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2019 Utah Legislature - Week 4 Summary!

2019 Utah Legislative Session

Week 4 Summary


Extremely busy week! Thanks to everyone for reaching out over the last few weeks, letting me know how you feel about the issues.  Less than three weeks left!

 
 
Special Events at the Capitol
 
  • Bipartisan Clean Air Caucus
 
I am part of a bipartisan group of legislators (both democrats and republicans) that is extremely concerned about our air quality. We are actively searching for ways to make a difference.  As a group, we have proposed over a dozen air quality bills ranging in proposals from reducing car emissions to funding more research.  There's obviously much more work to be done in this regard.  Thanks to everyone who has reached out to me on this issue.  Here are some photos from the press conference this last week. See articles here: 

 
  • Local School Parents and Teachers Visit the Capitol
It is always so great to see parents of students and hard-working teachers up at the Capitol building! Thanks so much for coming and letting your voices be heard!



 
  • Visit with the AFL-CIO
Every Wednesday, I attend the morning legislative meeting with groups that represent working families throughout the State. Thanks so much for your great work!


 

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 Utah’s age limit for the legal purchase of tobacco to 21 has encountered a surprising opponent: the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. [Trib] [DNews]
  • After a multi-session attempt to give Utah’s hate crimes law some teeth, a bill that would do so has cleared a legislative committee. But its sponsor says it’s “not a done deal” and that the measure could still face hurdles in the full Senate. [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews]
  • A bill is on its way to the Senate would help cities enforce their anti idling ordinances by allowing citations to be issued after a single warning instead of three. [Trib]
  • Conversion therapy, a discredited practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, could be banned in Utah under a new bill that would make the practice illegal when used on minors. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has said it won’t oppose the measure. [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews]
  • Utah lawmakers want to increase education spending per student by $128 million this year. [Trib]
  • Lawmakers gave unanimous approval in a House committee on Wednesday to a proposal that would require the renewal of a Utah Driver’s License once every eight years rather than every five. [Trib]
  • A move to legalize driverless autonomous cars on Utah roads is on its way to the Senate after passing through the House. The bill’s sponsor said its aim is to move testing on the new vehicles from private tracks. [Trib] [DNews]

Rep. Hall's Legislation

I have several bills this session, here are a few:
  • HB129 - Campaign Amendments - PASSED! - 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. Came back to the House on Concurrent and passed 66-4. This bill has now passed and is waiting for the Governor's signature.
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.  

See story here 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.
  This bill is to clarify how old a legislator has to be. The state constitution says that a legislator must be 25 years of age. But it does NOT say by when he/she must be 25. At the time of filing (in March)? At the time of the election (in November)? At the time he/she assumes office (in January)? This bill clarifies that the legislator must be 25 years old "at the time of election" (in November.
  • HB168 School Bus Safety Amendments - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Transportation Committee 7-4. Awaiting action from the full House.
This bill would require seat belts on new school buses starting in 2020. This issue can be summed up by a quote I made during the hearing. "It's silly and interesting that we require by law all children and all adults in our own personal vehicles to wear seatbelts. … But for some reason, we find it perfectly acceptable to put kids in buses with no seat belts at all," Hall said.

Here are some stories on this issue: DNews ABC4 SLTrib

Conversion therapy is a medical practice or treatment meant to change sexual orientation. It has been rejected by major medical groups including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association, among many others. Study after study has shown that such a practice is ineffective and very harmful.  A recent study showed how LGBT youth subjected to conversion therapy were two times more likely to experience depression and nearly three times more likely to attempt suicide.  

15 states have already prohibited this practice. Hopefully Utah will be the 16th. I greatly appreciate all who have reached out, thanking me for running this bill. I am cautiously optimistic we will be able to pass this bill this Session.

 




Town Hall Meetings!

I've held three Town Hall since the session began.  Thanks to those who attended!.  Great comments and questions. Thank you!!!

 



 
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 over the last few weeks, much discussion at the Capitol was focused 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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