We have less than one week before the 2012 General Session concludes. We’re still holding strong to our guiding principles this Session, passing legislation that protects Utah’s strong economy and health business climate, and fully funding our education system.
Our standing committees have wrapped up their work, and our bills have been prioritized for the remainder of the Session. For the remainder of the Session, we will be debating bills on the Floor of the House and finalizing a sensible budget.
I strongly encourage you to follow what we do, by watching our debates live, on our legislative website. Also, for more information, you can log onto our blog site, which will provide much more information about what’s going here.
Utah’s budget has been a focus this week, and we will continue working on it over the upcoming week. Some highlights include raising per pupil funding in public education, and creating a pilot program to help children with autism. As we have promised, we will pass a balanced budget that will address growing needs while not increasing taxes.
Our seventh week will focus on completing our legislative work on the House Floor, and working to make sure Utah’s budget is fiscally responsible. Below are a few bills that are up for discussion and a vote on the Floor.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you regarding your concerns and expectations.  Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Highlights for Week 6: February 27 – March 2

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

  • House Bill 87Billboard Amendments - This bill allows billboard owners greater flexibility to advertise their client’s businesses on electronic billboards, and prohibits municipalities from enacting certain restrictions.
  • House Bill 148Transfer of Public Lands and Related Study - If enacted, the proposed bill would require the federal government to transfer the title of public lands to the state. It also requires a study to collect information regarding the transfer of said lands. Here’s some more information about the bill.
  • House Bill 155Drug Screening for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Recipients – This bill would require those who receive TANF benefits to submit a written questionnaire to determine the likeliness of a possible recipient of potential substance abuse.
  • House Bill 156Public Education Program Amendments – This bill eliminates some programs from the public education system in order to ensure the taxpayer’s dollar is spent most efficiently, and where it will be of most use for students.
  • House Bill 272Pilot Coverage for Coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorders - This bill would create a pilot program, that is funded jointly by the state, private insurances companies, along with other donators.
  • House Bill 354Alcohol Beverage Amendments – This bill would make changes to the operation of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Here’s a blog post about the bill that was written this past week.
  • House Bill 395Firearms Amendments - This bill would allow those who have been acquitted of a criminal act to purchase a firearm.
  • House Bill 407 - New Car Safety and Emissions Inspections – This bill would eliminate the requirement of cars less than 2 years old to receive inspections.
  • House Bill 500Education Reporting Efficiency Amendments – This bill would require the State Board of Education to determine how best to report on the schools.
  • House Joint Resolution 13Tax Opinion Question - This non-binding resolution would ask the voters their opinion on raising the Zoo, Arts, and Parks tax.