Back to Top

2017 Final Utah Legislature Summary!

The 2017 General Legislative Session is complete! Thank you so much for all of your support.  It is truly an honor to represent the great residents of District 33.  Just a few highlights from the Session:

Week 7 Highlights

This last week we continued the process of voting on non-budget bills.  Of course, you can always watch the new reports.  But the best way to track any legislation is at the Legislature's website at http://le.utah.gov.  Here are a few of the more interesting bills that were discussed this last week:
  • Utah lawmakers finalized a series of budget bills in which lawmakers awarded the bulk of state revenues - nearly $240 million - to public education. [Trib] [DNews]
  • After lengthy debate, the House voted in favor of a measure to suspend school grades for one year and expand the practice to place greater emphasis on student improvement beyond standardized test scores. [Trib] [DNews]
  • In an attempt to address the state's teacher shortages, both the House and the Senate have approved a bill that would provide bonus incentives to top-performing instructors who work in high-poverty schools. [Trib] [DNews]
  • A bill will head to Herbert's desk for his signature or veto that looks to toughen penalties for prostitution-related crimes. [DNews]
  • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is expected to sign a new alcohol-reform bill that cleared its last major legislative hurdle. Among the proposed changes are increased price markups for alcoholic beverages and options for separating diners from bars aside from the "Zion Curtain." [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [KUTV]
  • Legislation that would allow medical marijuana research in Utah now heads to the governor for his signature or veto. [DNews]
  • The session ended without action on one of its most debated issues - tax reform. [Trib] [DNews]
  • A measure that would require all rape kits be tested for DNA at the state's crime lab may soon become law under legislation awaiting Herbert's signature or veto. [Trib]
  • A bill that would allow parents whose adult children are struggling with opioid addiction to intervene on their behalf to ensure adequate care passed through both the House and the Senate and heads now to the governor for further consideration. [ABC4]
  • Legislation seeking to shorten Utah's election lines is headed to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk for his signature or veto after passing unanimously in both the House and the Senate. [Trib]




Rep. Hall's Legislation
 
  • HB86 - Inactive Voter Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 70-0 and the Senate 25 -0.   Sen. Karen Mayne was the Senate sponsor.  
This is a relatively simple bill which helps make sure that voters don't get kicked off the voter rolls due to a technicality.  I was asked by the Lt. Gov.'s Office to sponsor the bill and I am happy to help them achieve this goal.  
  • HB105 - Early Voting Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 73-0. Passed the Senate 28-0.
State law currently allows early voting from two weeks before Election Day, until Friday before Election Day. This bill would extend early voting until Monday before Election Day.  I was asked by the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office to run this bill. This is a great bill which will give more options to Utah's voters.  Here's some press coverage regarding the bill. [SLTrib] This is a bill that clarifies how to determine damages in the event of securities fraud. I was requested by the Utah Attorney General's office to run this bill.  
  • HB218 - Poll Location Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 75-0 and the Senate 28-0. 
Some of you may remember the long lines on Election Day.  Last November, the Clerk's Office wanted to open more poll locations, but there was a notification deadline that had already passed - effectively prohibiting the Clerk's Office from opening more locations.  This bill will allow the Clerk's Office to open a poll location at the last minute if they determine more locations are needed.
  • HB288 - School Sunscreen Provision - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 68-1.  Passed the Senate 27-0.
Did you know your child is not allowed to bring sunscreen to school unless he/she has: (1) a parent note; and (2) a doctor note?  Ridiculous, I know.  The reason this is the case is because sunscreen is considered a "medicine," and medicine is not allowed in school.  This bill will allow your child to bring sunscreen to school without going through the hassle of a doctor note and a parent note. Here is some press coverage regarding the bill. [DNews] Currently if a school district wants to build or repair a school, the district must place the project in the newspaper (the actual newspaper) to let contractors know of, and bid on, the project.  However, industry practice now is that contractors go online to find notice of these projects.  So this bill still requires that notice of these projects be placed online, but eliminate the need for them it in the physical newspaper.
  • HB163 - Municipality Per Diem Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Political Subdivision Committee. Passed by the House 72-0. Passed the Senate 26 - 0.
There are hundreds of cities and towns throughout Utah. Each of them can set their own per diem rates.  This bill will cap the per diem rates at the State rate. This will help avoid excessive reimbursements to city officials throughout the State. Individuals required to register on the sex offender registry are required to register for 10 years, or for life (depending on the severity of the crime). Some defense attorneys and prosecutors have improperly made plea deals that have let some individuals be removed from the registry before their time is up. 

This bill makes clear that such agreements between prosecutors and defense attorneys are improper, and shall not be made. And if they are made, the Utah Attorney General's Office will have the authority to have these agreements held invalid.
  • HB132 - School Bus Safety Requirements -  DID NOT PASS - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Transportation Committee 7-3. Bill was voted upon by the full House and failed 30-40.
This bill would require seat belts in new school buses (model year 2017 buses and newer).  I was first introduced to this issue when a friend of mine, while I was living in Texas, had a daughter who was seriously injured in a school bus that tipped onto its side while on their way to a soccer game. Two of her teammates died as a result of the accident.   

I appreciate all the feedback I've received regarding this bill.  I've been in close contact with the school districts discussing ways to improve the bill.  Thanks to all those who have reached out.  Here is an article regarding the bill: [SLTrib]

Administrative Law Judges adjudicate items when a citizen has a dispute with a government agency.  Currently there is no requirement for these judges to be law-trained.  These judges deal with issues that are legally complicated (health code, insurance code, etc.) and I believe it is best practice for these individuals to graduate from law school before they rule on legal rights for Utah citizens.

Favorite Accomplishment by the Utah Legislature

As most of you know, I consider education to be my highest legislative priority.  Every year, funding is an issue.  However, this year THE LEGISLATURE APPROVED THE LARGEST PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING INCREASE IN YEARS! Thank you to my colleagues for such support! We still have a ways to go, but this is a big deal. Read more about this issue here.




Town Hall Meetings!


I've had three town hall meetings over the last four weeks!  Thank you so much to those who have been able to come. Great conversation and great questions!!! 


NOTICE - Possible Homeless Shelter Coming to West Valley




I thought about sending this out as a separate email. But in order to not inundate you with multiple emails, I include it here.  

Salt Lake County has just announced 5 possible locations for a new county homeless shelter. Three of these potential sites listed are in West Valley City:

  • 1820 West Printers Row
  • 2249 South 1070 West
  • 2411 South 1070 West
The specific locations are concerning to many because of the active and vibrant community that surrounds them. There are 6 schools in this community. There are 7 churches. There are over 3,000 housing units here. There are also more than 700 businesses. On top of this, the Jordan River Parkway which is enjoyed by thousands of people sits next to these sites. 
 
If you would like your voice heard, please attend one or both of the open houses that are being held during the next week:
  • Tuesday, March 14 from 6-8pm at the State Capitol (350 North State Street) in the Senate Building Cafeteria
  • Saturday, March 18 from 3-5pm at the State Capitol (350 North State Street) in the Senate Building Cafeteria
We need West Valley residents at these meetings. Please attend if you can.

To learn more about this issue click here: http://www.wvc-ut.gov/homelessshelter


What Happens With the Legislature Now that the Session is Over?


The regular Session is done.  There's a chance we could have a Special Session, or a veto-override Session.  But other than that, all the legislators (including me) go back to their regular lives and jobs for the rest of the year.  We do meet in "interim sessions," which happen one day a month, to discuss possible bills, to study issues, and to recommend bills to the Senate or House for consideration. If you have an issue that you would like to discuss, or you would like me to look into some topic for next year's Session, please feel free to contact me at any time.  I will still have the occasional Town-Hall meeting, and I will keep you informed on when those will be held. I will also send out email updates after each "interim session."  For those that want more frequent updates follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hcraighall or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votecraighall

We stayed to work on bills until 12:00 midnight on March 9.  This is a photo of the Capitol at 1:30 a.m. after I left the Capitol.  It has truly been an honor to represent District 33.  Thank you for the opportunity!



Thanks for your support. Contact me anytime.

Read all previous email newsletters here: http://bit.ly/YJCYy1

Representative Craig Hall

Legislative email: chall@le.utah.gov
Personal email: hcraighall@yahoo.com
Website: www.votecraighall.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/votecraighall
Twitter: www.twitter.com/hcraighall
Cell phone: (801) 573-1774

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Craig Hall
Powered by CampaignPartner.com - Political Websites