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2019 Utah Legislature - Week 6 Summary!

2019 Utah Legislative Session

Week 6 Summary

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

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:
  • Gov. Gary Herbert and legislative leaders announced the legislature will no longer pursue a massive overhaul of the state’s tax code during the current legislative session. [Trib][Fox13][DNews]
  • A House-passed bill that would have allowed Utah drivers to run red lights in some circumstances — after stopping for at least 90 seconds — was killed in a Senate committee after strong opposition from law enforcement, prosecutors, cities and the Utah Department of Transportation. [Trib]
  • Utah voters will have an opportunity on next year’s ballot to approve or deny a proposal to render the state’s constitution more gender neutral. [Trib][DNews]
  • After an emotional testimony by the father of slain University of Utah student, Lauren McCluskey, a bill that would require colleges to implement a campus safety plan for victims of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence or domestic violence, cleared committee with a unanimous vote. [Trib][Fox13][ABC4][DNews]
  • The Utah Senate gave approval to a bill to strengthen Utah’s hate crime law, which has long been criticized as weak and has never resulted in a successful conviction. [Trib][Fox13][ABC4] [DNews]
  • Legislators sent to Gov. Gary Herbert a bill to legalize driverless autonomous vehicles on Utah roads. It is expected to attract open road testing of those vehicles here, as it has in a few other states. [Trib] [DNews]
  • The Utah House voted down a bill that would require seat belts on all new school busses. Opponents said the change would put too much fiscal burden on the school districts. [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
  • HB57 - Electronic Information or Data Privacy - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. This bill passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed the House floor 71-0. Passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting action on the floor of the Senate.
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. Did not pass on the floor of the 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 This bill would eliminate the box on the ballot that would allow a voter to vote for all candidates of a single party with one single notation. A voter could still vote for all candidates of their favorite political party, but they would need to go through each race on the ballot. 

Here's a photo of Rep. Arent (Democrat) and I presenting the bill to the House Committee.


 
  • HB399 - Prohibition of the Practice of Conversion Therapy Upon Minors - I am the chief sponsor of this bill.  Bill was initially introduced on Friday in the House Judiciary Committee. After a long committee meeting on Tuesday, the bill was substituted with different language that I am unable to support. The substitute bill, in my view, would absolutely not stop conversion therapy. As of now, the bill is stalled.
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. 
--------- UPDATE ---------

I am indeed disappointed my version of the bill did not pass the committee. I sincerely felt it was the right way to go. But that’s sometimes part of the legislative process. We always knew it would be an uphill battle. 

One thing I didn’t anticipate is how much of a privilege it would be to sponsor this legislation. I met amazing people I likely would have never met. Dozens have reached out and shared their most personal stories, many of which are simply heart-wrenching. 

I have been moved to tears several times when parents told me their accounts that began with “My daughter….” or “My son…” Those stories kept me going in a direction I believed was best. 
Thank you so much to all those who helped with this bill in any small way. You are simply incredible. I’m certain this Session will not be the end of this important discussion. Solutions need to be found. Thank you!

Here's a good story on how this went down... https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2019/03/05/amendments-drastically/?fbclid=IwAR2KuSTUbbMFXBanjV7Wv-xaA8601Vn8Kn1V8tHlkp3sUMtrkvJpTDCCu4k


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. 


Sales and Income Tax


The legislature has put the brakes on this possible sales tax bill. It will not be considered during the 2019 Session.  Thanks to everyone who has reached out to let me know your thoughts on the bill.


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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