2018 Legislature - Week 5 Summary!
Special Events at the Capitol
- Honoring Fire Fighters at the Capitol
Every year, the Legislature has an opportunity to honor Utah's firefighters at the Capitol. I was fortunate enough to have lunch with a few West Valley firefighters! Thanks so much for your service!
- Shooting Survivor Deserae Turner Visits the Capitol
Shooting survivor Deserae Turner banged the gavel Tuesday to open the Utah House of Representatives.
The 15-year-old Smithfield girl also released 25 doves on the front steps of the Capitol as a symbol of hope the future. Lawmakers recognized Turner's courage and bravery, and gave her a standing ovation on the House floor.
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:
- The Utah Legislature passed a bill to shorten the state's waiting period for divorce from 90 days to 30 days. The bill now needs Gov. Gary Herbert's approval. [Trib]
- The Legislature passed a bill that allows Utahns to choose water cremation over burial or traditional cremation, another bill Herbert will now consider. [Trib]
- As the number of homeless elderly Utahns grows, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would require assisted living centers to report when they force the release of a patient. [Trib]
- The House approved a bill that would eliminate state sales tax on food. The bill will now go the the Senate for a vote. [Trib] [DNews]
- A new bill would require lobbyists to participate in an annual workplace harassment course. [Trib] [DNews]
- A bill to get rid of the death penalty advanced to the Utah House Wednesday after family members of murder victims testified both for and against it. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4]
- If a new bill passes, the Utah Department of Corrections would have to release a detailed report of how many inmates died while in custody. [Trib] [KUTV]
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 and we'll make it happen.
Rep. Hall's Legislation
I have several bills this session, here are a few:
- HB43 - Blood Testing Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 72-0 and passed the Senate 26-0.
- HB92 - Utah Vital Statistics Act Amendment - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Health and Human Services Committee 13-0. Passed the floor of the House 74-0 and the floor of the House 24-0.
This was a bill brought to me by the Utah Health Department. If an out-of-state individual dies in Utah, a Utah death certificate must be issued. However, if that out-of-state family uses an out-of-state funeral home, there have been some difficulties getting the death certificate signed. This bill resolves this issue.
- HB113 - Candidate Filing Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 67-0. Passed the Senate 26-0. The bill was signed by the Governor this last week.
This bill fixes the situation we saw in the race for Congressional District 4 this last fall. One candidate wanted to file for office, but he was in China teaching a class during the filing period. He called the Lt. Gov's office and asked how he could file. He was told he could not file because the statute says he must file "in person."
This bill allows an individual who is out of state to file remotely through the use of a audio/video connection. This is a no-brainer bill that provides more access to the ballot.
- SB28 - Local Government and Limited Purpose Entity - PASSED! - I am the House floor sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 70-3 and the Senate 27-0.
There are hundreds of "local government" and "limited purpose" entities (water boards, mosquito abatement boards, etc.) throughout the State. An audit this last year by the State Auditor identified several issues with these entities, including the fact that the State doesn't have a good idea on how many of these entities actually exist.
This bill establishes a registry of such entities, and allows the state auditor to withhold certain state funds and property tax disbursements if an entity does not comply with registry requirements.
- SB38 - Local Elected Officer Amendments - PASSED! - I am the House floor sponsor of this bill. Passed the Senate 27-0. Passed the House 44-27.
The State Constitution indicates that mentally incompetent persons cannot hold elective office. However, there is no procedure set forth in statute to remove such a person. This bill sets forth a process to remove a mentally incompetent county official from office. Here's a photo of me presenting this bill on the floor of the House.
- HB133 - Employment Amendments - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 64-0. Should be heard by a Senate Committee this week.
This bill would expand the State's anti-nepotism laws to include household members. See story here. Should be heard in Senate committee sometime this week.
- HB147 - Retirement Forfeiture for Employment Related Offenses - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House 66-0. Passed the Senate 28-0.
Government employees who commit a crime in the course and scope of their government employment lose retirement benefits starting the inception of their crime. Occasionally, it's not the employer who catches this conduct, but rather an investigation by law enforcement or an audit by an outside agency.
This bill simply makes clear that the outside agency can notify the Utah Retirement System of the employee conduct and participate in any further investigations.
- HJR9 - Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution - Unreasonable Searches and Seizures - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Sitting in the House Judiciary Committee.
In addition to the federal Constitution, the Utah Constitution protects "persons, houses, papers and effects" from unreasonable searches and seizures. My proposed constitutional amendment would specifically add the same protection for "electronic data and communications." It would simply ensure that such information is protected unless law enforcement shows probable cause and obtains a warrant.
Town Hall Meetings!
We have held three Town Hall meetings so far this year (January 27, February 6 and February 24). Thanks to those who attended!.
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/RepHall2018 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your support. Contact me anytime.
Read all previous email newsletters here: http://bit.ly/YJCYy1
Representative Craig Hall
Legislative email: email@example.com
Personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell phone: (801) 573-1774