2013 Utah Legislative Session
Week 6 Summary
March 4 - March 8
We just wrapped up our sixth week at the Legislature. 41 days down. Just 4 to go.
Now that final committee meetings have been held, most of our work this week will be done on the House floor. Between the House and the Senate, more than 600 bills were numbered this session. That doesn't mean we'll pass that many new laws. Some bills are clean-up bills, making technical changes. Some fix problems or update existing laws. Many of those bills won't even be debated on the House floor. Some are abandoned, others fail to make it out of committees and others fail on the floor of the House or Senate.
The state constitution requires that the general legislative session only last 45 days. Those 45 days include weekends which means that the legislature actually has 32 business days to do the work of the state. This limited time frame, and the sheer volume of bills introduced, requires leadership to prioritize which bills will be heard on the floor. This week all of the bills on the House Calendar were “wiped,” which means they were taken off and reordered. This ensures that the bills considered a priority by the House leadership are heard before the legislature ends on March 14.
Here are some of the more interesting bills that passed this week:
- HB 238: Cosmetology and Hair Braiding -
This bill reduces the curriculum requirement for being licensed as a cosmetologist from 2,000 hours to 1,600 hours. It also adds an exemption from licensure for a person who engages in hair braiding and does not engage in other activity requiring licensure.
- HB100: Internet Privacy Amendments
- This bill An employer may not request an employee or an applicant for employment to disclose a username and password, or a password that allows access to the employee's or applicant's personal Internet account,
- HB44: Election Polling -
This bill requires the disclosure of the person or entity who pays for an election poll. Ever wonder who is paying for that telephone poll you receive around election time? Now, they are required to disclose that information.
Please let me know how you feel on the issues!
Over the next week, there will be several significant bills upon which I will need to vote. If you see something in the news, or some other proposed law you hear about that concerns you, please let me know. I'm trying my best to represent the residents in District 33. And I will be better able to do that if you let me know how you feel on the issue. I will have to vote on several significant bills soon (some in the next few days). So, the sooner you reach out to me, the better. My contact information is set forth below. Thank you so much!
I have scheduled several Town Hall meetings. Four Town Hall meetings have taken place since the beginning of the Legislative Session.
One on January 31, one on February 9, one on February 15, and yesterday March 9. Thanks to everyone that attended. Here's a photo of our latest town hall meeting:
Service Project for Granger Elementary!
Every year, the spouses of the legislators try to put together some sort of service project. This year the group is collecting Dr. Seuss books and making blankets for students at Granger Elementary. See here some photos regarding the project:
I have been fortunate to help with several tours of our amazing State Capitol building. We have two schools within District 33 coming soon to visit the Capitol this week. If you have a group you would like to bring to the Capitol (school group, scout group, church group, etc.), let me know and we'll make it happen!
A few weeks ago, I sent out a survey in the mail requesting your responses to certain questions that we may see this legislative session. Thank you to everyone that has returned their survey! I really appreciate it. Thanks for all your thoughtful comments. If you haven't sent in your survey, I would love to still receive it.
Representative Hall's Legislation
I am sponsoring and supporting several pieces of legislation. Let me summarize a few and give you the latest status.
- HB 262 - PASSED! - "Unaffiliated Voter Amendments" - (I am the chief sponsor of this bill)
If a political party has a closed primary election, voters must affiliate with that party to vote in the political party. It is easy enough to affiliate, as the law currently allows a voter to affiliate on primary election day. However, this law is set to sunset (expire) on July 1, 2013. HB262 repeals the sunset and continues to allow unaffiliated voters to designate voters to affiliate on primary election day. This is an important piece of legislation for District 33 voters, since large numbers of registered voters in District 33 are "unaffiliated." This bill passed unanimously in the House. On Friday, February 8, this bill passed the Senate 23-6. So, as long as Gov. Herbert doesn't veto the bill, it will soon become law. Here is some press regarding this bill. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55718757-90/ethics-bill-influence-party.html.csp
- HB 232 - PASSED! "Criminal Penalty Amendments" - (I am the chief sponsor of this bill)
This bill modifies the Utah Criminal Code and clarifies that the crime of "Illegal Anticompetitive Activities" (as defined by Utah Code Section 76-10-914) is a third-degree felony. This bill passed the House 72-0 on Tuesday, February 19 and passed the Senate this week 22-0.
- HB 85 - PASSED! - Voter Recount Amendments"- (I am the chief sponsor of this bill)
Currently, to request a recount, a losing candidate must lose by a number equal to or less than the number of precincts in his/her District. However, since the number of precincts is an arbitrary number, and not directly associated with the number of votes cast, it produces an inconsistent standard throughout the State. This bill would standardize the level at which a losing candidate could request a recount. The proposal is to allow the losing candidate to request a recount if he/she loses by a margin of .25% of the total votes cast in the election. And the standard would be the same throughout the entire state. This bill passed 72-0 in the House two weeks ago. This week, the Senate passed it 29-0. This is a great bill that had bipartisan, unanimous, support.
Thanks to everyone who helped. In particular, thanks to Sen. Deidre Henderson (a high school classmate of mine) who was the Senate sponsor of this bill. Here is the latest press report regarding this bill: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55881680-90/recount-bill-difference-percent.html.csp
- SB 141 - PASSED! - Education Contribution on Tax Return"- (I am the House sponsor of this bill)
- HB 232 - PASSED! "Criminal Penalty Amendments" - (I am the chief sponsor of this bill)
This bill modifies the Utah Criminal Code andclarifies that the crime of "Illegal Anticompetitive Activities" (as defined by Utah Code Section 76-10-914) is a third-degree felony. This bill passed the House 72-0 on Tuesday, February 19, and passed the Senate 22-0 on March 7.
This bill brings more money to the state education fund, without taking money away from any other program, and without raising taxes! It actually allows individuals the chance to voluntarily donate to the State's education fund through their Utah State Tax return. This bill has passed both the House and the Senate and absent a veto from the Governor, will become law in time for your tax return due April 2014.
- SJR 8 - PASSED! "Joint Resolution Concerning Railroad and Railroad Crossing Safety" - (I am the House sponsor of this bill)
Railroad crossing safety continues to be a huge problem in this state. Through this Resolution, we hope to bring increased safety and awareness to the importance of acting safely while around railroad tracks and railroad crossings. This bill has passed both the Senate and the House.
HB 369 - "State Auditor Revisions" - (I am the chief sponsor of this bill)
This bill authorizes the state auditor to conduct a performance and special purpose audit to determine whether an entity's management, control, and information systems are adequate, effective, and secure. Hopefully this will ensure that computer security issues, such as the hacking and breach of the Medicaid database system, won't occur again. This passed the floor of the House on March 7 and is in the Senate for their consideration.
HB 139 - "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Action Center" - (I am a co-sponsor of this bill)
We have learned from tough experience that sometimes we're educating our kids with subjects that don't necessarily translate well into the marketplace after graduation. The market right now needs more graduates in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. This bill attempts to do exactly this. A BIG step in the right direction. This bill passed the House 68-1 this last week and is currently in the Senate.
HB 152 - "Parent-Time Restriction Amendments" - (I am the chief sponsor of this bill)
This bill sets forth that a rapist should not have visitation or custody rights to a child that was conceived during the rape. Surprisingly, only 16 states specifically have such laws. Hopefully the bill passes this week, making Utah the 17th state.
Even though we have just 4 more legislative days, we will pass a balanced budget totaling nearly $13 billion, we will increase education funding, and provide a safety net for Utah’s most needy. As always, I look forward to hearing from you regarding your concerns and expectations.
My contact information is as follows. Feel free to contact me regarding any issue
Legislative email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal email: email@example.com
Cell phone: (801) 573-1774