Week in Review: February 27 – March 3, 2017

Week in Review: February 27 – March 3, 2017

Legislative Update: Week #6


Combatting Intergenerational Poverty

HB 240Employability to Careers Program, recently passed the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate for consideration. It seeks to help combat the growing problem of intergenerational poverty in our state and does it in a way that obligates state dollars only if successful.

The program uses a model known as “pay for success.” This model allows an outside foundation or philanthropic organization to provide the capital to a social service provider that will be responsible for the program’s design and administration. The state reimburses the funding organization only when an independent evaluator verifies that very rigorous and specific predetermined metrics have been met. The program also includes an evaluation to determine how much of the benefit to the state can be attributed to the intervention rather than to other factors, like the self-motivation of participants.

The Employability to Careers Program, outlined in HB 240, targets those who don’t have a high school diploma or GED, are unemployed or under-employed and eligible for public assistance. The end goal is to move them toward self-sustainability by providing opportunities to get a high school diploma, develop critical employability skills and start on a career path.

The service provider will work with those individuals who qualify, assisting not only in the completion of their high school diploma and development of job skills, but also in the development of employability skills, including life skills, communication, time management, problem solving and professionalism.

Based on a model developed by Dr. Young, a Legislative Fiscal Analyst, cost reductions to the state are projected to be $32.7 million over the first 15 years and revenue increases during that same period are estimated at $9.9 million. If the metrics are not met, the state does not pay and the money goes back to the state.


Public Lands

This year the Utah Legislature is working on a number of bills that would allow us to better care for our public lands and permit greater recreational access on lands controlled by the federal government. These include:

    • HB 63Hole in the Rock State Park, which creates a state park in the Hole in the Rock area.
    • HB 95Little Sahara State Park Designation, which creates a state park in the Little Sahara Recreation Area.
    • HB 317Antelope Island State Park Funding Amendments, which creates the Antelope Island State Park Improvement restricted account and sets up a way to fund it.
    • HB 385State Monuments Act, which establishes a process for the state to designate its own state monuments and creates rules for the management of them.
    • HB 407Utah Public Land Management Act Amendments, which declares that the state should retain lands in state ownership “for the enjoyment and betterment of the public and state” and requires super-majority support of two-thirds of the Legislature for public land sales.
    • HCR 1Concurrent Resolution to Secure the Perpetual Health and Vitality of Utah’s Public Lands and its Status as a Premier Public Lands State, in order to reiterate that Utah is a premier public lands state and is committed to remaining a public lands state. It asserts that local control of Utah’s public lands would result in greater opportunities for outdoor recreation, as well as economic opportunities for rural Utah.
    • HCR 11, Concurrent Resolution Urging the President to Rescind the Bears Ears National Monument Designation, so as to not place greater restrictions on use of the land and make it nearly impossible for recreationalists to use much of it as they do now.
    • HCR 12Concurrent Resolution Urging Federal Legislation to Reduce or Modify the Boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, in order to allow greater use on and around those lands for locals and recreationalists.
    • HCR 23Concurrent Resolution Promoting Continued Access and Recreation on Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which supports expanding state and local control over access and recreation on BLM lands in order to ensure no loss of access.
    • HCR 24Concurrent Resolution on Native American Recreation and Public Purposes Grant, encourages the state of Utah to seek acquisition of the Bears Ears National Monument and supports a governance and management plan that includes southwestern Native American tribes.

American Red Cross Blood Drive

Rep. Mike Kennedy, Rep. Steve Handy, Sen. Brian Shiozawa and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross. Blood donations are vital to a healthy and reliable blood supply, and legislators and interns enjoyed participating and giving back. There was also a little competition to see which legislative body could donate the most blood. We’re proud to announce the House won the competition! See more pictures here.


The Salt Lake Comic Con Co-Founders Visit

Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, co-founders of Salt Lake Comic Con, visited this week during morning floor time. They expressed their desire to see the show grow here and contribute to Utah’s flourishing economy. Of the many comic conventions around the country, Salt Lake’s event is ranked number three, with more than 100,000 attendees. Read more about the Salt Lake Comic Con co-founders’ plan to become one of the most successful conventions in the world here.


Honoring Dr. Mario R. Capecchi

The Utah House of Representatives recognized and honored Mario R. Capecchi, Ph.D. University of Utah School of Medicine, for his extraordinary work in the field of molecular genetics at the University of Utah for the last 44 years. Dr. Capecchi developed revolutionary gene-targeting technology using mice that have contributed to our understanding of, and treatments for, hundreds of diseases. His work earned him the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.