Week 4: Capitol Week In Review

2012 General Legislative Session Week 4:  February 13 – February 17, 2012
Dear friends and neighbors,


We are more than halfway through the session, but we still have lots of work to do. We’ve made a lot of progress this week, and appreciate your continued support.



  • Sen. Luz Robles’ bills which would allow active duty, deployed members of the military to claim an exemption on their property taxes passed through the Senate and are on their way to the House.  The bill requires an amendment to the Utah Constitution.  If it passes the House, it will then go to the voters of Utah to determine if we should make this important change in our constitution to support Utah’s military members.
  • A bill to expand unemployment benefits to cover military spouses under certain circumstances passed through both chambers.  Sen. Karen Mayne was the Senate sponsor, Rep. Lynn Hemingway was the sponsor in the House.


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 through the Senate, passed the House committee and now awaits a second reading there.


S.C.R. 2 – Urges each adult citizen of the state of Utah to strongly consider preparing an advance health care directive that expresses their preferences (Jones).


Status: Passed through both chambers.  Awaiting Governor’s signature.


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 through both chambers. Awaiting Governor’s signature.


S.C.R. 5 – recognizes and supports parental engagement in the education of their children and efforts to increase parent engagement (Jones).


Status: Passed through the Senate and awaits a House committee hearing.


S.C.R. 6 – Resolution honoring the years of service of the Utah Salvation Army (Romero).


Status: Passed through the Senate and out of a House committee and awaits a second reading on the House floor.


S.J.R. 8 – Proposes to amend the Utah Constitution to allow for a property tax exemption for certain military personnel and spouse (Robles).


Status: Passed through the Senate and awaits a House committee hearing.




S.B. 41 – Prohibits teenagers from using a tanning facility unless accompanied by the parent or guardian, in addition to other restrictions on tanning beds (Jones).


Status: Awaits a second reading vote in the Senate.


S.B. 44 – Increases tuition benefits for veterans (Robles).


Status: Substituted in committee and placed on Senate second reading calendar.


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 (Morgan).


Status: Bill substituted and awaiting committee hearing.


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


Status: Passed through the Senate and now awaits a hearing in a House committee.


S.B. 54 – Would yield increased education funding by capping the dollar amount of personal income tax exemptions.


Status: Failed in committee.


S.B. 59 – Allows donations to an elementary school of choice through income tax contribution.


Status: Passed out of committee and awaits a second reading in the Senate.


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

Status: Passed through both chambers.
Awaiting Governor’s signature.


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


Status: Passed through both chambers. Awaiting Governor’s signature.


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


Status: Passed through the Senate and awaits a hearing at a House committee.


S.B. 119 – Would allow retail licensees to sample wine for the purpose of purchase, under certain circumstances.


Status: Failed to pass out of committee.


S.B. 127 – Requires more training for those who prescribe pain medications. (Jones).


Status: Passed out of committee and awaits a second reading in the Senate.


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: Failed to pass the second reading 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 (Robles).


Status: Sent back to the Rules Committee after a floor debate.


H.B. 263 – Expands unemployment benefits eligibility for military spouses under certain circumstances.


Status: Passed through both chambers.
Awaiting Governor’s signature.


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.

In our meeting with Gov. Herbert this week, we voiced concerns overSJR22, a bill that would limit state spending to that of the previous year, plus any adjustments for inflation or population growth. This bill would essentially tie our hands as legislators – preventing us from being able to make up for funding lost during the recession. The governor said at times we need to increase funding faster than growth, and we completely agree. We are pleased Gov. Herbert is joining us in opposition to this bill.


There is another bill that concerns us: H.B. 245. This bill would essentially put the hookah industry out of business by defining hookah smoke in clubs as a violation of the clean indoor air act. We have heard strong opposition from industry leaders. The governor seemed opposed to the bill, and we are happy to have his support.


Finally, we expressed support for the funding of USTAR, which has seen its funding cut by 28% since 2007. This science and technology research center is a huge economic driver for Utah, and we told the governor we wish to support it as much as we can.

Senate Democrats In the News


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Utah Senate Democrats

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