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Utah Legislature Week 4 Summary!

The 2021 General Session of the Utah State Legislature began on Monday, January 19. We are now finished with Week 4 (out of 7). 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:
 
This Week at the Capitol & Other Information
 
  • Officer Cody Brotherson - Bill to Ensure Accountability

More on this below.... But Jenny Brotherson, the mother of West Valley fallen Officer Cody Brotherson came to Capitol Hill to testify in support of a bill that will help ensure accountability for those who commit serious crimes. Thanks so much to my colleagues who have supported this bill!



 
  • Lowering the Tax on Military Income

I am proud to cosponsor this bill to LOWER THE TAX ON MILITARY RETIREMENT INCOME, which passed out of the House. Utah is one of only 4 states that does this! Hopefully this bill passes and this comes to an end in Utah.

  • Sara's Bill

This week, we had the pleasure of welcoming Sarah Frei and her parents to the House Floor. Sarah was involved in a car accident over the summer, resulting in the loss of her legs. Sarah’s optimistic outlook is truly inspiring. HB 20 Driving Under the Influence Sentencing Amendments, nicknamed “Sarah’s Bill,” will create stricter bail terms for DUI offenses. 



 
  • Bipartisan Clean Air Caucus

So instead of trying to just find someone to blame, a bipartisan group of legislators (myself included) are putting their brains together to find real solutions for this air quality issue. We call ourselves the "Clean Air Caucus."  

Today we held a press conference to announce some of our proposed legislation for this session. Thanks to all legislators that are a part of this! See the story here.



 
  • 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/VirtualMeetingInstructionsV7.pdf 
 
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
Vaccines are now available for: healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, first responders, Utahns 70 and older, and K-12 teachers and school staff. For those who reside in Salt Lake County, contact the Salt Lake County Health Department (or your school district if you're an educator) to schedule your vaccination. All local health departments are experiencing a high volume of calls and website traffic as demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is high. Please understand that they can only distribute as many vaccines as they receive each week, and appointments fill up quickly. Everyone who wants the vaccine will get it over time.  


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 launch bipartisan effort to create a visitors center at Bears Ears monument - Tribune
  • Paris Hilton testified on Utah's Capitol Hill in favor of a bill establishing more oversight for the "troubled teen" facility industry in Utah [Tribune].
  • Utah legislator seeks $1M in mental health help for stressed first responders - Deseret News
  • Utah bill criminalizes sometimes life-wrecking online impersonations - Standard-Examiner
  • Utah officers could soon be required to report every time they point a gun at someone - Tribune
  • Utah lawmaker urges closure of Chinese Communist Party-funded Confucius Institutes at state universities - Tribune
  • Utah Legislature’s Clean Air Caucus calls for historic investment in clean air initiatives - Tribune
  • Responding to abuses, Utah police dogs and their handlers will be required to get training - Tribune

Rep. Hall's Legislation

I have several bills this session, here are a few:
 
  • HB67 - Juvenile Sentencing Amendments - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House floor 73-0. Passed Senate Committee 6-0. Should be voted on by the full Senate this week.



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, and the vote from the House floor:




 
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.
 
 
I sponsored the original revenge porn bill several years ago with democratic Rep. Marie Poulson. It was great to work with her in a bipartisan manner. This issue came to light during the Lauren McCluskey investigation when an investigating officer showed intimate images of Ms. McCluskey to fellow officers, outside the scope of his employment. The revenge porn wasn't able to be used to prosecute the officer because it requires the victim to suffer "actual emotional distress." And since Ms. McCluskey was already deceased, the revenge porn law was unable to be used to prosecute the officer. This bill would eliminate the "actual emotional distress" element if the victim is deceased, or otherwise incapacitated before the distribution of the intimate image.

See story here.


 
 
  • HB173 - Vote Reporting Requirements - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Government Operations Committee 9-0, and 70-0 on the House floor.
It is already required for the County Clerks Office to regularly update the voting results after Election Day. However, it is currently notrequired 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.
 
This bill helps keeps opioids out of the hands of those who should not have them. Provide pharmacists employed by managed care organizations access to the controlled substance database when they suspect opioid fraud or abuse.
 
"Knock and announce" and "no-knock" warrants are some of the most dangerous situations our amazing law enforcement officers can find themselves in. This bill would limit these no-knock and knock and announce warrants. See a detailed story regarding the specifics of the bill here from the Deseret News.
 
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!
 
 
 
Utah Legislative Tools
Here are some helpful tools to familiarize you with some of the happenings at the Capitol. 
Need more?  Read this book.


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/votecraighalland/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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