After our extended weekend, the legislature was back into full swing once again. I had three bills that were passed through their respective committees a week ago that were heard again and voted on in the Senate. One of my larger bills, S.B. 44, which deals with the misclassification of workers, received unanimous support from the Senate. This bill will be heard in the House Business and Labor Committee next week, where it will be voted on again there.
Thursday we voted on my resolution, S.J.R. 8, which encourages the Utah Driver License Division to emphasize education and safe driving habits around railroad crossings. It received unanimous support from the Senate and it will be heard in the House Transportation Committee. This is an important resolution because safety concerns surrounding TRAX, Front Runner trains, and commercial trains are only going to rise as these services grow in use across Utah. I hope that by increasing awareness and education about these issues we can improve safety as we share space with rail traffic and encourage courteous driving. The Salt Lake Tribune ran an article about this bill on Friday, February 22.
Friday we voted on S.B. 147 on the Senate floor, a bill that modifies different parts of the Workers’ Compensation Act, Utah Occupational Disease Act, and Utah Occupational Safety and Health Act to address various issues related to health services and how they are reported. This is a bill that helps update language, modifies protocol, and makes it easier to report multiple issues related to health services here in Utah. It received unanimous support in the Senate and will also be heard in a House committee next week.
I was fortunate enough this week to take part in the favorable recommendation by the Senate Business and Labor Committee by voting yes on S.B. 189. This bill requires that a health insurance provider that covers both oral chemotherapy and intravenous chemotherapy to provide comparable pricing for oral chemotherapy treatments, making them more accessible. Cancer can happen to anyone and I understand the costs of this kind of treatment, which is why I supported this bill.
In this same committee I also was able to introduce S.B. 59, or my “Injured Workers Bill,” which helps with the coordination of the Workers’ Compensation Fund and private insurers to provide better and quicker treatment for those who are injured on the job. This is also an important bill because it helps injured workers receive treatment quicker instead of having them remain injured as they wait for the Workers’ Compensation carriers and private insurers to decide who has to pay for their care and treatment. This is one of my largest pieces of legislation this year and is something that I have been working on for almost two years. The bill received unanimous support in the committee and is going to be debated on the Senate floor next week.
Earlier today I introduced another resolution, S.C.R. 9, which sets aside a week in June this year as Workplace Safety Week. This is a week to recognize the importance of workplace safety as well as encouraging safer practices. This resolution is a culmination of many of my bills which deal with protecting workers in Utah while at the same time improving the conditions that they work in. I am proud to carry these bills and make this state a better place for working families. Thank you for your support, and as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.