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2020 Utah Legislature - Week 6 Summary

There's just four days left! Thanks to everyone for reaching out over the last few weeks, letting me know how you feel about the issues.
 
Special Events at the Capitol
 
  • Students from Hillsdale Elementary!

This week I was able to visit with students from Hillsdale Elementary! Thanks for coming to visit the Capitol! Great kids! 





  • Visit from former WVC Councilman Corey Rushton

Visit from former West Valley Councilman Corey Rushton!

Corey has been a long-time friend and supporter. This week he visited the House with some of his work colleagues. Corey is also now the chairman of the board of trustees of Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.  Thanks for visiting Corey!
 
  • Visits from Constituents
Thanks to all those who come to the Capitol! Here's a photo of Mr. Farrer, a great constituent who does a wonderful job of letting me know how he feels about the issues. It was great giving him a behind-the-scenes tour. Thanks for coming!




 
  • Outside of the Capitol!

Monday night, I was able to step out of the Capitol and attend the Granger High School soccer game in Layton with my wife. Go Lancers!
 




  • Rep. Hall Requests $33,281,000 For Teacher Retention Bonus
Last week I requested $33,281,000 from the Public Education Appropriations Cmte. for a $1,000 teacher retention bonus for each of Utah's 33,281 educators. With the education fund surplus (along with our challenge of retaining teachers), I can't think of a better use of the surplus. See story here.


 

2020 Legislation

This last week we continued the process of voting on non-budget bills.  Of course, you can always watch the news 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 state Senate approved a big percent tax increase on electronic cigarettes and vaping products amid growing concerns of a vaping epidemic among teens and children. [Trib]
  • State lawmakers approved tighter rules governing the use of vanity license plates after residents made several complaints about offensive plates. [Trib]
  • The House has declared the State Capitol a “handshake-free zone” amid growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19. [Trib] [Fox13]
  • A Utah lawmaker is looking to modify the state’s existing laws on using the insanity plea for people who commit crimes because of an underlying mental illness. [Trib]
  • A House committee advanced a plan to create a state homeless services czar over the objections of many of the service providers and local governments. [Trib]
  • Utahns may soon be able to get a driver license on their smartphone. [Trib]

Rep. Hall's Legislation

I have several bills this session, here are a few: I am currently the House Chair of the Retirement and Independent Entities committee. Part of this includes the supervision of the Utah Retirement System, which has over $30 billion in assets. This bill continues to make the consistent changes to ensure that our pensions will be paid to the thousands of state employees throughout the state.

  • HB84 - Traffic Code Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Floor 62-3.  Passed the Senate 26-0. 
As you all know, when a bus stops and its lights are flashing and the stop arm is out, other vehicles are supposed to stop. However, compliance with this law is not as high as it should be. Last year, a study was done and there were over 900 violations in a single day! This bill will increase the minimum fine for violations, and require community service. The Granite School District asked me to sponsor this bill after experiencing way too many close calls. 

See story here




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.

Representative Arent (democrat) and I (republican) are sponsoring a bill together. 43 States have already prohibited this practice. Over 70% of those who have responded to my constituent survey express support for eliminating straight-ticket voting. 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. 
 
  • HB86 - Adult Autism Treatment Program. - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. The bill passed the House floor 49-26. Passed the Senate 25-0.  
Within the State of Utah we have multiple treatment options for children with autism. Of course, it's a reality that each of these kids grow up. However, the treatment options for individuals over 21 are extremely scarce. This bill will set up a structure where the State can begin providing better resources. 

This bill is a follow-up from a 2019 bill. Continues to clarify that personal use of government resources and property is NOT allowed.


It is already a felony to threaten a judge or member of the board of pardons in relation to a criminal case. There have been a few instances that make it clear that such penalty should also apply to prosecutors in order to make it clear that such threats and intimidation to prosecutors is absolutely not acceptable.

  • HB207 - Insulin Access Amendments. I am a co-sponsor of this bill. Bill passed the House 69-3. Passed a senate committee 6-0.

This bill would cap copays for insulin at $30 per month unless the insurer places the diabetes treatment in its lowest-cost drug tier and waives the deductible. Some families are forced to pay hundreds of dollars a month for insulin. This is a great bill that would greatly increase access.  Here is a story on the bill.





Unlike most states, Utah does not have a minimum age at which young children can be prosecuted and incarcerated. 

This bill would apply to children 11 and under. It would not apply to the most serious crimes (murder, aggravated sexual assault, etc.). And if the child fails the alternative rehabilitation path, prosecution is still an option.  Here is a great story on the bill.





Town Hall Meetings!


We have now had three town hall meetings (Feb. 1, 8, 20).  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/RepHall2020 if you prefer that method.  Thank you so much!

 
 
  • 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!

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) 573-1774Add your expanded detail here.


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