Last week marked the half-way point of the session. We also received an updated state revenue forecast. Thanks to hard-working citizens throughout the state, Utah’s economy continues to expand, and the most recent forecast indicates higher revenue numbers than previous forecasts. Over the next few weeks, the Legislature will thoroughly review and determine how to fund critical items such as transportation, social service programs, and public education, to which $80 million has already been dedicated in the base budget. You can learn more about the budget here.
Uintah River Middle School – Thanks for the visit!
Below is some legislation to watch for:
Secondary Water Requirements – Last year, S.B. 52, Secondary Water Metering Requirements required all water districts in Utah to meter new secondary water services using pressurized systems. This year, S.B. 51, Secondary Water Requirements changes a few requirements originally included in last year’s legislation. As much as secondary water metering is needed, the funding will not exist in the near future. S.B. 51 will exempt secondary water suppliers in counties of the third, fourth, fifth or sixth class. The bill passed in the Senate and will now be considered in the House. Listen to the bill’s presentation on the floor here.
State Water Policy – Complex and increasing demands for water require aggressive efforts to protect our state water supply. H.B. 41, State Water Policy Amendments outlines state water policies and requires an annual review of these policies to ensure effectiveness. Utah is one of our nation’s most arid states. Great care must be taken to maintain an adequate, reliable, affordable and sustainable water supply. Annual reviews will help ensure best practices are being followed to promote conservation efficiency, meet water infrastructure needs, support food production, protect the environment, maintain water quality in lakes and rivers and monitor intended and unintended consequences. You can listen to the floor presentation here.
In the News: Fox 13
Traffic Code Amendments – Current Utah law states a driver cannot pass a school bus when it is stopped, and its stop-sign-arm is extended. H.B. 84, Traffic Code Amendments increases penalties for motorists who pass a stopped school bus. As frustrating as it may be for drivers to wait a few extra seconds, it is vital to ensure the safety of Utah’s school children as they enter and exit school buses. H.B. 84 passed in the House and Senate and returned to the House for concurrence. You can listen to the bill presentation on the House floor here.
In the News: Deseret News
Emerging Technology Talent – S.B. 96, Emerging Technology Talent incentivizes public universities to work with industry leaders in creating multi-disciplinary programs and preparing a highly skilled tech workforce. This will help Utah contribute to scientific discovery and engineering innovation on a broader scale. S.B. 96 also creates an advisory board that will review proposals and make funding recommendations. This bill passed unanimously in the Senate and will now be considered in the House. You can listen to the floor presentation here.
Medical Cannabis Amendments – We legalized medical cannabis in Utah over a year ago. As we work to implement changes, we continue to receive feedback on needed adjustments. This year, S.B. 121, Medical Cannabis Amendments makes several changes addressing important issues raised by stakeholders. Here is a summary highlighting the changes outlined in the bill. Some notable changes include additional packing options, increased patient caps, clarification that private employers may set their own guidelines on cannabis and affirming that public employees will not be subject to adverse employment action unless they are impaired. This bill passed in committee with unanimous support. You can listen to the presentation here.
In the News: Deseret News