Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The final days of the session are quickly approaching! We began the session with 4 policy priorities and are making great progress in each area:
- Broaden Economic Success
- Build a Connected Future
- Extend Opportunity to All
- Balance Emergency Powers
To learn more about the 2021 House Majority Policy Priorities, click here.
Presenting Bills to Committee
Both of my bills passed the House floor and are onto the Senate for consideration. The first step they need to pass through is to get a favorable recommendation in Senate committees. This week I presented my bill, HB 287 Nurse Practice Act Amendments, to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The committee recommended that I make a few changes to the language in my bill, so I am communicating with stakeholders and we hope to present the bill to the committee again with the recommended changes.
Putting Money Back Into the Hands of Deserving Utahns
The Utah State Legislature presented legislation that will provide approximately $100 million in tax relief to Utah citizens. Though Utah’s economy is in an advantageous position compared to other states, many Utahns are struggling and lawmakers want to provide tax relief where it will make the biggest difference. Three bills, SB 153, SB 11 and HB 86, help families, veterans and elderly citizens and will further boost Utah’s economic success.
"Our goal must always be to collect the smallest amount of tax that still allows the state to provide necessary services and prepare for future needs," said Speaker Brad Wilson. "This year, we are able to deliver a $100 million tax cut, targeted to three groups who will most benefit from it: families, veterans, and seniors. Utah's economy is primed for expansion and putting more money in the hands of the people is an important element of our ongoing prosperity."
In coordination with local health departments, government entities, and the Utah Department of Health, Gov. Spencer Cox has issued an Executive Order updating the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and updating vaccine eligibility criteria. View the full executive order here and learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine here. Vaccines are now available for:
- Healthcare workers
- Long-term care facility staff and residents
- First responders
- People age 65 and older
- K-12 teachers and school staff
- Youth age 16 and older with certain underlying medical conditions (list of medical conditions)
Executive Appropriation Committee Recommends Historic Utah State Budget
The Executive Appropriations Committee (EAC) finalized recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget. The recommendations include increased funding for education, healthcare, housing, infrastructure and transportation, and a significant tax cut.
“What’s happening in Utah is remarkable, especially compared to the rest of the county,” said Speaker Brad Wilson. “Coming out of a pandemic, we will set new funding records for education, address our affordable housing crisis, and provide resources to address homelessness all while providing tax cuts for seniors, veterans, and families. We faced difficult decisions but I feel very good about the budget our process has produced.”
Read the full press release here.
HB 365 State Agency Realignment passed the House this week and combines the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services into a single agency.
HB 381 Grow Your Own Teacher and School Counselor Pipeline Program creates a grant program for Utah paraprofessionals, school counselor assistants and school counselor interns to become licensed teachers or school counselors.
Concurrent Resolution Honoring the 125th Anniversary of the First Utah Legislative Session
On January 4, 1896, Utah became the 45th state admitted to the union. A few days later, on January 7, the first legislative session convened. The first legislature had 18 members in the Senate and 45 members in the House and was tasked with designing a new community and government. Read HCR 16 here.
This Week's Podcast
Why is Utah in such a healthy fiscal state? Representative Moss explains how Utah's foresight put us in a position to issue a $100 million tax cut this year when most states are scrapping for money. Listen to this week’s podcast by clicking here.
Representative Doug Welton
Utah House District 67