2014 Legislative Session: Week 5

Friends,

This week there have been some important proposals regarding Medicaid and its future in Utah. The Governor has presented a proposal, the House has one, and the Senate also has their version. So, as you see, time will only tell which one bubbles to the top and receives the most support. Without taking the expansion, one or a combination of some or all of the proposals will be Utah's solution. My fear is that if we are not wise, our solution will leave many of our citizens without proper health care. With time and negotiation, I hope we can leave with what is best for Utah citizens.

The Judicial Confirmation Committee met last Monday, in which I belong. It is my pleasure to serve on this important panel, which I have done for several years. We evaluate and review all judicial appointments. The candidates have to pass through our committee first before the entire Senate confirms them. We take this responsibility with great care, realizing that our decisions have lasting consequences. Many judges have been retiring, so we continue to be busy.

Where is my Legislation?

  • SB 36 – Voter Information Amendments (legislation to protect your voter information from being misused) is on the House Calendar.
  • SB 44 – Workers Compensation and Employee Misconduct (deterrent for workers using drug and alcohol in the work place) passed through House Committee.
  • SB 96 – Veterans' Assistance Registry (registry to assist needy Veterans with house repairs) being sent to assigned House Committee.

An important bill for Salt Lake County is Senate Bill 216, which is breaking new ground in how municipalities are formed. I started work on the legislation nine months ago when I started having frank and open discussions with residents of townships and unincorporated Salt Lake County areas. The bill will change the structure of how governing takes place in Salt Lake County for townships and unincorporated areas. This week I will present the bill on the floor of the Senate where they will decide SB 216's fate. Stay tuned.

With so many ongoing education demands and the new education bills we are passing this year, funding for educating our children is at a premium. The new technology in education is expensive and we will have to make choices on what programs are really needed to benefit schools in our community. We are voting on several funding plans for meeting our children's needs that will allow them to receive the education they need.

Bills to Follow:

  • SB 251: Amendments to Medicaid and Health Care – Senator Shiozawa
  • SB 54: Election Amendments – Senator Bramble
  • HB 31: Pollution Control Amendments – Rep Wilcox
  • HB 61: Clean Air Programs – Rep Arent
  • SB 200: Tax Credit for Employer Purchase of Public Transit Pass – Senator Weiler

 

In Friendship,

Karen

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