2014 Legislative Session: Week 7

The dust has settled and the session is over for 2014, but some issues where still left on the table. Medicaid coverage expansion and transit funding are just two of the important subjects that still need to be addressed. The Governor has sent a team to Washington to bargain with the Feds for funding cooperation for our Medicaid Expansion, which means that concern is still ongoing.  People across Utah need this help and soon! Transit and buses (specially buses) are needed and they will hopefully be funded soon. I have fought this battle with UTA forever about putting permanent bus routes in subdivisions with the express service routes in the main arteries to the city. More routes and energy efficient buses are the key to moving people in a timely manner.

Jobs, Jobs, and more Jobs. That's one of the important reasons for why HB 356 and HB 44 were passed. One allows the building of a mega convention center and hotel in Salt Lake City. It will lure large national conventions to our state as well as draw a consistent flow of money from out of state. Not to mention, this bill will allow thousands of Utahans to be involved in the building of the facility while maintaining many long-term employees. HB 44 is a bill that involves the construction of a power line that goes through Utah that will give Utah businesses an opportunity, if needed, to have a more powerful source of energy. This bill will also give our electricians and operators in those trades much needed work. Another piece of legislation that will affect our West Side residents is a new power plant for KCC/Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto needs this plant to continue mining in the West Mountains. Many of our neighbors work at KCC and they provide THE property tax for the county.

I am proud of my work and legislation this session. The legislation will have a powerful and long lasting effect on our state. I have shared my bills with you this session, but this is their status report:

  • SB 36 Voter Information Amendments: Legislation to protect the Voter's Registration List, I am honored to carry this important bill for the citizens of Utah. Passed.
  • SB 44 Workers Compensation and Employee Misconduct: Employees who use drugs and alcohol on the job will jeopardize their workers compensation benefits." Utahans need to be safe at work." Passed.
  • SB 87 Contractor Employees Amendments: This bill works to insure the companies that pay their employees with cash need to issue a pay stub also.  The legislation will produce huge tax benefits to the state. And protect our businesses and workers. Passed.
  • SB 96 Veterans' Assistance Registry: The legislation helps Veterans' get needed services. Passed.
  • SB 106 Workplace Safety Week Designation: This bill celebrates workplace safety and rewards employees and businesses for keeping Utahans safe. Passed.
  • SB 113 Public Meetings:  This piece provides transparency and information to the public about meetings at the Capital Complex. Passed.
  • SB 127 Labor Commission Decisions Amendments: Legislation to give better tools to the Labor Commission to help Injured Workers. Passed.
  • SB 140 Advanced Placement Testing Funding: Creates a fund to help students pay for AP testing. Passed.
  • SB 216 Political Subdivisions Revisions. This has been a nine-month journey to pass legislation that will restructure the stability of SLC. And protect our townships! Passed.

Great News! Starting in the Summer I will have a Constituency Assistant. With 100,000 residents in every Senate District and being only a part-time legislature, all Senators will have an assistant. This person is part-time, but will be giving me a helping hand in research and follow up in our community.

Noteworthy Legislation:

  • SB 54 Elections Amendments
  • SB 105 Plant Extract Amendments
  • HB 347 Insurance Coverage for Infertility Treatment
  • HB 88 Autism Program Amendments

I have been honored to serve you as your State Senator and to be a strong voice for the West Side of Salt Lake County residents. Sitting in leadership positions and on the powerful appropriations committee, I have been able to bring many dollars to our community. I invite you to research my legislation and see the strength and effective outcomes of my work. With that said, I will be seeking re-election this year. Senate District 5 is my full time job, meaning that our community is my focus. This gives me the opportunity to serve you well and to meet our needs.

Thank you for your support and feedback this session. You will receive my newsletter monthly from now on, and as always, you have my email and phone number.

In Friendship,

Karen

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