2013 Utah Legislative Session
Week 3 Summary
February 11 - Feburary 15
We just wrapped up our third week at the Legislature, which means 20 days down, and only 25 to go. This week we passed several bills on the floor of the House. Some of the more interesting bills include:
- HB 81: Cytomegalovirus Public Health Initiative
- This bill establishes a public education program that will teach pregnant women the impacts and dangers of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections and CMV prevention.
- HB 30: Line-Of-Duty Death and Disability Amendments
- This bill provides insurance benefits for public safety volunteers and volunteer firefighters that are injured or killed in the line-of-duty.
- HB 295: Electronic Proof of Owner's or Operator's Security.
This bill allows drivers to provide proof of ownership and proof of insurance in an electronic format, i.e. a smart phone or tablet (rather than trying to find that piece of paper somewhere in the glove box).
- HB 61: Dixie State College – University Status
- This bill changes the name of Dixie State College to Dixie State University and goes into effect immediately. Dixie University currently offers 43 different baccalaureate degree programs in 23 content areas. We are proud to add Dixie State University to the state’s growing number of open-enrollment regional universities and provide educational opportunities for even more of Utah’s young adults.
As stated on my survey, I have scheduled several Town Hall meetings. Three Town Hall meetings have already taken place since the beginning of the Legislative Session.
One on January 31, one on February 9, and one on February 15. There are two more scheduled Town Hall meetings if you are available to attend:
- Tuesday, March 5, 2013
- Taylorsville Library (4870 South 2700 West), 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, March 9, 2013
- Pioneer Valley Hospital (3460 South Pioneer Parkway) - 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
One of the greatest parts of my job as your representative is help people understand more about the legislative process. We had several groups come and visit the Capitol over the last few days:
- 6th graders from Robert Frost Elementary School.
"Island Teens Against Tobacco" from Granger High School.
5th graders from Robert Frost Elementary School.
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. We are in the process of compiling the results of these survey. I have enjoyed reading most of them already. 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 - "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 85 - "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 unanimously in the House two weeks ago, and a Senate committee this last week. I expect the bill to be heard on the floor of the Senate sometime this week. Here are some press reports regarding this bill: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865572310/Recount-bill-passes-House.html
- HB 232 - "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 committee early this week, and will likely be presented to the full House on Tuesday, February 19.
- SB 141 - "Education Contribution on Tax Return" - (I am the House sponsor of this bill)
This bill brings more money to the state education fund, without taking money away from any other program, 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.
Over the course of the 2013 legislative session we will continue our support of a strong education system, the protection of Utah’s most needy, and the tradition of fiscal responsibility. Next week we’ll continue to hear bills during our committee meetings, as well as on the House floor. 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