INTERIM STUDY SESSION:
Business and Labor Committee: In this committee, we discussed a bill that would provide certain sales and use tax exemptions for a qualifying enterprise data center (SB3002). The bill addresses economic credits to help encourage new enterprise data centers to be built along Utah’s Silicon Slopes. These kinds of credits are in the mix to draw the Facebooks of the world to Utah.
Health and Human Services Committee: “End of Life Options” was a hot topic during this committee meeting. Representative Chavez-Houck will present her bill on this during the upcoming session. The decision to give the terminally ill the choice to pass, will be an exercise in soul-searching for legislators.
Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee: We considered the death penalty costs and focused on the state and federal appeals process. We will continue this conversation during September’s meeting. The way that we punish incarcerated people is the conversation in the nation, not just Utah. Do we give them a path for employment after time served? Do we keep them in treatment a sufficient length of time? Do we drop support too soon? These questions are on the top burner for the legislature.
Government Operations Committee: We heard about amendments to election law and redistricting standards. Poor and slanted redistricting can and does unfairly give one party dominance for decades.
For more information on all topics being studied during the interim, use Utah State Legislature’s website.
Aside from our regular Interim meetings, we were called into Special Session.
· Drones are a dangerous issue for fire fighters. We voted for new and severe punishments for those who endanger our brave forest fire fighters.
· A new Rodeo and activities arena is coming to the Fair Park Grounds. We appropriated $10 million to get it started. New life for Fair Park and an economic face lift for the west side of Salt Lake City…good for all Utah citizens.
· We voted to have tighter controls on the substance database. Public Safety and Public Privacy is always a tricky path.
· Grandparent rights, or lack of, has always been a difficult issue. The bill to give grandparents more say when children are removed from parents failed in the House. Parents are the legal and last word in respect to their children’s upbringing, except for lack of care and abuse by parents. In our society, grandparents are an extension of the family and those bonds are strong. It is hard when the family unit goes astray, because the grandparents have little or no say. But, saying that, the grandparents have the right to appeal to the court if they feel strongly about the placement of the child.
Check out everything we discussed during Special Session here: http://le.utah.gov/~2016s3/2016s3.htm (you can even watch debates back)
Our next interim meeting will be September 21.
Legislation and Activities I am working on currently:
- I addressed the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission regarding low wages and morale for DABC employees. I will bring forth a proposal to give the DABC a stable funding source in the 2017 Legislative session. Last year my legislation was formulated and now is the time for my colleagues to have the opportunity to vote on restructuring the future of our state retail store.
Read more here:
- I traveled to Washington, DC, to meet with Congressman Chaffetz and Representatives from Congresswoman Mia Love’s office, on my newly drafted legislation to use the Postal Service for local services. Last year, I passed legislation using our postal employees for state and national emergencies. Now, we are looking at Post Offices being able to provide State services. No other State has this legislation in place. It’s landmark legislation for Utah. Congressman Chaffetz is Chairman of the Oversight Committee and he and Representative Elijah Cummings are drafting legislation to enact my legislation nationwide.
Meeting with Legislative representatives and postal worker employees’ representatives in DC
- Presented to the Salt Lake City Council my Resolution, drafted for the next legislation session, encouraging using UTAH WORKERS and UTAH FIRMS in the $3 billion construction project at the Airport. The Council has authority over the project and we need UTAHANS WORKING. Last year I passed legislation to encourage UTAH WORKERS AND FIRMS to build the prison…legislators 100% in favor.
I co-sponsored (HB167), Utah Law Enforcement Memorial Special Group License Plate, with Rep Perry to increase funding for officers. It was my honor and privilege to support our safety officers in the line of duty. Read the bill here.
What’s Happening in the District?
Planning for summer yet? Consider attending the Fire Water & Ice Festival on August 6! You can read more about it here.
Speaking to the Kearns Town Council about current and up-coming legislation. An appropriation was given from the legislature to our Kearns Advantage Program.
Taylorsville Dayzz was a success this past June!
West Valley City
WestFest happened, did you have a chance to attend? If not, check it out next year!
The Mayor and I had a great time, a little warm, but fun for all.
Read more about it here.
From My Desk
Look at this picture.
Clean and comfortable.
Guess what? This is homeless housing. Yes, in the middle of West Valley! This is what happens when appropriate and well thought out answers to homelessness are implemented. Our council members have a realistic vision of what a helping community can do. Moving forward, I have visited the Jordan River homeless camp sites, beyond belief. Needles, garbage, whatever all over, this is something our community will not tolerate. Just speaking for myself, West Valley City has stepped-up to do its share. We will not be the answer for all homelessness. There is a fence of data, that the west side of Salt Lake County has done it right. We will not be in the mix for an unsafe community threatening our neighborhoods.
Please click the following link to answer two short questions about issues being debated during our interim meetings: