It’s the final countdown! With only two days left of the session, we are voting on bills on the House Floor all day. Since we are on the Floor so much, there are plenty of opportunities for you to tune in and listen to the debates. If you would like to listen in, click here.

Tune into this week’s Facebook Friday on my Facebook page if you’d like a quick rundown of some highlights of the week. I’m not sure when I will go live–I will have to fit it in between Floor time–but you can always watch after. You can also view any of my previous broadcasts on my Facebook page.

I will be answering questions and talking more about what happened during the session’s final stretch in my town hall this Saturday at noon. You can access the meeting through this Zoom link: I’m looking forward to answering any questions you may have, and I hope to see you there! 

It’s been an honor to serve and represent District 61 this General Session. I’ve had the opportunity to meet several of you up at the Capitol and speak with many of you virtually. The amazing effort I have seen from constituents to stay engaged helps me better represent you and speaks to the resiliency of the people of Utah. Your input is essential to effecting change, and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure our community and state remain a great place to live, work, and prosper.

This week, I presented HB 426 – Therapy Animals Amendments in the House. Therapy animals are often confused with service or emotional support animals, but there are important distinctions. Therapy animals are specially trained and accompanied by trainers/handlers. These teams are invited into schools, care centers, hospitals, rehab centers, shelters, universities, and other settings to provide animal-assisted interventions for emotional, physical, and cognitive support.

Numerous studies show the benefits of animal-assisted interventions, such as improved reading comprehension, reduced stress levels, increased social awareness, and improved problem-solving skills. When I explained this bill to one of my daughters, a librarian at the Springville library, she shared a story with me about her friend’s son. He had struggled with learning to read, but when he was in 3rd grade, the school brought in a therapy animal team that worked with him. According to his mom, this boy quickly started reading aloud and was able to catch up to his grade level. As we say on the House Floor, this is a good bill. 🙂 

HB 426 provides a statutory definition for therapy animals (because many people confuse them with emotional support animals) and states that if a school wants to use animal-assisted therapy, the district would need to create a policy to set standards and make sure that students are safe. This clarity will help schools receive the benefits that these therapy animals have to offer if they choose, but does not require any school to allow the use of a therapy animal team.

You can watch a Salt Lake City Ted Talks on the benefits of using therapy animals in schools here. 


HB 421, which would reinstate the Intensive Services Program for our students with disabilities is also in the Senate, and I think it will pass.Our most vulnerable, high-cost students are not fully funded through the federal government or the state. These are students who may be medically fragile and needing nursing services, in a wheelchair needing extensive physical and occupational therapies, having extreme needs for behavioral supports, or those needing sign language interpreters, etc. These costs can be upwards of $60,000 annually.

The intensive services program would allow a district or charter school to request reimbursement for some of the expenditures required to educate these students. I initially requested $12 million to run this program as a pilot for three years ($4 million/year), but after the budget priorities were set this week, only $1 million was appropriated. Even with this limited funding (there are over $10 million in requests), we will be able to try out the program and tweak the formula if needed. I was happy to get it!


Earlier this week, we prioritized the bills that carry a fiscal note, which means they will require money from the budget. This is always a difficult process, as we are forced to pick between many worthy causes. Even though my bill, HB 105 – Students with Disabilities Amendments, passed both the House and the Senate 2nd Reading Calendar, unfortunately didn’t receive funding this year, but I will try again next year. 


Wednesday morning, the House passed 4HB 294 – Pandemic Emergency Powers Amendments. It mandates that Covid-related public health orders can only remain in effect until the case-rate, average ICU utilization, and vaccine dose allocation meet certain thresholds. We are already meeting two out of three, and we will have enough vaccinations within the next couple of weeks to meet the third. All emergency power orders will be terminated on July 1st at the latest.

I voted in favor of an amendment to the bill that would end all mask mandates, but that didn’t pass. I am frustrated that school kids will have to wear masks through the end of the school year unless the governor rescinds that order. According to the science, kids rarely pass on COVID, and every teacher that wants a COVID vaccine has received one. If a parent wants their student to wear a mask to school, that is their prerogative, but we should not be forcing healthy children to wear masks to school at this point. The data and science back this up.

There has been significant media attention on affordable housing bills this session, and I’ve had several opportunities to speak about my priority bill, HB 68- Rental Expenses Disclosure Requirement. The article “Utah has few protections for renters, report finds, but lawmaker’s proposal could help” outlines the need for transparency in renting and some of the challenges that come with running a rental industry bill. 

The House has passed 117 bills since last Wednesday. If it is listed as House legislation (HB,HR,HJR,HCR), it still requires Senate passage. If it is listed as Senate legislation (SB,SR,SJR,SCR), it has passed both chambers. 

HB 350 – Mental Health Records Confidentiality Amendments
SB166 – State Holiday Amendments
SB136 – Higher Education Scholarships Amendments
HCR16 – Concurrent Resolution Honoring the 125th Anniversary of the First Utah Legislative Session
SB152 – Vehicle Load Penalties Amendments
2HB371 – Alcoholic Beverage Control Amendments
HJR2 – Joint Resolution Encouraging Discussion of the Effects of Child Sexual Abuse
3HB327 – Civic Thought and Leadership Initiative
SB126 – Sentencing Commission Requirements
HB369 – School Bus Inspection Amendments
2HB326 – Performance Reporting and Efficiency Requirements
HB 337 – Child Mental Health Amendments
HCR17 – Concurrent Resolution Recognizing August 31 as Overdose Awareness Day
HB360 – Telephone Solicitation Amendments
HR5 – House Rules Resolution – Standing Committee Modifications 
HR6 – House Rules Resolution – Chamber Procedure
1HB373 – Conviction Reduction Amendments
4HB388 – State Energy Policy Amendments
2HB225 – Administrative Garnishment Order Amendments
HB379 – Board of Pardons Amendments
HB383 – Flag Display Amendments
2HB368 – State Planning Agencies Amendments
1HB341 – Bears Ears Visitor Center Advisory Committee
1HB391 – Apprenticeship Nomenclature Act
HB340 – Mathematics and Science Opportunities For Students and Teachers Program
HB372 – Start Smart Utah Breakfast Program Amendments
4HB223 – Alternative Fuel Incentives Amendments
HB381 – Grow Your Own Teacher and School Counselor Pipeline Program
2HB98 – Local Government Building Regulation
1HB365 – State Agency Realignment
1HB336 – Suicide Prevention Amendments
2HB374 – Restrictive Covenants Amendments
SB63 – Caregiver Compensation Amendments
4SB73 – Vehicle Registration Checkoff and Fee Amendments
SB117 – Human Smuggling Amendments
SB103 – Dental Hygienist Amendments
SB218 – Reporting Requirement Amendments
SB140 – Pharmacy Benefit Amendments
1SB234 – Statewide Online Education Program Amendments
HJR15 – Joint Resolution on Military Sexual Trauma
1HB390 – Urban Farming Amendments
1HB399 – Approval of Nonhazardous Solid or Hazardous Waste Facilities
1HCR20 – Concurrent Resolution Supporting Creation of the Utah State University Institute of Land, Water, and Air
3HB243 – Privacy Protection Amendments
HB334 – Special Needs Training for Law Enforcement Amendments
SB76 – Controlled Substance Database Access
1SB124 – Parole Amendments
2SB79 – Insurance Policy Notification Amendments
SB145 – Military Family Education Amendments
SB160 – State Audit Amendments
1SB133 – Severance Tax Revenue Amendments
SB135 – Motor Vehicle Insurance Amendment
2SB33 – Uniform Building Code Commission Amendments
SJR10 – Joint Resolution Commemorating the New Salt Lake City Airport
3SB85 – Disinheritance Following Crimes Against Vulnerable Adults
2SB110 – Tax Commission Appeal Amendments
HB335 – Investment Fees Amendments
3HB246 – Ballot Measure Transparency Amendments
HB320 – Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Amendments
2HB224 – Pollinator Amendments
3SB99 – Child Welfare Amendments
2HB346 – Natural Resources Entities Amendments
1HB345 – School Resource Officers Amendments
HB353 – Barber Licensing Amendments
HB378 – Education Standards Review Committee Amendments
1HB425 – Education Monitoring and Funds Management Amendments
1HB146 – Overdose Harm Reduction Working Group
HB380 – Medical Examiner Revisions
1HB404 – Utah Immigration Assistance Center
HJR17 – Joint Rules Resolution – Procedural Amendments
1SB42 – Tax Commission Collection Amendments
1SB194 – Utah Main Street Program
1SB222 – Public Official and State Capitol Protection Amendments
1SB142 – Public Education Funding Amendments
1SB143 – Revenue Bond and Capital Facilities Amendments
SB154 – Teacher Salary Supplement Program Amendments
2SB181 – Department of Government Operations
1SB193 – Higher Education Performance Funding
3HB218 – Reporting Requirement Amendments
4HB375 – Agriculture Amendments
HB2 – Public Education Budget Amendments
HB3 – Current Fiscal Year Supplemental Appropriations
2SB11 – Military Retirement Income Tax Amendments
SB153 – Utah Personal Exemption Amendments
3HB154 – Use of Force Revisions
HB406 – Marriage Revisions
7SB107 – In-Person Instruction Prioritization
HR7 – Resolution Honoring Legislative Staff
HB415 – Executive Order Review Process Amendments
HCR21 – Concurrent Resolution Recognizing the 100th Year Anniversary of the Department of Agriculture and Food
2HB409 – Municipal and County Land Use and Development Revisions
HB416 – Local Tax Sales Amendments
1HB251 – Electronic Location Amendments
SB2 – New Fiscal Year Supplemental Appropriations Act
1HB394 – Collection Agency Amendments
2HB433 – Amendments Related to Infrastructure Funding
3HB314 – Motorboat Agreements Act
HB402 – School Transportation Funding Amendments
HB426 – Therapy Animals Amendments
HCR22 – Concurrent Resolution Celebrating the Contributions of Multilingual and Multicultural Families to Utah Schools
HB389 – Medicaid Recovery Amendments
3HB421 – Intensive Services Pilot Program
1HB410 – Juvenile Justice Amendments
HR8 – Resolution to Protect Utah’s Institutions of Higher Education from Chinese Communist Party Influence
HB422 – Political Subdivision Civil Liability Amendments
1SB127 – Human Services Program Amendments
HCR23 – Concurrent Resolution in Support of Criminal Justice Restoration and Reform
HJR16 – Joint Resolution Honoring Helen Foster Snow
2SB27 – Physician Assistant Act Amendments
1SB19 – Expanded Infertility Treatment Coverage Pilot Program Amendments
1SB15 – Workforce Solutions for Air Quality
SB47 – Mental Health Crisis Intervention Council
SB53 – Behavioral Emergency Services Amendments
2SB139 – Utah State Correctional Facility Operational Amendments
4HB294 – Pandemic Emergency Powers Amendments
1SB199 – Water Amendments
SJR3 – Joint Resolution Dissolving Smithfield City Justice Court

If you made it this far, WOW!! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Rep. Marsha Judkins

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