spending its money over the next fiscal year, here is a fantastic summary: http://le.utah.gov/lfa/LFASums.jsp?month=3&pubid=5816
Read all of my previous email newsletters here: http://bit.ly/YJCYy1