2013 Utah Legislative Session
Week 5 Summary
February 25 - March 1
We just wrapped up our fifth week at the Legislature. 34 days down. Just 11 to go.
I sent this to most of you late last week, but here is a link to the Salt Lake Tribune article that featured me. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55922504-78/hall-utah-west-http.html.csp
And here's a photo of what what the first page looked like in the paper edition:
Thanks to the Tribune for the story.
Here are some of the more interesting bills that passed this week:
- HB 64: Felon's Right to Hold Office -
This bill prohibits a felon who is convicted of a sexual offense from holding the office of State Board of Education member or local school board member.
- HB 294: Bicycles on Streets
- Provides that, under certain circumstances, a person operating a vehicle may operate the vehicle to the left of the center of the roadway when overtaking and passing a bicycle or moped proceeding in the same direction, including in a no-passing zone.
- HB 295: Electronic Proof of Owner's or Operator's Security
- This bill provides that a person may provide evidence of auto insurance to a peace officer in an electronic format using a mobile electronic device (instead of looking for that small paper card in your glove box).
- SB 56: Utah 211 Referral Information Network
- 211 is a helpline that connects you with information about emergency food pantries, utilities assistance, low-to-no-cost health and dental resources, child care and youth resources, government services, tax assistance, legal aid, behavioral and substance abuse and much, much more. This bill requires state and local governments to provide the approved 211 service provider with information about health and human services available throughout the state.
Please let me know how you feel on the issues!
Over the next few weeks, 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. 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 is one more scheduled Town Hall meeting if you are able to attend:
- Saturday, March 9, 2013
- Pioneer Valley Hospital (3460 South Pioneer Parkway) - 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
CANCELED - Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - Taylorsville Library (4870 South 2700 West), 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - CANCELED
(sorry about this cancellation. I have a legislative scheduling conflict).
I have been fortunate to help with several tours of our amazing State Capitol building. We have another elementary school within District 33 coming soon to visit the Capitol. 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 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)
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 has passed the Senate and will be in a House Committee sometime this next week. Here's a photo of the press conference after the passage of the bill:
- 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 72-0 on Tuesday, February 19 and is currently working its way through the Senate.
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 is set for a hearing in the House Government Operation Committee on Monday, March 4.
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 on its way to the Senate.
Each day we continue to sort out the details of the coming year's budget. I am a member of the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Committee. Our committee, along with every other appropriations committee, have sent our funding priorities to the Executive Appropriations Committee (EAC). The EAC is composed of leadership from both parties, of both chambers (the House and the Senate). They make the final recommendations on the budget. We have an extremely difficult budgeting year because we are unsure of how many millions of federal dollars we will lose due to the pending "sequestration."
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: email@example.com
Personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell phone: (801) 573-1774