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Utah Legislature Week 2 Summary!

The 2021 General Session of the Utah State Legislature began on Monday, January 19. We are now finished with Week 2. 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:

Budget


This second week, the legislature spent much of its time going over the State's budget.  Each legislator is on at least one appropriations subcommittee. I am currently the House Chair of the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, This Subcommittee oversees the state budget related to the criminal justice system, general public safety, elected executive offices, emergency management, and other related issues.

For the last week, our committee has carefully scrutinized existing budgets, reviewed previous appropriations and then will determine if the expenditures are achieving the desired outcomes. Of course, we are always looking for any potential savings. This budgeting process will continue throughout the session.  

Last week I shared a "Where it all goes" snapshot. Here is a "Where it all comes from" summary:





This week, we also 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. 
 

This Week at the Capitol

 


  • The Capitol and Legislative Session During COVID-19
This year's legislative session has been unprecedented. During the first week, due to security and COVID concerns, the physical Capitol building was closed to anyone outside of legislators and staff. This last week, the Capitol was opened up to limited numbers. It was great seeing more folks in person. One silver lining of COVID is that we have increased the capabilities for citizens to participate remotely in the legislative process.  

See here for instructions on how to participate remotely during our committee meetings. https://le.utah.gov/Documents/VirtualMeetingInstructionsV6.pdf 

2021 Legislation


This last week we continued the process of voting on non-budget bills.  Of course, you can always watch the news 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:
  • Utah lawmakers advanced a bill cracking down on no-bid government contracts during an emergency, limiting those agreements to 30 days [Tribune].
  • Gov. Spencer Cox says the state's share of the COVID-19 vaccine is being boosted by the Biden administration. Utah will receive 40,000 doses per week instead of the current 33,000 [Tribune].
  • A Utah House committee advanced a bill regarding stalking protective orders  [Tribune].
  • A proposal to close a "loophole" in Utah law that could lead to the early release of juvenile offenders if they commit additional offenses while in custody was approved by a committee on Wednesday [Tribune].
  • A bill requiring fathers to pay half of pregnancy costs, even if they're not married to the mother, won approval in a Utah House committee on Wednesday [Tribune].
  • Lawmaker again seeks stricter ban on cellphones while driving - [Tribune]
  • Utah treatment centers would face limits on use of restraints, drugs, isolation rooms under new bill - SB127 would also dramatically increase reporting and inspection requirements for these controversial centers. [Tribune]
  

Rep. Hall's Legislation

I have several bills this session, here are a few:




Many of you remember when West Valley City Officer Cody Brotherson was killed in the line of duty in 2016. The juveniles were sentenced in the juvenile system to stay in custody until they were 21 years old. However,  through some strange circumstances, two of the three juveniles were released from custody early!

Cody is a hero in West Valley, and this bill will prevent this circumstance from ever happening again.

Here's are some photos from the committee hearing:





It is already a felony to threaten a judge or member of the board of pardons in relation to a criminal case. There have been a few instances that make it clear that such penalty should also apply to prosecutors in order to make it clear that such threats and intimidation to prosecutors is absolutely not acceptable.
 

It is already required for the County Clerks Office to regularly update the voting results after Election Day. However, it is currently not required for the Clerks Office to disclose how many ballots they have left to count. This bill would require just that - and provide additional transparency to the vote counting process.

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 in the past 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/RepHall2021 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


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