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2019 Utah Legislature - Week 2 Summary!

The 2019 General Session of the Utah State Legislature began on Monday, January 28.  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:

Budget

This second week, the legislature spent much of its time going over the State's budget.  Each legislator is on at least one appropriations subcommittee. I am currently the Chair of the Retirement and Independent Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees the State's retirement system, PEHP, etc.  

For the last week, our committee has carefully scrutinized their existing budgets, reviewed previous appropriations and then will determine if the expenditures are achieving the desired outcomes. Of course, we are always looking for any potential savings. This budgeting process will continue throughout the session.  

Last week I shared a "Where it all goes" snapshot.  Here is a "Where is all comes from" summary:
 

 
 
Special Events at the Capitol
 
  • Tribute to Service Members Who Died While Serving in Armed Forces
 
On Friday, February 8, the House had the distinct honor of welcoming the families who have lost their loved ones serving in the armed forces. M. Sgt. Seth Beaudoin, PO2 Daniela Casey, SPC Michael Anderson Hatfield, and MAJ Brent Russell Taylor lost their lives in the line of duty, leaving behind family and loved ones. 

We are deeply indebted for their service and sacrifice of these soldiers. May God bless their loved ones and may their legacy of patriotism and love for this country continue on.


 

2019 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 bill that would increase the alcoholic content of beer sold in Utah grocery stores from 3.2 to 4.8 percent cleared its first hurdle in a Senate committee Thursday. [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews]
  • A bill to legally allow electric scooters to zoom down busier and bigger roads in Utah cruised through a committee on Thursday. It also would also ban operating while impaired or having more than one passenger. [Trib]
  • A bill that would have loosened requirements for legal notices to be published in a local newspapers, failed to pass the Utah House with a vote of 35-39. Representatives opposed to the bill cited concerns that it would harm the revenue of small local newspapers. [Trib] [DNews]
  • A bill to allow Utah drivers to run a stop light when the coast is clear was held by a committee for more work. Sponsor Rep. Ken Ivory said it is intended only for cases when a light is malfunctioning, but the committee said the bill as written could allow it almost anytime. [Trib]
  • A bill advanced in the House to stop giving Utah schools a letter grade each year for their performance — a system that has been largely criticized for relying too much on test scores and accounting too little for diversity. [Trib] [DNews]
  • Utah lawmakers propose legislation that would grant immunity from arrest for sex workers who report being victims of a crime. [DNews]

Rep. Hall's Legislation

I have several bills this session, here are a few:
  • HB129 - Campaign Amendments - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. This bill passed the floor of the House 72-1.  Passed the Senate this week 27-0. It will come back to the House this week for concurrence.
States are divided as to whether campaign funds can be used for childcare while campaigning. Federal law allows it for federal campaigns. This bill would make clear that in Utah, campaign funds may be used for childcare expenses while campaigning.  Rep. Stephanie Pitcher (Democrat) and I are jointly sponsoring this bill.  There are so many wonderful people and leaders in this State. And they shouldn't be discouraged from running simply because they have childcare responsibilities.  Here are some photos of Rep. Pitcher and I presenting the bill and getting it passed in the House. 

See story here
  • HB57 - Electronic Information or Data Privacy - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. This bill was heard in the House Judiciary Committee, and was held in Committee to be heard again in some future meeting.
This bill seeks to apply the same 4th amendment protections that we have in the paper and physical world, to the digital world. So much of our communication and information is now in digital and electronic format. And a lot our personal information is stored with third-parties (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). This bill simply would require law enforcement to seek a warrant from a judge if they want access to such digital information.  See story here



 
  • HB52 - Remote Notarization Standards - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed 68-0 on the House floor. Passed 28-0 on the Senate floor.
This bill allows notarizations to be performed remotely. Currently, notarizations are only allowed to be performed in-person. Beginning November 2019, you'll be able to perform a notarization through your smart phone. Fantastic bill. Several states have already adopted remote notarizations.
  This bill is in response to an audit performed by the State Adutior's office. One recommendation that came forth after the audit was to clarify Utah law that it is unlawful to use government property for personal use. Here is a story explaining the issue.



Town Hall Meetings!

I've already held two Town Hall since the session began.  Thanks to those who attended!.  I have one more Town Hall meeting scheduled during the legislative session.  All Town Hall meetings are at West Valley Library (2800 West 3650 South).
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.  
Hope to see you there!
 


 
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/RepHall2019 if you prefer that method.  Thank you so much!
 
 

Medicaid

As you may have heard, this week's discussion at the Capitol was focused mostly on Medicaid. In November, the voters passed Proposition 3 which expanded the number of Utahns that are eligible for Medicaid.  In District 33, Proposition 3 prevailed by almost 30 percentage points. There has been been some effort this session to modify what was passed by the voters.

After a lot of study, thought and public input, I ended up voting NO on the bill that will modify Prop 3. Thanks to everyone who reached out to me over the last few weeks regarding their thoughts on the issue. I greatly appreciate it. 


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. Thanks for. visiting! Here's a shot from the "snow day" this week.
 


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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