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2017 Legislature - Week 6 Summary!

The 2017 General Session of the Utah State Legislature is almost over! Just 4 days left!  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 week:

Special Events at the Capitol

  • Honoring Utah's Fallen Soldiers
Every year, theUtah House of Representatives honors members of the military who passed away during their service over the last 12 months.  It is such a solemn occasion. We cannot honor them, and their families, enough. Thank you so much for you sacrifice.



  • Late Nights at the Capitol

 

Since there are so few days left before the last legislative day, we sometimes stay late. Here is a photo from one night this week at approximately 8:30 p.m. We continued working that night until around 9:30 p.m.




  • Schedule this Upcoming Week!
 
As mentioned, this is the last week for the Utah State Legislature.  Here is a quick summary of the schedule. Lots of voting on bills this week. We will also finalize the budget for the next fiscal year.



  • Visits to the Capitol!

 

One of our State's treasures is the State Capitol building.  And visiting during the legislative session is the best time of year to visit.  Lots of action happening every day.  I would love to give your family / school group / church group / etc. a behind-the-scenes tour of the State Capitol.   Give me a call/email/text and we'll make it happen. 




2017 Legislation

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:

  • A Senate committee advanced a bill that would require the testing of all rape kits. [Trib]
  • The House voted to approve legislation calling for term limits in Congress. [Trib]
  • Both mobile home park owners and their residents supported a bill designed to better define the rights of each group. The legislation passed unanimously through the House and now heads to the Senate for further consideration. [Trib]
  • The House endorsed a bill that would make sweeping changes to the state's juvenile justice system, seeking to keep low-risk offenders in their homes, when possible, through the use of a variety of alternative programs rather than jumping directly to incarceration. [Trib]
  • A bill that would ask a current state task force studying intergenerational poverty to look at the causes of child homelessness and study how to best address it received unanimous support in the House. [Trib]
  • The Senate Government Operations Committee advanced a bill that would create a presidential primary in Utah to address problems with last year's caucuses. [Trib] [ABC4] [APviaKUTV]
  • The House unanimously advanced a bill addressing limitations to freedom of speech on college campuses across the state. [Trib]
  • 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

I have several bills this session, here are a few:
  • 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]
  • HB245 - School District Procurement Process - I am the chief sponsor for of this bill.  Passed House 70-0.  Passed a Senate committee and is awaiting vote by the full Senate.
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 - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Political Subdivision Committee. Passed by the House 72-0. Awaiting a vote by the Senate.
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 - 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.


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!!! 

Please return your survey!

I have mailed a survey to constituents within District 33.  The answers you provide to these survey questions are invaluable.  Please, please, please fill it out and return! (Below is a photo of some of the paper surveys that have been returned!). I am very interested in your perspectives. Your comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated.  You can also take the survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RepHall2017 if you prefer that method.  Thank you so much!





Ways to Contact Representative Hall

I make a concerted effort to reach out to all of my constituents.  For that reason, I use as many different forms of communication as possible.  Most of you have received mail from me.  I also have frequent town hall meetings (more on that above).  You can follow me online at www.votecraighall.com.  For even more frequent updates, you can follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votecraighall and/or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hcraighall.  You are also welcome to call my cell phone anytime.  (801) 573-1774.  I will be in many meetings throughout the legislative session, so if I don't answer right away, feel free to leave me a message and I'll try to call back as soon as possible.  I will also be sending out regular updates via email.  Probably the quickest way to get ahold of me is by email.  My legislative email address is chall@le.utah.gov.

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

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