Hopefully you caught some sleep over the weekend, like this kid did.
First and foremost, the main priority of the Utah Legislature: setting the state’s budget. We are constitutionally required to balance the budget each year, and we’re just about there. Here are a few highlights:
- Increase the weighted pupil unit by 2%
- $2.9 million to a tax credit for clean fuel vehicles
- Fully funding new student growth (13,500 new students)
- STEM programming gets $5 million additional
On Friday, a press conference was held by Reps. Jake Anderegg, Ken Ivory, and Dana Layton regarding substitute HB391. The bill would prohibit the state and governor from expanding Medicaid. For a quick recap, here’s Michelle Price from the Associated Press, via KSL. HB391 will be up for debate on Monday.
HB393, Competency-based Education Amendments, which moves to create a program for more students to test out of classes, passed the House 43-26. The bill would require the State Board of Education to start the planning stages for students to pass through classes at their own pace, once they show mastery of a skill. It moves on to the Senate. Here’s the Deseret News for more.
Zion curtain jokes are getting old after six weeks. The House has already passed this thing, now it’s onto the Senate. HB228, which calls for the removal of the wall in restaurants that surrounds a bar area, is now sitting in the Senate Rules.
A bill that would make state gun laws supreme over conflicting federal gun laws, passed the House 49-17. HB114, Second Amendment Preservation Act, sponsored by Rep. Greene, now moves onto the Senate. Here’s a recap from the Trib.
HB372, Cigarette, Tobacco, and Nicotine Amendments, passed out of committee and is now on the third reading calendar for debate on Monday. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ray, would begin taxing less common nicotine products, such as small tablet and electronic cigarettes. The Daily Herald has more.
On Friday, the House issued a citation in celebration of the Lone Peak High School’s basketball team, who is currently number one in the nation. Afterwards, they played some basketball in the Rotunda to show off their skills. Here’s the Senate video of the game, and FOX13 for more on the citation.
We cleared the third reading calendar on Thursday. Since we only have a few more days to work on House bills (rules say we work on Senate bills days 43-45), we prioritize the list of bills to be debated.
Interestingly, the Utah State Capitol is celebrating 100 years since its groundbreaking. If you’re up on the hill, come visit the exhibit on the 1st floor. Here’s some more from the Tribune.
Rep. Jeremy Peterson treated us to yet another musical rendition of social events. Check it out.