2011 General Session of the 59th Legislature

At the beginning of the session we began to address a $315 million hole in the budget called the “structural imbalance.” Over the first four weeks we put together a base budget with cuts across the board to address that problem. The understanding has always been that the base budget is a starting point, like pouring the foundation of a building before you can build the walls.Since we introduced our base budget, the rumor mill has been buzzing with stories that the Legislature will not fund new student growth and is making “draconian” cuts to public education funding.

We thought it would be best to set the record straight: Many lawmakers have children, grandchildren, not to mention thousands of constituents in Utah public schools, so it is an issue that is very personal to them. Balancing the budget and correcting the structural imbalance while funding quality education is a difficult process, but it’s a challenge we are happy to accept. It’s a challenge you elected us to handle. And we have: the entire Republican caucus, as well as the public education appropriations and executive appropriations committees have spent countless hours reviewing, discussing, debating and preparing the public education budget.

The final budget will be different from the base budget and part of that change is anticipated to be millions of dollars of funding for new growth. Two weeks ago in our Republican caucus meeting, we released our top three priorities, which include a focus on accountability and excellence in education: Utah has unique challenges with an exploding student population; this requires serious solutions on the part of the Legislature. Excellence is about improving student performance and exploring the best possible ways to deliver quality education. Accountability means that the state, school districts and teachers must be responsible for ensuring the ongoing success of the students.

Highlights for Week 4: February 14 – 18

End of week 4 and things are starting to pick up.  The Republican caucus has discussed education at length and will continue to do so.  Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stopped by Utah’s Capitol to talk to legislators and share some of his love for Utah.  Speaking of his experience with the 2002 Olympic Games, he said: “This is a place of great passion and energy and the volunteers here and the spectators from Utah made the Games the greatest ever.”

On the House floor, we OK’d body armor for dogs, agreed that legal refugees could take their first driver’s license test with the help of an interpreter and passed a resolution calling on our federal government to pass a balanced budget amendment.

We celebrated Latino Day on the Hill and honored those who served in the military.  Our appropriations sub-committees finished their work and sent their final recommendations to the Executive Appropriations Committee.  The newest budget numbers are expected to be out today.

* For the daily schedule and updates on the Utah House through the legislative session, messages from Representatives, and other information visit our blog at www.utahreps.net

* Follow the Utah House of Representatives on Facebookand Twitter.

These are the bills that passed the House this week. (clicking the title of the bill, which is in blue will take you to the text of the full version)

HB 10 Renewal of Judgment Act
Sponsored by Rep. Gage Froerer (R –Huntsville)
Establishes a process and fee for renewal of judgments, and the renewal period will be eight years.

HB 18 Health Reform – Cost Containment
Sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw (R –Orem)
Requires consumer directed health plans offered by the Utah State Retirement and Insurance Benefit Act to promote appropriate utilization of health care, including preventive health care benefits. Also requires state employees to attend training regarding health benefit plans that are offered.

HB 19 Insurance Law Related Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Dunnigan (R –Taylorsville)
This bill removes outdated language, addresses grace periods for accident and health insurance policies, addresses a written agreement related to a voluntary surrender of a license, addresses fees for captive insurance companies and also deals with regulation of insurance and insurance products.

HB 23 Controlled Substance Modification
Sponsored by Rep. Gage Froerer (R –Huntsville)
Definition of a controlled substance now includes a list of synthetic equivalent cannabinoid substances and their analogs and homologs found in products referred to as “spice”.

HB 46 County Recorder Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Curt Webb (R –Logan)
Modifies provisions related to judgments affecting real estate, notarization requirements for recorded documents and extensions of judgments liens.

HB 50School Termination Procedures Modifications
Sponsored by Rep. Ronda Menlove (R –Garland)
Clarifies that a school district or the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind is not required to provide a cause for not offering a contract to a provisional employee.

HB 61Home Business Workers’ Compensation Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Richard Greenwood (R –Roy)
This bill defines that a home business is not considered an employer of an owner’s immediate family member for purposes of worker’s compensation.

HB 70 Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act
Sponsored by Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (R –Orem)
Allows state and local authorities to enforce current federal immigration laws with illegal immigrants who are guilty of a criminal offense.

HB 73 Motor Carrier Transportation Contract Indemnity Agreements
Sponsored by Rep. Don Ipson(R –St. George)
Holds harmless the promise from or against any liability for loss or damage resulting from the negligence or intentional acts or omissions of the promise is against the public policy of this state and is void and unenforceable.

HB 75 Dangerous Weapon Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Curt Oda (R –Clearfield)
This bill defines locations where a person may not possess a dangerous weapon, firearm or sawed-off shotgun.

HB 79 Property and Casualty Certificate of Insurance Act
Sponsored by Rep. Todd Kiser (R –Sandy)
This bill requires certain language to be included in a certificate of insurance, prohibits false and misleading practices, addresses notice requirements, provides for enforcement and authorizes rulemaking.

HB 80 Emergency Management
Sponsored by Rep. Curt Oda (R –Clearfield)
Sets the residential climate control system technicians to complete electricity efficiency training, and sets the residential climate control system technician-to-apprentice ratio.

HB 81 Tow Truck Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Lee Perry (R –Perry)
Allows tow truck carriers to cross certain road barriers and certain circumstances and provides a good faith exception for cargo damaged when responding to a service call.

HB 88 Agriculture Sustainability Task Force
Sponsored by Rep. Jack Draxler (R –North Logan)
This bill creates a task force to study ways to sustain the agricultural industry.

HB 91 Real Estate Related Amendment
Sponsored by Rep. Gage Froerer(R –Huntsville)
Amends the Utah Uniform Land Sales Practices Act; repeals extradition proceedings, addresses payments to the division that are dishonored, license term extensions and modifies grounds for disciplinary conduct.

HB 92 Public Education Regional Service Centers
Sponsored by Rep. Brad Last (R –Hurricane)
Encourages local school boards to enter into an inter-local agreement to create a regional service center to provide education related services.

HB 93 Mortgage and Real Estate Licensure Exemptions for Attorneys
Sponsored by Rep. LaVar Christensen (R –Draper)
Addresses the licensure exemption related to residential mortgage loans and an attorney.

HB 103 Election Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Derek Brown (R –Cottonwood Heights)
This bill requires that a county stagger the terms of county officers.

HB 107 Volunteer Firefighters’ Retirement Amendments
Sponsored by Rep Ronda Menlove (R –Garland)
Requires the Retirement Office to fund the long-term disability benefits for new volunteer firefighters using certain premium tax revenues previously deposited into the firefighters’ Retirement Trust Fund.

HB 163 Revisor’s Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Brad Dee(R –Ogden)
Eliminates references to repealed provisions, and also updates cross references and numbering in the Utah Code.

HB 167 Incarceration Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Eric Hutchings (R –Kearns)
If a person serving a felony commitment at the Utah State Prison at the beginning of a class A misdemeanor conviction, the class A misdemeanor commitment is the Utah State Prison.

HB 175 Condominium Ownership Act Modifications
Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Wilcox (R –Ogden)
This modifies requirements about the keeping and availability of condominium records.

HB 177 Canine Body Armor Restricted Account and Income Tax Contribution
Sponsored by Rep. Richard Greenwood (R – Roy)
This bill creates a Canine Body Armor Restricted Account for the purchase of protective body coverings (body armor) for police service canines to protect against gunfire.

HB 178 Dispatcher Service Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Richard Greenwood (R – Roy)
Changes time period for becoming inactive from one year to 18 months, and also if a dispatcher relinquishes certification when a disciplinary procedure is pending, the dispatcher may not be certified again as a dispatcher in Utah.

HB 179 Peace Officer Recertification Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Richard Greenwood (R – Roy)
Clarifies qualifications in order to be a certified peace officer, and also requires that a certification become inactive after 18 months of not being active as a peace officer-this adds six months to the current one year.

HB 180 Debt Collection Data Match with Workers
Sponsored by Rep. David Clark (R –Santa Clara)
Allows Office of State Debt Collection to enter written agreements with other government agencies to obtain information for the purpose of collecting state accounts receivable.

HB 184 Motor and Special Fuel Tax Act Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Chris Herrod (R –Provo)
This bill amends the definition of clean fuel and provides that beginning July 1, 2011, a tax is imposed at a reduced rate on liquefied natural gas per gasoline equivalent.

HB 199 Advertisements on School Buses
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Bird (R –West Jordan)
Allows local school boards or charter schools governing boards to sell advertising space on the exterior of a school bus, and requires the Department of Transportation to make rules governing the placement and size of advertisements.

HB 208 Administrative Services Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Wayne Harper (R –West Jordan)
Creates a State Archives Fund as a restricted special revenue fund, specifies what is deposited into the fund and its uses and this fun shall earn interest.

HB 216 Reunification Services Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Merlynn Newbold (R –South Jordan)
This bill states that reunification services should not be provided to a birth mother if the court finds the child has fetal alcohol syndrome or was exposed to illegal or prescription drug that was abused by mother while child was in utero; mother will also need to enroll in a substance abuse treatment program approved by Department of Human Services.

HB 220 Civics Education Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Morley (R –Spanish Fork)
This bill requires instruction in forms of government, including the United States’ referred to as a republic, and requires school curricula to include a thorough study of American historical documents.

HB 221 Classic Car Inspections
Sponsored by Rep. Fred Cox (R –West Valley)
A $45 fee shall be paid at the time of registration/registration renewal of a vintage vehicle less than 40 years old.

HB 228 Administrative Rules Reauthorization
Sponsored by Rep. Curt Oda (R –Clearfield)
This bill reauthorizes all state agency administrative rules

HB 232 Drug Paraphernalia Definition Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Evan Vickers (R –Cedar City)
A person may not be charged with distribution of hypodermic syringes as drug paraphernalia if at the time of sale/distribution the syringes are in a sterile package and are to be used for a legitimate medical purpose; prescription medications.

HB 237 Enforcement of Liens
Sponsored by Rep. Julie Fisher (R –Fruit Heights)
Requires a notice of a lien enforcement action involving the sale of a vehicle, vessel, outboard motor, or air craft to be sent to the last known address of the registered owner as disclosed by Motor Vehicle Divisions records.

HB 252 Railroad and Railroad Crossing Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Richard Greenwood (R – Roy)
Prohibits an operator of a vehicle from making a U-turn on a railroad track or railroad crossing grade, prohibits a pedestrian from entering the area between a railroad track and railroad sign while sign/signal is active. Also provides that a person is guilty of criminal trespass on restricted railroad property if the person knowingly/intentionally/recklessly remains on property.

HB 254 Emergency Procedures Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Richard Greenwood (R – Roy)
This bill creates an emergency declaration process within the state, and that a declaration of a local emergency provides a legal basis to request and obtain disaster assistance from other cities and counties.

HB 261 Amendments to Transportation Provisions
Sponsored by Rep. Derek Brown(R –Cottonwood Heights)
Requires the Tax Commission to annually provide the Utah Division of Aeronautics a list of all aircraft registered in this state.

HB 263 Local Services Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. David Clark(R –Santa Clara)
Authorizes a local district board of trustees to compel the attendance of its own members.

HB 265 Motor Vehicle Emissions Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Francis Gibson (R –Mapleton)
This bill makes certain that county regulations and ordinances shall be compliant with the analyzer design and certification requirements that are in the state implementation plan.

HB 266 Restitution Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. David Clark (R –Santa Clara)
Allows a judgment ordering to expire only upon payment in full, when the judgment is entered on the civil judgment docket; regarding “Entry of judgment-Interest-Civil Actions-Lien.’

HB 268 Municipal and Real Estate Licensure Exemptions for Attorneys
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Morley (R –Spanish Fork)
This bill regulates the inspection and abatement of property.

HJR 21 Selections of Unappropriated Federal Lands Joint Resolution
Sponsored by Rep. Roger Barrus(R –Centerville)
This resolution urges Congress to authorize Western States to make selections of public land within their borders.

HB 271 Restrictions on Political Subdivisions Regarding the Regulation of Knives
Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Wilcox(R –Ogden)
Prohibits a municipality, county, and local district from regulating the use of a knife unless specifically authorized.

HCR 2 Utah State Flag Concurrent Resolution
Sponsored by Rep. Julie Fisher (R –Fruit Heights)
This resolution urges manufacturers of Utah state flags to modify the current design to accurately reflect the original flag approved in 1913. A formatting mistake has been perpetuated for years and this is to correct it.

HCR 8 Concurrent Resolution on Providing Continuing Federal financial Assistance for the Delivery of Basic Services to Dutch John, Utah
Sponsored by Rep Mel Brown (R –Coalville)
Urges the U. S. Government and Secretary of the Interior to provide continued financial assistance of $500,000 per year for 15 years to Daggett County to defray the costs of administration and basic community services for the residents of Dutch John, Utah.

HJR 19Joint Resolution Opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regulation of Greenhouse Gases
Sponsored by Rep. Roger Barrus (R – Centerville)
This resolution calls on Congress to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas and impose a moratorium on any new regulations for at least two years.

HJR 28 Veterans Day Joint Resolution
Sponsored by Rep. Johnny Anderson (R –Taylorsville)
Recognizes past and present sacrifices of the men and women of the United States’ military who willingly stood, and currently stand, in harm’s way to protect the freedoms enjoyed by all who live in the United States of America.

HJR 35 Utah Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week Joint Resolution
Sponsored by Rep. Ken Sumsion (R –American Fork)
Designates September 5 through September 11, 2011 as Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week in the State of Utah.

SB 24 Motor Vehicle Division Fee Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Julie Fisher (R –Fruit Heights)
This bill changes how certain fees are collected from the Motor Vehicle Division; fees collected to cover the costs of electronic payments will be deposited in the Electronic Payment Fee Restricted Account.

SB 35 Construction Licensees Related Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Todd Kiser (R –Sandy)
This bill addresses workers’ compensation fraud, modifies requirements for contractor licenses, and defines administrative actions that can be taken related to unprofessional or unlawful conduct.

SB 36 Concealed Firearm Act Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Curt Oda (R –Clearfield)
This bill requires a nonresident applicant to currently hold a concealed firearm/weapon permit from the applicant’s state of residence that recognizes Utah permits or has reciprocity with the Utah permit. It also requires a nonresident to pay an additional $5 for the issuance of the permit.

SB 49 Oversight of Bonding by Counties
Sponsored by Rep. Brad Wilson (R –Kaysville)
This bill amends a county legislative body’s authority to create a board of directors for certain types of facilities.

SB 98 Securities Related Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Bird (R –West Jordan)
This bill addresses the licensing of investment advisors and investment advisor representatives. It clarifies definitions and timelines of filings.

SB 104 Probate Law Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Val Peterson (R –Orem)
This bill adds the terms “share and share alike” and “to the survivor of them” to the definition of terms used in governing instruments and how property is divided in probate.

SB 114 Municipal Prosecutorial Discretion
Sponsored by Rep. Chris Herrod (R –Provo)
This bill permits a city attorney who has a conflict of interest in a case to appoint another city attorney from another municipality to prosecute in the court over the matter.

SB 123 Restrictions on Lobbying Expenditures
Sponsored by Rep. Brad Dee (R –Ogden)
This bill changes the definition of agency to include a school, school district, or charter school, and also prohibits any of these groups from expending state appropriated money to pay a contract lobbyist.

SB 126 Local District Service Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Morley (R –Spanish Fork)
This bill authorizes a local district to determine whether a completed improvement met certain standards, and requires that a local district establish a fee appeal process.

SB 144 County Purchasing Agent Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw (R –Orem)
Authorizes the county executive to delegate supervision of the county purchasing agent to the county auditor.

SCR 1 Crisis Intervention Team Program Concurrent Resolution
Sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray (R –Clearfield)
This resolution recognizes the Crisis Intervention Team Program as the best model of practice for law enforcement agencies and community health centers to develop and maintain active crisis intervention team programs regionally and throughout the state.

SCR 3 Concurrent Resolution Supporting Continued Federal Funding of the Central Utah Project
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel (R –Kanab)
This resolution strongly expresses to the United States Congress and the United States Secretary of the Interior the Legislature’s and Governor’s continuing support of the Central Utah Project and urges the completion of the project.

SJR 4 Joint Resolution Approving Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan
Sponsored by Rep. Brad Last (R –Hurricane)
This bill approves a management plan for a scenic byway beginning in Laverkin running along State Route 9 to the west boundary of Zion National Park in Springdale, and following to Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway to the east boundary of Zion National Park.

SJR 10 Joint Resolution Closing Orem Court Facility
Sponsored by Rep. Val Peterson (R –Orem)
Seeks legislative authority for the judicial department to remove court operations from the city of Orem.