Utah Cap Haps Blog

Friday, July 17, 2015

July Legislative Updates

Capitol Pic of the Day


Government Operations Interim Committee - Our committee has been tasked with coming up with proposals to address how our State Board of Education is elected. There are three policy approaches that have historically been proposed to no avail (partisan elections, non-partisan elections and governor appointments). The three senators who were supporters of different approaches came together to propose a hybrid approach that incorporates partisan, non-partisan, and governor appointments. It decreases board seats from 15 to 13, where four members run in a partisan election, four members run in a non-partisan election, and five members are appointed by the governor. The committee heard public input on the proposal and did not take action. This will be revisited later this fall. 

Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee - The committee heard an overview of the various economic development incentive programs and learned about a new initiative on workforce development. The Aerospace and Composites industry has partnered with the state and higher education to establish a certificate that high school students may earn in their senior year that helps the students obtain an internship and potential scholarships. Also, check out this new interactive tool that pulls up an economic development snapshot of an area of interest.

Capitol Pic of the Day

Prison Relocation Commission - The PRC reviewed the need for a new prison, as well as the details of the four sites being proposed. The analysis included a review of the current Draper site. The commission also reviewed a transportation assessment and talked about the considerations that should be made with respect to the final recommendation. Listen to the last meeting by clicking on the audio links hereThe PRC will propose a final recommendation no later than October 1st for the Legislature and Governor to consider. 



The Legislature has updated their website to make it more user friendly when it comes to learning about our budget and the appropriations process. 

Click here to get a deeper understanding of where the money comes from and where it goes. 

Also, if you are interested in seeing the details of what was funded in the last general session, you may either reference an interactive budget visualizer or the final appropriations book


I had the opportunity to participate in the bipartisan Clean Air Caucus meeting this month where we heard an update from the new executive director of the the Department of Environmental Quality. We reviewed status updates of the various clean air bills that were passed in the last couple of years and talked about the continued challenges ahead. 

On another note, it was an honor to be recognized by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce as a champion for business. 

The "Business Champion" award is the business community's highest honor given to legislators who stand for pro-Utah, pro-business, and pro-economy legislation. 

It is important to ensure we maintain a business-friendly environment where businesses can thrive and prosper.