Week 6 Update

This past week has been very important because some of my largest bills have made their way to the House. I also saw other pieces of my legislation be passed in the House, meaning that they are now ready to be enrolled and signed by the governor. We have finished up our committee meetings for this session and we have begun debating bills, both from the Senate and House, full time. This means long hours on the floor, but it allows time for us to fully understand the bill and hopefully produce good legislation for everyone here in Utah.

This last week I saw a very important bill of mine, S.B. 44, or the “Misclassification of Workers” bill, get passed in the House. It was a unique experience because of the long journey that it took to start the process to get this legislation through during this session. A couple of years ago I passed a similar bill that overhauled how workers of certain companies were classified, making them eligible to receive benefits and protections such as insurance coverage and workers compensation. After a couple of years and after a few companies exposed a few loopholes in the older legislation, S.B. 44 was created. With this bill, the loopholes will be closed and create a better working environment for many of Utah’s workers. Through this, I hope that we are able to create a fairer work environment where employees in Utah are treated better.

I was also the floor sponsor for two bills that came over from the House. The first bill, H.B. 117, relates to the regulation of minors getting tattoos. It requires that written permission must be provided for a minor to be tattooed as well as a parent or guardian being present at the time the tattoo is given. It also provides protections to tattoo parlors that receive and retain a copy of a photo I.D. of a minor, showing that they followed proper procedure in giving a minor a tattoo. I also floor sponsored H.B. 119, which standardizes penalties for the sale of fire protection equipment that does not meet state or national standards. Both bills passed and will become law soon.

Another large piece of my legislation passed through the House Education Committee with unanimous support from the committee members. The bill was S.B. 59, my “Injured Workers” bill, which would help shorten the length of time that an injured worker would have to wait to receive treatment after a workplace injury. This can be landmark legislation as we change the way injured workers are treated here in Utah by helping them receive the treatment they need in a timely manner. Next week this bill will be heard on the House floor where I hope to see support from my colleagues there.

I was also pleased to have my son Paul, his wife Jana, and four of my beautiful grandchildren visit me. They were welcomed and recognized on the Senate floor by the senators. This is not new for my son Paul, who has been here many times before, which was evident by the many senators and staff that recognized him. It has been busy, but I am thankful for the love and support of my family and friends here at the Capitol. We still have one more week left and I plan to finish strong. As always, thank you for your input and support that you give me, your voice is always heard.