July 2014 Legislative Update
Thanks again for all your support. I truly appreciate all the emails, phone calls, returned surveys, Facebook comments, and any other way that you are able to reach out to me. Again, feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions, concerns, complaints or comments. All of my contact information is at the bottom of this email.
Following the completion of the general legislative Session begins the off-season, or "Interim" Session. Once a month we meet in committees comprised of both House and Senate members and begin to craft and discuss proposed legislation for the 2015 session and other issues on the Master Study list. Over this interim period I will be serving on the Judiciary and Political Subdivisions Interim Committees.
Items discussed by the legislature during the June Interim Session included:
- Received comments from employers in the manufacturing and technology sectors about shortages of skilled workers in Utah. Also received a presentation from academic institutions regarding the same issue. See presentation here.
- Discussions regarding possible legislation to make Utah's air pollution standards more strict. See article here.
- Received a presentation on how Utah public schools are funded. Reviewed various legislative proposals for increasing or redirecting revenue for public education and discussed the estimated revenue impacts of the proposals.
- Received a presentation on the empirical link between school principals and student achievement.
- Examined the current sentencing structure in Utah, taking into consideration preliminary findings that have been released by the Justice Reinvestment Initiative study regarding prison commitments and factors that contribute to incarceration rates.
- Received a presentation from the Division of Juvenile Justice Services regarding the programs it provides to youthful offenders and the effectiveness of these programs in reducing recidivism.
- Received a report from the Division of Wildlife Resources on efforts to mitigate aquatic invasive species infestations, including Quagga Mussels, in Utah waters.
- Want to know the current status of construction and maintenance with the Utah State Parks and Recreation? See here.
- Former Attorneys General
Who knows how the criminal charges will end up. Certainly they are innocent until proven guilty. But I have faith in our court system, and am confident that the facts will be disclosed and that justice will ultimately prevail.
I am also proud that we as a legislature took meaningful measures this last legislative session so that this hopefully doesn't happen again. Here is a photo of the legislators (both republican and democrat - at the ceremonial bill signing) who sponsored meaningful legislation regarding campaign finance and ethics reform, including my 2014 bill entitled "Government Ethics Revisions," which the Utah Lt. Governor's office (the State entity in charge of administrating elections) has called a "huge step forward." And thanks to the Governor for signing our bills into law.
As most of you know, I am running for re-election in 2014. I feel great about what I have accomplished over the last 18 months. But there's more to be done! Things are going fantastic with the campaign.
Some of my accomplishments over the last 18 months include:
- Sponsoring and passing the most significant piece of legislation in several years dealing with campaign finance / ethics in Utah.
- Effective! - Recognized as one of Utah's "most effective" legislators.
- Passing bills protecting and helping victims of sexual abuse.
- Sponsored legislation fighting for West Side schools.
- Passing several bills guaranteeing greater fairness in Utah's election process.
- Named by the Salt Lake Tribune as a "refreshing example of bipartisanship."
- Sponsoring and passing bills making our State government more transparent and accessible.
- Accessible! - I have held over a dozen town-hall meetings, sent out dozens of e-mail newsletters, mailed surveys to my constituents before each legislative session, I actually answer my phone and return calls, have knocked hundreds of doors in District 33 getting to know my constituents better, etc., etc.!
- And more!
I have recently received numerous endorsements from wonderful groups and individuals who support my campaign. Here is an example. Thanks to AFSCME (the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) for the following letter. I've highlighted my favorite part. :)
We're looking forward to a successful November! Thanks to all those who have helped so far. We have a lot of work ahead of us between now and November. If you would like to help in any way with the campaign, please let me know!
Also, unfortunately, political campaigns have become incredibly expensive. We have thousands of brochures to purchase, hundreds of yard signs to order and dozens of other miscellaneous costs, I would love your help. If you're willing and able to contribute, you can donate here: http://votecraighall.com/contribute
Thanks! We're looking forward to a successful November!
Summary of the 2014 Regular Session
For those interested, the legislative staff has put together some good summaries of what was accomplished during the Legislative Session:
- A complete list of all bills that were passed can be found here: http://le.utah.gov/asp/passedbills/passedbills.asp
- A good explanation of some of the more interesting bills that passed can be found here: http://le.utah.gov/session/2014/pdfdoc/2014SelectedHighlights.pdf
- FY2014 - 2015 budget. If you want to know how Utah will be spending its money over the next fiscal year, here is a fantastic summary: http://le.utah.gov/lfa/LFASums.jsp?month=3&pubid=5816
Read all of my previous email newsletters here: http://bit.ly/YJCYy1
Thanks again for all your support. My contact information is as follows. Feel free to contact me regarding any issue.
Legislative email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal email: email@example.com
Cell phone: (801) 573-1774