2023 Session - Recap

2023 Session - Recap

Dear Friends & Constituents,

The legislative session has come to an end. We passed more than 500 bills in just 45 days, paving the way for $29 billion in funding and meaningful legislation that will have a positive impact on Utah residents. I was humbled and grateful to be a part of the process, and I can’t thank you enough for your support along the way. Here’s a closer look at what we accomplished.

The Utah Way Together

At the start of this legislative session, we identified three areas of focus: stewardship, affordability, and investment. I’m proud to say we made significant strides in all these areas.

Here are just a few highlights:

  • Nearly $500 million invested in Utah’s water resources
  • A statewide energy plan to develop and implement Utah’s energy policies and goals as it relates to renewable and non-renewable sources
  • A reduction in the income tax rate from 4.85% to 4.65%
  • $915 million in state funding for public education
  • Continued investments in Utah’s transportation and infrastructure to plan for growth

To learn more about how these policy changes will enhance the lives of Utahns, watch this video.

2023-2024 State Budget

One of the most important responsibilities given to the Legislature is outlining the state budget.

The finalized budget for fiscal year 2023-2024 appropriates $29 billion towards the following important investments:

  • Increased wages for teachers
  • Optional full-day kindergarten
  • The largest tax cut in state history
  • A reduction in social security taxes
  • More than $2 billion in transportation

New State Flag

After a lot of debate and discussion, we approved a new state flag. The historic flag will now fly during holidays and the legislative session — but both flags exist under the current statute. That means you can fly the flag you love! I did vote in favor of the change, but I am simply happy to see more Utah flags, regardless of which one you prefer.

New Utah Flag

My Bills

From school grading modifications to the dispensing of opioids, I was proud to sponsor a diverse range of legislation during this session. It’s an honor to serve my constituents and to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives through meaningful legislation. The process of crafting and introducing a bill can be challenging, but it is certainly rewarding.


H.B. 73 Municipal Office Modifications - Addresses how municipal vacancies are filled

H.B. 183 Firefighter Retirement Revisions - Allows EMS to participate in the firefighter retirement program

H.B. 288 Opioid Dispensing Requirements - Requires physicians and pharmacists to offer opioid antagonist counseling and dispensing for patients with high level opioid prescriptions

H.B. 308 School Grading Modifications - Removes the simplified letter grade for schools and focuses on dashboard data for a more meaningful look at school accountability

H.B. 465 Public School Library Modifications - Requires schools to provide an online portal for parents to see what their kids have checked out from a school library

H.B. 475 Communication Credits Requirements - Allows up to .5 credit hours in verbal communications to count towards a student's required English Language Arts Credit for high school graduation

Incorporated Into Other Legislation

H.B. 536 Student Drug Possession Amendments - Incorporated into H.B. 304 Juvenile Justice Revisions to address vaping and tobacco use in K-12 schools

H.B. 373 Law Enforcement Training and Recruiting - Incorporated into S.B. 128 Public Safety Officer Program to provide scholarships for individuals going into law enforcement 

In closing, I’d like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve in this capacity. It’s a true honor and blessing to represent the constituents of District 65.

I’d also like to thank my intern, Katie Nelson for her hard work throughout this session, and as always, I am grateful for the support of my wife and family.

Please continue to reach out with any questions or concerns and I will be happy to talk through them.


Doug Welton