During the second week of each session, the Legislature passes a base budget for the following fiscal year. This week’s podcast features Representative Brad Last, Chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee. Listen here to learn more about Utah’s base budget including why it’s important and how it came to be.
Additionally, S.B. 1 Public Education Base Budget Amendments passed both the House and the Senate this week. This is the single biggest investment for public education in state history with nearly $6.5 billion in funding for FY 2022 and FY 2023.
Here are some of the base budgets that were passed:
- H.B. 1 Higher Education Base Budget
- H.B. 4 Business, Economic Development, and Labor Base Budget
- H.B. 6 Infrastructure and General Government Base Budget
- H.B. 7 National Guard, Veterans Affairs, and Legislature Base Budget
Resolution Recognizing Donovan Mitchell
This week, the House passed HR 3, House Resolution Honoring Donovan Mitchell over Shaquille O'Neal. Wearing her referee jersey, Rep. Kera Birkeland presented the resolution recognizing Donovan Mitchell for his indomitable spirit and dedication on and off the court stating, “The House of Representatives of the State of Utah recognizes the exemplary service of Donovan Mitchell Jr. to the Utah Jazz and to the people of the great state of Utah.” Although Shaq may think otherwise, we think we are pretty lucky to have Spida represent Utah. Sporting his #45 jersey from the dais, Speaker Wilson said, “We’ll take Spida over Shaq any day! [Donovan Mitchell]’s greatness extends far beyond the court. He’s an example of service, dedication and selflessness and Utah is lucky to have him.”
Congressional Delegation Visits
We look forward to welcoming members of Utah’s congressional delegation each session. This week, we were joined by our newest representatives, Congressman Blake Moore and Congressman Burgess Owens. We discussed their roles in D.C. and how we can work together to better the lives of Utahns.
Bills of Interest:
Election Transparency - H.B. 70 / H.B. 173
A few notable bills have passed through the house this week that we hope will make Elections more transparent in the future. The first one is H.B. 70, Ballot Tracking Amendments. This bill creates a system that will give voters an email or text notification regarding the status of their trackable ballot (you are able to opt. out of this notification system if you’d like). There will also be a new website maintained by the Lt. Governor’s office that voters can use to check their confirmed ballot location. The second bill is H.B. 173, Vote Reporting Requirements. This bill would require election officers to report how many ballots there are left to be counted, if counting has not finished by the end of the day and the election office closes. It is my hope that bills like these make the election process more transparent.
H.B. 60 - Conceal Carry Firearm Amendments
I received a lot of passionate emails regarding H.B. 60, Conceal Carry Firearm Requirements, this week. This bill allows individuals 21 years or older and are able to legally own a firearm to carry a concealed firearm on their person without a permit. Also included in the bill, all unused funds from the Concealed Weapons Account will be transferred to the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. The money will be used for suicide prevention efforts in the state.
COVID-19 Vaccination Questions
We are excited to see more and more Utahns receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. The Utah Department of Health has created a comprehensive document that answers many questions and provides in depth information on the vaccine. View the fact sheet by clicking here.
Bills passed this week
Here are the bills that passed the House during week 2:
- H.B. 8 State Agency and Higher Education Compensation Appropriations
- H.B. 15 Controlled Substance Amendments
- H.B. 30 Tax Amendments
- H.B. 34 Medical Respite Care Pilot Program
- H.B. 42 Education Agency Report Process Amendments
- H.B. 46 Student Prosperity Savings Program Amendments
- H.B. 49 Commercial Interior Designers Act Amendments
- H.B. 50 Government Insurance Amendments
- H.B. 60 Conceal Carry Firearms Amendments
- H.B. 99 Public Employees Health Program Amendments
- H.B. 129 Office on Domestic and Sexual Violence
- H.B. 131 State Facility Energy Efficiency Amendments
- H.B. 141 Municipal Service Amendments
- H.B. 181 Personalized Competency-based Learning
Representative Doug Welton
Utah House District 67