Capitol Week In Review: Week 6

2012 General Legislative Session Week 6:  February 27 – March 3, 2012
Dear friends and neighbors, 

There is only one more week left in the session! We are honored to serve you and all the citizens of Utah. Negotiations on the budget is consuming much of the time and energy up on Capitol Hill, but we are still working hard on a variety of bills to help improve the state.

 

Highlights

  • Sen. Jones’ bill that would require a parent to be present when a teenager uses a tanning bed passed through both chambers and is on its way to the governor.
  • Sen. Mayne’s bill to require mediation between consumers and producers of sport utility trailers regarding defects passed out of both chambers.

 

Senate Bills On the Move:

S.J.R. 24 – Creates a joint rule requiring new legislators to go through training on Utah demographics and cultural diversity and sensitivity (Romero). 

Status: Voted down in committee.

 

S.B. 35 – Requires mediation between consumers and producers of sport utility trailers if there is an issue with defects (Mayne).

 

Status: Passed through both chambers.

 

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: Passed through both chambers.

 

S.B. 53 – Renumbers and modifies the Recreational Therapy Practice Act in relation to

licensure, scope of practice, and other matters (Davis).

Status: Passed through both chambers.

 

 

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: Returned to the Senate Rules committee.

 

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

 

Status: Passed through both chambers.

 

S.B. 81 – Provides funding to hire paraeducators at certain schools (Mayne.)

 

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

 

S.B. 119 – Allows wine purchases to sample wine under strictly controlled circumstances (Romero).

 

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

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

Status: Returned to the House Rules committee.

 

S.B. 144 – Regulates non-attorney “immigration consultants.” (Robles)

 

Status: Passed through the Senate and is on to the House.

 

S.B. 173 – Requires owner of a property to disclose certain information to renter (McAdams).

 

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

 

S.B. 211 – Creates a state earned income tax credit and provides for transfers from the General Fund into the Education Fund in the amount of tax credit claimed (McAdams).

Status: Passed the second reading in the Senate and awaits final passage

 

 

Senate Democrats Discuss Important Issues With Governor Gary HerbertEach week, Democratic leaders meet with Gov. Gary Herbert to discuss policy and legislationIn our meeting with Gov. Herbert this week, we expressed opposition to efforts to take land back from the Federal government. This legal battle would be incredibly costly and Utah would likely lose. Proponents argue that more land under Utah control would yield greater tax revenue. We prefer to use that money to aid our schools right now, rather than rely on a lengthy legal battle with uncertain results.

 

We also showed concern over the cuts in the Department of Air Quality budget cuts. Maintaining our environment is of great importance, and we requested that the funding be put back in. Gov. Herbert said that education is the funding priority, and any extra funds should be directed to our schools.

 

H.B. 363 is another problematic bill we discussed with the governor. We are pleased that he values parental choice in areas of sex education. This is why we oppose a state mandate that would strip schools and parents of their ability to decide what is best for their students and children.

Senate Democrats In the News

 

Get Involved
Track Legislation with the award-winning website: http://le.utah.gov/
http://www.utahsenatedemocrats.org 
Thank you for your political involvement, and let us know how we can more effectively serve you. 

Sincerely,

 

Utah Senate Democrats

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.

 

Highlights

  • 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

 

Get Involved
Track Legislation with the award-winning website: http://le.utah.gov/
http://www.utahsenatedemocrats.org

Thank you for your political involvement, and let us know how we can more effectively serve you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Utah Senate Democrats

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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.

 

Highlights

  • 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

 

 
Get Involved
Track Legislation with the award-winning website: http://le.utah.gov/
 
http://www.utahsenatedemocrats.org

Thank you for your political involvement, and let us know how we can more effectively serve you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Utah Senate Democrats

Week 2: Capitol Week In Review

Dear friends and neighbors,

The 2012 Legislative Session is now in full swing, and Utah Senate Democrats are working hard to find common sense solutions for the many complex issues we face a state.

This week Utah House and Senate Democrats presented several pieces of legislation that will impact the health and wellness of all Utahns.  Please take a moment to view our press briefings and read the full transcript and summary of the bills by clicking here.

Utah Democrats have always believed that that when it comes to our health and wellness, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  That’s why in 2012 we are presenting legislation to make sure that every child has access to quality health care, bills that will provide all Utahns with improved cancer screening, and solutions to decrease the incidences of melanoma, the fastest growing cancer in Utah.  There are also bills from Democrats designed to improve Utah’s air quality proposals to solutions faced by our aging population, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and end of life decisions.   Please check our website regularly to see how our bills are moving through the process.

Here are some highlights:

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 out of committee  unanimously and has been placed on the second reading calendar of the Senate.

 

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 committee and has been placed on the second reading calendar of the Senate.

 

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

 

Status: Passed the second reading on the Senate floor. The vote was 18 yeas, 9 nays, with two absent. It is now on the third reading calendar for the Senate.

 

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

 

Status: Passed the in the Senate and was sent to the House, and assigned to the House Business and Labor Committee.

 

 

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

Status: Passed out of the House Business and Labor Committee and now awaits a second reading on the house floor.

 

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

Status: Passed in the

Senate and has been sent to the House, and is being held in committee.

 

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

 

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

 

S.B. 107 – Prohibits a person from possessing graffiti paraphernalia with the intent to deface public property (Mayne).

 

Status: Failed to pass on the Senate floor. The vote was 11 yeas, 17 nays, and one absent or not voting.

 

S.B. 51 – Prohibits housing or employment discrimination on basis of sexual orientation.

 

Status: Tabled in committee on a 4-2 vote. (Senator Luz Robles voted against tabling the bill, and had recommended that the bill be passed from committee with a favorable recommendation.)


S.B. 110
– Requires that suits against Salt Lake County borrowers be brought in the county (McAdams). 

Status: Failed to pass out of the Senate Business and Labor Committee.

 

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. 117 – Requires certain publication of bills which reduce Education Fund reserves (McAdams).

 

Status: Failed to pass out of the Senate Education Committee.

 

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

 

Status: Passed out of committee and has been placed on the second reading calendar of 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: This bill was not considered in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee.

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.

Senate Democrats expressed concern to the Governor that higher education did not have a larger funding priority in his budget.  Although we agreed with him that public education also needs more funding, we also believe that higher education must also be properly prioritized. As the budget process unfolds in this session, we will be working with our Republican colleagues to find more funding for our colleges and universities.

We reported back to the Governor regarding the series of Town Hall meetings that have been held with business and community leaders regarding alcohol policy.  We expressed the desire from business leaders to be more included in discussions regarding the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and its policies.   We also want to ensure that all those affected by DABC policies have a voice, and we’re working with Governor to achieve that goal.


Senate Democrats In the News

Get Involved

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Thank you for your political involvement, and let us know how we can more effectively serve you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Utah Senate Democrats

Week 2:  January 30 – February 3, 2012
2012 Legislative Session

Capitol Week In Review

Week: January 23-27

The Capitol Week in Review is your weekly digest of Utah Senate Democrats’ efforts during the 2012 Legislative Session.

Senate Bills On the Move:

S.B. 128
Prohibits teens from using a cell phone while driving (Romero).
Status:
This bill passed out of committee and awaits its second reading on the floor.


S.B. 90
Modifies the Securities Fraud Reporting Program Act (McAdams).
Status:
This bill passed in the Senate and has been sent to the House.


S.B. 36
Modifies the Utah Revised Business Corporation Act to allow domestic corporations to transfer to another state (Davis).
Status:
This bill passed in the Senate and has been introduced in the House.

S.B. 32
Encourages facilities which perform mammograms to tell patients who have dense breast tissue about options for additional screening (Mayne).
Status:
This bill passed the second reading in the Senate and is on the calendar for the third reading.


S.B. 35
Provides for mediation between a consumer and manufacturer regarding defects in a motor home (Mayne).
Status:
This bill passed out of committee and is on the second reading calendar in the Senate.


S.B. 107
Prohibits a person from possessing graffiti paraphernalia with the intent to deface public property (Mayne).
Status:
This bill passed out of committee and has had its second reading on the Senate floor, and is awaiting a vote.

S.B. 31
Limits the class size for kindergarten through grade three (Morgan).
Status: This bill passed out of committee and has had its second reading on the Senate floor, and is awaiting a vote.

 

State of the State Response In his State of the State address, Gov. Herbert lauded the state of Utah for its economic strength through this tough economic time. Senate Democrats agree that Utah is a role model for the nation. But more must be done to further grow Utah’s economy to ensure that everyone who wants a job can have one. We understand that a state’s economy is only as strong as its foundation. Education is Utah’s foundation for economic growth. That is why Utah Democrats are working together to push the Best Schools Initiative. This plan will put Utah on the path to having the best schools in the nation. Utah Democrats know that the best education comes from four key components:

  • A great teacher
  • Individualized attention
  • World-class curriculum
  • Family and neighborhood support

Sen. Karen Morgan’s bill to limit class size (S.B. 31) for example is an important step in achieving the above goals. Look for more legislation that will improve education coming soon. While making our schools the best in the country is a tall task, Utah Democrats believe it is within our reach.

And we can do it without raising taxes. By looking at our budget priorities and making use of the additional revenues coming into the state, we can achieve real improvement in our schools.We look forward to working with our Senate and House colleagues as well as fellow Utahns to ensure that we build a strong economy tomorrow by maintaining strong education today.

For the full Democratic response click here

Senate Democrats In the News

  • Democrats say Governor’s anti-federal government tone was excessive – Salt Lake Tribune
  • Democrats focus on education in State of the State response – KCPW Radio
  • Citizens rally at the Capitol to support Sen. Morgan’s Alzheimer’s legislation – Deseret News
  • Sen. Mayne Pushes for Additional mammogram data for women – KSL; Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News

 

Get Involved:

Track Legislation with the award-winning website: http://le.utah.gov/

Follow us on Twitter: @UTSenateDems or “Like” us on Facebook: Utah Senate Democrats

http://www.utahsenatedemocrats.org/

Thank you for your political involvement, and let us know how we can more effectively serve you.

Sincerely,

 

Ross I. Romero Senate Minority Leader
rromero@le.utah.gov