It is the end of the first week of the 2013 Session and things are off to a quick start. On Tuesday, I presented my resolution, S.C.R. 2 in the Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee. It is a resolution that formally shows appreciation and acknowledgment for the role that the Workers’ Compensation Fund (WCF) has taken in creating a safer work environment in Utah. The WCF has played an important role in promoting workplace safety and in helping those with workplace injuries to return back to their jobs. The bill received a favorable recommendation by the committee and will be voted on by the Senate on Monday, February 4th, at 10:20 am.
I have been able to introduce several other bills in the Senate with a few others being heard in their appointed Senate committee this past week. One bill, S.B. 118, helps create and maintain an informational website for the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Center. The website is intended to provide the public information and studies regarding occupational and environmental health, including findings on the health effects of air pollution. It was passed with a 4-1 vote in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and will be debated on the Senate floor in the following week. The bill was a focus of a Deseret News article, which highlighted the support for an unbiased source of information on air pollution in Utah. More information on the article can be found at the Deseret News Site.
Another bill, S.B. 44 (Construction Trades Licensing Revisions), revises a package of legislation that I was able to pass in 2011 that protects laborers in the construction industry by fixing how employees and independent contractors are labeled and classified. S.B. 44 closes certain loopholes that were discovered after two years of the original legislation where some construction employers were able to avoid paying insurance and workers’ compensation for their workers. The bill received strong bi-partisan support in the Senate Labor and Business Committee with a vote of 6-0. It will be heard on the Senate floor in the following week, where it will be debated.
I have been working hard with this legislation over the past week, and at the end of the fifth day, I will have introduced seven pieces of legislation with more coming in the following week. I am thankful for the support that I have received from my constituents and colleagues and I am excited to continue fighting for good legislation for those in my district and for every Utah citizen.