Utah lawmakers met together for interim on Tuesday, May 18th to discuss important issues impacting our state. In addition to study items, the committees discussed the following bills, which were presented and debated during the special session. The following day, the Legislature was called into a special session to address timely and important issues including, accepting federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and clean up bills from the past general session. You can learn more about each of these bills here.
- HB 1005 Redistricting Amendments
- HB 1007 Face Covering Requirements
- HJR 101 Joint Resolution Extending State of Emergency Due to Drought Conditions
- SCR 101 Concurrent Resolution Honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities
American Rescue Plan Act-related bills:
- HB 1004 COVID-19 Grant Program Amendments
- SB 1001 Appropriations Adjustments-
- SJR 101 Joint Resolution Approving the Acceptance of Federal Funds
Technical Adjustments to prior bills:
- HB 1001 Peace Officer Training Amendments
- HB 1002 Juvenile Justice Amendments
- HB 1003 Government Building Regulation Amendments
- HB 1006 Sheriff Release Amendments
- HB 1008 Bond Authorization Amendments
- HB 1009 Health Spa Services Protection Act Amendments
- SB 1002 Group Gang Enhancement Amendments
- SB 1003 Electronic Cigarette Product and Nicotine Product Amendments
- SB 1004 Peace Officer Training Qualifications Amendments
- SB 1005 Upstart Amendments
- SB 1007 Public Notice Amendments
American Rescue Plan Act
The Federal Government will send Utah approximately $1.7 billion as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). We didn't get where we are as a state by spending indiscriminately; we got here by investing in our future - and we intend to continue that. The Legislature passed SJR 101, Joint Resolution Approving the Acceptance of Federal Funds, and SB 1001, Appropriations Adjustments, which appropriates the funds for specific purposes.
The Legislative Redistricting Committee met for the first time on Tuesday, May 18. Over the next six months, the committee will draw boundaries for four Congressional Districts, 29 State Senate Districts, 75 State House Districts, and 15 State School Board Districts. We are expected to receive census data in August. During their kickoff meeting, the committee adopted principles, procedural guidelines, and reviewed the proposed meeting schedule. These resources can be viewed here.
Congratulations to all the 2021 graduates!
This is an exciting time and a great accomplishment. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Mental Health Awareness Month
May was Mental Health Awareness Month. We recognize many people in our state experience mental illness challenges, and the legislature has taken steps to improve and expand resources. One of those efforts, HB 393 (2019), helped create Live On Utah, a public-private mental health and suicide prevention campaign which aims to modify attitudes and social norms to reduce suffering and save lives. Learn more here.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
The House passed a concurrent resolution to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Utah. The resolution highlights their cultural and economic contributions to the state, condemns attacks against those communities, and encourages education and empathy. Read the full resolution here.
House Extraordinary Special Session
Citizens across the state expressed concerns about federal policies. In response, Speaker of the House, Brad Wilson, called the Utah House of Representatives into an Extraordinary Session to discuss resolutions on critical race theory and Utah becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary state. The House passed both resolutions unanimously with 56 yes votes and zero no votes. Read the full statement here.
School Mask Mandate in Schools
During May’s special session, lawmakers passed HB 1007 Face Covering Requirements. This bill prohibits public K-12 schools and higher education institutions from requiring facial coverings beginning in fall 2021.
Check out the latest Utah House of Representatives Podcasts! Last month, we discussed federal education funding with Representative Lowry Snow and a Special Session summary with Representative Jefferson Moss. Listen now on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Representative Doug Welton
Utah House District 67