It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through the legislative session! I remain committed to reaching out to you and seeking your input through my weekly Facebook Friday broadcast. Please tune in if you have any questions or issues you’d like to discuss. You can find last week’s broadcast on my Facebook page.

I will not be hosting my regular Town Hall this Saturday at noon. Instead, I will be joining other legislators from Utah County for a group town hall at 9:00 AM. Here is the link for this group meeting. I hope to see you there!
Here is a quick update from week four. 


This week, each appropriations subcommittee prioritized the requests for appropriations for their specific portion of the budget. These funding proposals are submitted to the Executive Appropriations Committee, where a final budget proposal is created and then sent to the legislature for a vote. I serve on the Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee, and since we received so many funding requests for vital programs, creating this proposal requires difficult decisions. However, I am glad to see that the Baby Watch program, Disability Services, and DCFS caseworker salary increases are near the top of the ongoing funding list. 


My sponsored bill, HB 158 Juvenile Interrogation Amendments, is scheduled for a vote on the House floor later this week. This legislation will provide increased protection for minors in police custody, who are currently able to waive their Miranda rights without a parent or guardian present. Adolescents have developing prefrontal cortexes, so they are especially vulnerable to misunderstanding the consequences of waiving these rights. Parents are often unaware that their child has been questioned by law enforcement until after the fact. Children under 13 are required to have a parent or guardian present before any interrogation can occur, and this will extend this safeguard to all minors.


For those monitoring the positivity rate in Utah, you will have noticed that we have dropped to about 6-7% positivity. This is in part due to the Department of Health’s switch from a person-based calculation to a more accurate test-based calculation. The department previously based the rate on the number of people testing positive out of all those who have been tested within 90 days. Now, the rate is determined by how many tests come back positive out of all the tests administered within a certain time frame. Other states have used this method of calculating rate positivity, and I am glad we can now have a better comparison countrywide.


We are voting on more and more bills as the session progresses. Here are the 40 bills that passed the House since last Thursday. If you’d like to see how each legislator voted on a bill, visit le.utah.gov. Search for a bill under the ‘Bills’ tab on the homepage. From there, follow the ‘Status’ tab and click on a vote outcome to see a list of ‘yea’ and ‘nay’ votes.

SB 55 – Rural Online Initiative Sunset Amendments
HB 142 – Cyclist Traffic Amendments
1HB 69 – Traffic Code Amendments
1SB 54 – Kurt Oscarson Children’s Organ Transplant Coordinating Committee Extension
HB 43 – Emergency Procurement Declaration Modifications
1HB 173 – Vote Reporting Requirements
2HB 180 – Lieutenant Governor Conflict of Interest Amendments
1HB 96 – Emergency Management Amendments
HB 86 – Social Security Tax Amendments
1HB 217 – Regulatory Sandbox Program Amendments
HB 220 – Pretrial Detention Amendments
HB 261 – Geographic Reference Center Amendments
HB 81 – Mental Health Days for Students
HB 105 – Students with Disabilities Amendments
1HB 152 – Ballot Information Amendments
HB 116 – Student Attendance Amendments
HB 222 – School Land Trust Program Amendments
2HB 118 – Children’s Hearing Aid Program Amendments
HB 135 – Congregate Care Program Amendments
1HB 148 – Alcohol Education Amendments
1HB 155 – Civil Commitment Amendments
1HB 64 – Factual Innocence Payments Amendments
1HB 103 – Retaliation and Obstruction of Justice Amendments
1HB 147 – Revenge Porn Amendments
1HB 159 – Higher Education Speech
HB 84 – Use of Force Reporting Requirements
1HB 95 – Prison Rape Elimination Act Compliance
1HB 162 – Peace Officer Training Amendments
1HB 65 – Wildland Fire Amendments
1HB 83 – Migratory Bird Production Area Amendments
HB 188 – State Stone Designation
HB 211 – Initiatives and Referenda Amendments
HB 172 – Facility of Payment to Minor Amendments
1HB 136 – Initiative and Referenda Modifications
1HB 175 – Risk Management Settlement Authority Amendments
1HB 252 – State Pay Plan Amendments
2HB 244 – First Class County Highway Road Funds Amendments
HB 238 – Marriage Amendments
1HB 186 – Criminal Nonsupport Amendments
1HB 161 – Military Retirement Tax Amendments

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