The second week of the session has proved to be just as busy as the first, as committee meetings are in full swing, and bills head to the floor for debate. We began this week by passing base budgets, which are rough outlines of the amount of funding programs can expect from the final budget. These base budgets are the first step in creating a fiscally responsible plan for the future of the state.
Some highlights from the week include a bill that increases the speed limit of certain stretches of Utah Highway in an effort to smooth the flow of traffic, a bill that awards college credit to veterans with certain military training and experience, and a series of bills that increase transparency during elections. Most notably, a bill that requires those paying for a push poll to disclose their identity, and if they fail to comply, pay a fine. This will ensure voters know who is paying for the push poll and who is responsible for the questions being asked.
Over the course of the 2013 legislative session we will continue our support of a strong education system, the protection of Utah’s most needy, and the tradition of fiscal responsibility.
Next week we’ll continue to hear bills during our committee meetings, as well as on the House floor. Below is a list bills that were voted on and passed out of the House, as well as a list of my current legislation. As always, I look forward to hearing from you regarding your concerns and expectations.
Legislation Passed on the House Floor:
Here are a few highlights from this week. You can search and follow bills at le.utah.gov.
HB 83 – Speed Limit Amendments
This bill allows the speed limit of certain stretches of Utah highway to be raised from 75 mph to 80 mph. Only areas of road that are geometrically designed to handle higher speeds will be changed, which means curves and inclines will stay the same. Portions of I-15, I-180, and I -84 will be affected.
HB289 Fireworks Amendments
This bill allows the legislative body of a municipality to prohibit fireworks in specified areas if the local fire code official determines that hazardous environmental conditions exist. You can read more about this bill in this Deseret News story.
HB 272 Traffic Signal Amendments
This bill allows drivers to turn left at a red light when at a diverging diamond interchange.
HB254 College Credits for Veterans
This Bill requires a college or university within the state system of higher education to award credit for certain military service training and experience.
HB 53 Election Law Amendments
This bill allows municipalities to forgo early voting if conducting an election by absentee ballots only.
HB 40 Scheduling of Special Elections
This bill amends the date of which a special election may be held to encourage participation
HB 44: Election Polling
This bill requires the disclosure of the person paying for a push poll regarding a candidate or ballot proposition, and imposes a fine for those that don’t disclose.
HB 26 Inmate Medical Donation Act
This bill allows for inmates to voluntarily donate their organs posthumously.
HB93 Substitute Traffic Violations Amendments
This bill defines serious bodily injury; provides that if a person has received a citation for a moving traffic violation that resulted in a collision and any person involved in the collision sustained serious bodily injury or death as a proximate result of the collision, a court may not accept a plea of guilty or no contest to a charge for the moving traffic violation unless the prosecutor agrees to the plea; requires a peace officer that issues a citation for a moving traffic violation to record on the citation whether the moving traffic violation resulted in a collision in which any person involved in the collision sustained serious bodily injury or death as a proximate result of the traffic collision; and makes technical corrections. This bill was featured in a Salt Lake Tribune story.
You can look at a running list of all the bills passed in the 2013 Legislative Session here.
On the Radio
This week I spent a little time on the radio, first on X96’s Radio from Hell show. (And I survived. Actually, we had a great conversation about many of issues.) And I also spoke with Jason Williams and his team on KVNU’s For the People. My part of the interview starts at around 38:30. You can click on the shows to hear the interviews.
Parrots in the Capitol?
Yes. During the session we get to see all kinds of exhibits and interesting things during the session. This week the Tracy Aviary brought this beautiful bird for the Legislators to see. To see some of the other photos of the week you can follow the UtahReps Photostream.