The Buzz: March 12, 2013

The Buzz: March 12, 2013

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For the remainder of the Session, we’ll be working on Senate bills, and the budget. We finished up our work with House bills Monday, and here’s a look at some of the things we did in Day 42.

The House did not pass HB372, which would have increased the taxes on certain nicotine products. There was skepticism of raising taxes and the effects it would have on curbing nicotine consumption. Listen to the debate. 

A bill that moves the Office of Inspector General of Medicaid Services from the Governor’s office into an independent office passed the legislature yesterday. Inspector General of Medicaid Services audits charges sent to Medicaid to ensure the taxpayers aren’t being overcharged for services. HB106 now goes to the governor for his signature.

HB391, Prohibition of Medicaid Expansion, passed through the House yesterday and moves onto the Senate. HB391 would prohibit the state and governor from expanding Medicaid.

An education rally was held in the Rotunda by the Utah Education Association. Legislative leaders from the House and Senate both agreed to a 2% weighted pupil unit increase and fully funding new student growth. The budget is expected to pass within the next few days. The Speaker addressed the crowd, along with the Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, the Lt. Governor, and several others. Learn more from the Salt Lake Tribune.

In case you missed it, check out our weekly recap of Week 6 in the House.