Week in Review – February 13-17, 2017

Week in Review – February 13-17, 2017

Legislative Update: Week #4

 

HJR 8, Joint Resolution Supporting the Retention of Public Educators

This week the House passed, by a vote of 62-7, H.J.R. 8, Joint Resolution Supporting the Retention of Public Educators. The resolution recognizes the shortage of credentialed public educators in the state, acknowledges the critical nature of public education to Utah’s prosperity and lays out a mechanism for potentially increasing educator salaries.

Because almost 64 percent of Utah is controlled by the federal government, educational opportunities and funding options are severely constrained. Nearly 65 percent of state tax dollars are dedicated to education in our state. Even when combined with federal dollars, over 40 percent of our funds are dedicated for this purpose, the highest level in the nation.

The resolution ends by proposing that 50 percent of any new ongoing revenue from the management of public lands transferred from the federal government to the state would be used to increase salaries of public school teachers.

We know the state is able to manage its lands well for education. The School Institutional Trust Lands Administration, SITLA, currently manages parcels of public land throughout Utah for the benefit of education. The funds generated through activities on these lands are placed into the Permanent State School Fund, which has grown from $18 million in 1983 to over $2 billion in 2015. Interest generated from investments within the fund are then distributed as discretionary dollars for use by Utah’s public schools. This year alone those distributions totaled over $49 million on the management of only about 6 percent of our lands.

This resolution will allow our state to begin to prioritize the ways in which public lands-generated funds could be used and is one small step toward dealing with the issue of teacher retention and public education dollars.

HB 202, Trespass Amendments

The House recently passed H.B. 202, Trespass Amendments, with just one dissenting vote. This bill creates a new definition under the trespass statute called “long-term guest.” It would make it easier for an individual who invites someone into their home temporarily to rescind that invitation without being forced to go through the eviction process.

A long-term guest is defined in this bill as someone who is not a tenant but who is given permission by a resident to stay in their home for a period longer than 48 hours. There have been circumstances where, upon refusal to leave when asked, guests have attempted to establish rights to remain on the premises. Under this law, that guest would be guilty of criminal trespass and law enforcement action could be taken.

 

HB 146, Partially Filled Prescriptions

Utah, like many states, is facing an opioid epidemic that has led to hundreds of deaths. Seventy percent of those who misuse narcotics report obtaining the drugs from family, friends or off the street. The practice of illegally obtaining narcotics is commonly referred to as diversion.

H.B. 146, Partial Filling of a Schedule II Controlled Substance Prescription, would help reduce diversion by allowing a partial prescription to be filled instead of the full amount, upon request of the prescriber or patient. A partial fill is considered anything less than the initially prescribed quantity.

If a patient chooses multiple partial fills, the total amount allocated cannot exceed the total quantity prescribed and the cost cannot exceed the original cost of the full prescription.  

H.B. 146 will empower patients and prescribers with the ability to request a partial fill of a Scheduled II drug, rather than depending on efforts to safely dispose of unused medication in the case that only a portion of the original prescription is needed.

Daily Buzz: February 17, 2017

Daily Buzz: February 17, 2017

Overview of the Day:

Today marks the twenty-sixth day of the 2017 Legislative Session. The House prayer and pledge were led by guests of Rep. Lowry Snow. The prayer was offered by Rep. Snow’s brother, David Snow. The pledge was also led by Rep. Snow’s intern, Joseph Erickson.

It’s Education Day on the Hill today and representatives are meeting with educators from all over the state to listen to their concerns. As we’re wrapping up this Friday afternoon, the representatives are excited about their three-day-weekend. Happy President’s Day everyone!

 

Utah’s consensus revenue numbers were released today in cooperation with leaders from the Senate, House of Representatives and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.

Revenue estimates for 2017 General Session were $1 million one-time and $284 million ongoing and are now $13 million one-time and $372 million ongoing.

Education Fund revenue is expected to grow by another $22 million one-time in FY2017 and $75 million ongoing for FY2018.

We are pleased that Utah’s economy continues to grow, and with it, so do our General and Education Fund revenues – by 4.6% to nearly $6.3 billion this year and by 5.75% to nearly to $6.6 billion next.

ICYMI: News Updates from the Week

Rep. John Knotwell is moving forward HB 253 to prevent municipalities from regulating short-term rentals. Watch KSL’s coverage of the bill here.

The House and Senate Majority caucuses have begun discussing tax reform this week. Speaker Hughes said, “Look, we can wait a few years and do nothing. We can study this for a few years and basically wait until the growth chart lines between our needs as a state cross our revenue sources production. Or we can get out in front of this thing and act now. I’m for acting now, and so is our House caucus.” Read the rest of the story here.

 

Tweets of the Day:

 

Daily Buzz: February 16, 2017

Daily Buzz: February 16, 2017

Overview of the Day:

Today marks the twenty-fifth day of the 2017 Legislative Session. The House prayer and pledge were led by guests of Rep. Val Peterson. The prayer was offered by Colonel Tyler Smith of the Utah National Guard. The pledge was also led by a member of the Utah National Guard, Lieutenant Colonel John Darrington.

This morning was the Utah Non-Profit Association Day on the Hill. Tables from the National Abilities Center, SLC Makes Music, American Diabetes Association, United Way, Volunteers of America, Red Butte Garden, Heal Utah, Life’s Worth Living, and many more filled the rotunda. Spokespeople from these great organizations spoke with capitol visitors, legislators, and staff about the missions of these organizations. It was a great morning at the capitol.

 

Meet a New Representative: Karianne Lisonbee

Representative Karianne Lisonbee now represents District 14 in Syracuse. She attended Brigham Young University studying social cultural anthropology. In addition to being a homeschool teacher, Rep. Lisonbee was served on the Utah House Education Association Board and the Syracuse City Council. She has also had political experience as a columnist, campaign manager, and chair on various committees. Rep. Lisonbee is married with six children. She loves to travel and hike. She is and will continue to be a wonderful addition to the Utah House of Representatives.

 

Tweets of the Day:

 

Tomorrow’s Legislative Schedule:

8:00 AM: House Business and Labor Committee
8:00 AM: House Education Committee
8:00 AM: House Health and Human Services Committee
9:00 AM: House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee
10:00 AM: House Chamber, House Floor Time
12:30 PM: Commission on Federalism
2:00 PM: House Chamber, House Floor Time
4:10 PM: House Judiciary Committee
4:10 PM: House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee
4:10 PM: House Transportation Committee

Daily Buzz: February 15, 2017

Daily Buzz: February 15, 2017

Overview of the Day:

Today marks the twenty-fourth day of the 2017 Legislative Session. The House prayer and pledge were led by guests of Rep. Mark Wheatley. The prayer was offered by Father Lukasz Misko of the Newman Center. The pledge was led by Christian Silva-Vique, Rep. Wheatley’s intern for the session.

Aerospace Day on the Hill took over the Capitol rotunda this morning. Exhibitors like Boeing, Hill Air Force Base and Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) set up booths and gave presentations to legislators and citizens alike. The children present loves the small planes and drones on display.

 

Did you know sunscreen was illegal in school?

Rep. Craig Hall is sponsoring School Sunscreen Provision legislation (HB 288) in hopes of making right a surprising wrong. Currently, public schools do not allow students to possess and use sunscreen while at school. Fortunately, the passage of this bill will make the possession and use of sunscreen at public school legal. This legislation will also allow a school employee to apply sunscreen to students. Earlier today, HB 288 passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 68 – 1. This bill is now in the Senate Rules Committee.

 

Tweets of the Day:

https://twitter.com/katieomatheson/status/831932286773972998

https://twitter.com/braddaw/status/831923548897701888

https://twitter.com/RepTimQuinn/status/832001053268652032

 

Tomorrow’s Legislative Schedule:

8:00 AM: House Judiciary Committee
8:00 AM: House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee
8:00 AM: House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee
8:00 AM: House Transportation Committee
10:00 AM: House Chamber, House Floor Time
2:00 PM: House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee
2:00 PM: House Government Operations Committee

2:00 PM: House Political Subdivisions Committee
2:00 PM: House Revenue and Taxation Committee
4:10 PM: Executive Appropriations Committee

Daily Buzz: February 14, 2017

Daily Buzz: February 14, 2017

Overview of the Day:

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the twenty-third day of the 2017 Legislative Session. The House prayer and pledge were led by guests of Rep. John Knotwell. The prayer was offered by Daniel Smith, Stake President of the Herriman South Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The pledge was led by Tiffany Clyde, Rep. Knotwell’s intern for the session.

Caucus meeting had a full and exciting agenda. Steven Starks, President of the Utah Jazz, began the meeting by describing the Vivint Arena redesign that will be happening this spring and summer. Following Starks, Greg Miller discussed the big decision to put the Utah Jazz into the Miller family trust. Finally, Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder talked about his rewarding move to Utah and the progress of the Jazz this season. The Utah Jazz Bear ended the meeting with a confetti cannon.

 

Meet a New Representative: Walt Brooks

Rep. Walt Brooks now represents District 75 in St. George. He received his B.S. degree in business administration from Dixie State University. Rep. Brooks is currently the President of RxTrax. He is a BSA volunteer, a CAT team member, a NRA member, and a youth sports volunteer. Rep. Brooks loves to fly planes and his favorite quote is, “There is no tomorrow to remember if we don’t do something today,” by President Thomas S. Monson. Rep. Brooks is a great addition to the House of Representatives!

 

Tweets of the Day:

https://twitter.com/BjaminWood/status/831585462493982721

https://twitter.com/utahsenate/status/831624717341560832

https://twitter.com/NormThurston/status/831619902301614080

https://twitter.com/UtahReps/status/831567610173026304

 

Tomorrow’s Legislative Schedule:

8:00 AM: House Business and Labor Committee
8:00 AM: House Education Committee
8:00 AM: House Health and Human Services Committee
9:00 AM: House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee
10:00 AM: House Chamber, House Floor Time
12:30 PM: Commission on Federalism
2:00 PM: House Chamber, House Floor Time
4:10 PM: Executive Appropriations Committee