Week 3: Capitol Week In Review

2012 General Legislative Session Week 3:  February 6 – February 10, 2012
Dear friends and neighbors,

It’s almost hard to believe we’ve already finished the third week of the legislative session. But we are eager to continue fighting for common sense solutions for Utah.



  • Congratulations to Sen. Karen Mayne for being recognized by the 2012 Utah Fire Caucus as “Legislator of the Year.” Sen. Mayne was recognized for her never-ending quest to protect the rights of all workers, consumers, and citizens.
  • Sen. Mayne’s breast cancer prevention bill passed through both chambers. The bill would encourage giving more information to patients who receive mammograms.
  • Sen. Karen Morgan’s bill to reduce classroom sizes in the lower grades passed the Utah Senate this week.  The bill would cap class sizes or require teachers’ aides.
  • Sen. Luz Robles’ bill to cover the G.I. Bill tuition gap passed unanimously out of committee and now goes to the Senate floor.
  • Sen. Ross Romero’s bill which would prohibit teenagers from using a cell phone while driving passed out of the Senate and now heads to the house.
  • And finally, the Utah Commission on Aging will be reauthorized. Sen. Pat Jones bill reauthorizing the commission passed through both chambers. 

Senate Bills On the Move:

S.J.R. 1 – Recognizes the impact of Alzheimer’s on Utah citizens, encourages support for and implementation of the 5 year state plan to address the disease (Morgan).


Status: Passed the second reading in the Senate, and now awaits a third reading.


S.C.R. 4 – Urges women age 40 and older to receive breast cancer screening (that includes a mammogram) once a year (Mayne).


Status: Passed out of the Senate and now heads to a House committee.


S.B. 31 – Limits class sizes for kindergarten through grade three (Morgan).


Status: Passed out of the Senate and is now in the House Rules Committee.


S.B. 32 – Encourages facilities which perform mammograms to tell patients who have dense breast tissue about options for additional screening (Mayne).


Status: Passed through both chambers.


S.B. 36 – Modifies the Utah Revised Business Corporation Act to allow domestic corporations to transfer to another state (Davis).


Status: Passed through both chambers. 


S.B. 44 – Increases tuition benefits for veterans.


Status: Substituted in committee


S.B. 47 – Creates the Alzheimer’s State Plan Advisory Council within the Division of Aging and Adult Services and describes the duties of the division.


Status: Bill substituted in committee.


S.B. 48 – Expands the mission statement of public education, emphasizing citizen involvement in government and strong moral values.


Status: Passed out of committee and is on the second reading calendar in the Senate.


S.B. 90 – Creates incentive for individuals to report financial fraud (McAdams).


Status: Passed in the House with an Amendment, and the amended version passed unanimously in the Senate.


S.B. 91 – Helps victims who lost their savings due to financial fraud to recover against perpetrators. (McAdams).


Status: Amended and passed out of the House, and awaits a concurrence final vote in the Senate.


S.B. 116 – Allows active duty military personnel to claim a property tax exemption (Robles).


Status: Passed out of committee and has been placed on the second reading calendar in the Senate.


S.B. 131 – Reauthorizes the Utah Commission on Aging. (Jones)


Status: Passed through both chambers.


S.B. 128 – Prohibits anyone under 18 from talking on a cell phone while driving.


Status: Passed through the Senate and has been introduced in the House.


S.B. 139 – Reduces the age from 16 to 14 for children who wish to express their opinion during

a child custody proceeding regarding with which parent they would prefer to reside (Robles).


Status: Passed out of committee and placed on the second reading calendar in the Senate.


S.B. 146 – removes language from the divorce statute favoring one spouse over the other and provides for equal footing in property matters.


Status: Passed out of committee and is on the second reading calendar in the Senate.

Senate Democrats Discuss Important Issues With Governor Gary Herbert

Each week, Senate Democrats have the opportunity to meet with with Governor Herbert regarding legislation and policy that is being discussed during the legislative session.  

Democratic leaders discussed immigration policy with the Governor, who said immigration is the chief responsibility of the federal government. He cited the need for “a tall fence and a wide gate,” meaning better temporary worker programs combined with tightening security on the border.

Democrats questioned if attacking the federal government on all other fronts – and then passing the buck on immigration – was consistent. We also cited problems with E-Verify, the employment verification program which the Governor supports. But with E-Verify there are far too many false positives – instances where people who are legally authorized to work are incorrectly flagged, and then have to waste time and business resources to resolve the issue.

Gov. Herbert also mentioned continued problems with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control – specifically a lack of oversight and accountability. He said the DABC hasn’t prioritized money well enough, and has ignored the findings of legislative audits.

We are pleased that the Governor seems willing to work with us to improve the functions of the DABC.


Senate Democrats In the News


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Utah Senate Democrats

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