Back to Top

2019 Utah Legislature - Week 7 & FINAL Summary!

The 2019 General Session of the Utah State Legislature is complete! Thank you so much for all 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
 
  • Visit from West Lake STEM students

We always love having students visit the capitol. Thanks to the staff and teachers from West Lake STEM who made sure these students made it to the Capitol on the last week of the Session!



 
  • Pledge Offered by 102 year-old Veteran of Three Wars

Every morning we begin with the pledge. Meet Cliff Spendlove, 102 years young! He served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It was an honor to meet Cliff and thank him for his service.




Week 7 Highlights

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 voted to spend at least $28 million towards projects to help with state air-quality. Some projects the funding will go towards include an additional seven free fare public transportation days and the construction of more vehicle charging stations. [Trib] [ABC4]
  • Utah lawmakers officially voted to boost alcohol allowance in beers from 3.2 percent to 4.2 percent Thursday evening. The final vote in the Senate was 27-1 and the legislation now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert, who has already indicated his support. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [KSL]
  • The legislature pass a bill that will create a system that wipes out a person’s criminal records convicted of certain designated low-level crimes and stays out of trouble afterwords. If Gov. Gary Herbert signs the bill, Utah would become the second state in the nation to pass such a law. [Trib]
  • On Wednesday the Senate gave final approval of a stronger hate crimes bill. The bill would allow judges to increase criminal penalties against perpetrators who commit a crime based off of ancestry, race, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and several other protected classes. [Trib] [ABC4] [KSL]
  • Lawmakers passed a bill ordering campuses to create specific safety plans to aid sexual assault, stalking and domestic violence victims. [Trib] [KSL]
  • Utah Lawmakers gave their final approval for a piece of legislation that would boost criminal penalties for professors who engage in sexual conduct with students 17-years-old and younger. More and more students are graduating from high school early and heading to university before turning 18. Lawmakers behind the bill are aiming to protect these minors. [Trib]
  • A bill that would allow Utah residents to obtain an electronic copy of their driver license so they can carry the document on their phones passed and heads to the governor. [Trib]




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 - PASSED! - 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 23-0..
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).
  Over the last year, the Utah Health Department started to interpret statute in a way that required certain school district employees to undergo two redundant background checks, at the employees' own cost.  This bill, requested by Granite School District, clarifies that these school district employees need just one background check.
  This idea was brought to me by a business that had an employee go outside the scope of employment and notarize a document they should not have. This bill clarifies that an employer of a is ONLY liable for damages caused by the notary’s misconduct in performing a notarization if: (1) The notary public was acting within the course and scope of the notary’s employment; and (2) the employer had knowledge of, consented to, or permitted the misconduct. 
  Our state is in desperate need of more doctors. In particular, there is a loooooooong wait to see a psychiatrist.  This will provide funding for an additional four psychiatric residencies throughout the state to help alleviate the shortage of psychiatrists throughout the state.
  An audit in 2018 demonstrated that governmental nonprofits don't have the financial safeguards needed to adequately safeguard such resources. This is a wonderful bill that provides the training and the supervision when board members and employees are handling taxpayer money.
 
  • HB168 School Bus Safety Amendments - Bill did not pass - 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
 
  • HB259 - Straight Party Ticket Amendments - Bill did not pass - I am a co-sponsor to this bill. Passed the House 48-21. Passed the Senate Committee 5-0. Was not voted on by the full Senate.
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 - Bill did not pass - 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. 
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!!!


 
Thanks for returning your survey!
 
I have mailed a survey to constituents within District 33.  The answers you provide to these survey questions are invaluable.  Thanks to those who returned the survey. 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.
 

What Now?


The regular Session is done.  There's a chance we could have a Special Session, or a veto-override Session.  But other than that, all the legislators (including me) go back to their regular lives and jobs for the rest of the year.  We do meet in "interim sessions," which happen one day a month, to discuss possible bills, to study issues, and to recommend bills to the Senate or House for consideration. If you have an issue that you would like to discuss, or you would like me to look into some topic for next year's Session, please feel free to contact me at any time.  I will still have the occasional Town-Hall meeting, and I will keep you informed on when those will be held. I will also send out email updates after each "interim session."  For those that want more frequent updates follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hcraighall or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votecraighall

We stayed to work on bills until late on March 14.  This is a photo of the Capitol after I left the Capitol.  It has truly been an honor to represent District 33.  Thank you for the opportunity!





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

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Craig Hall
Powered by CampaignPartner.com - Political Websites