Legislative Updates from LWV

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Legislative Interim Committees are on Capitol Hill today deciding how to implement laws they passed last session and what new legislation to study.  They’ll meet on third Wednesdays of the month from now to November, from 9 AM to Noon and 2 to 5 PM.


The Education Committee

will discuss timelines for getting new technology they funded last session out to the schools.

The technology includes math instruction, software to prepare high school students for college math courses, interactive software for teaching literacy and assessing K through 3 students and college readiness assessments.

They’ll also consider implementing H.B. 318, Classroom Size Revisions.  This new law requires school districts and charter schools to submit plans for how they will use class size reduction money.

Health and Human Services

will discuss Health Reform, including options for expanding federal Medicaid, incentives to encourage people to purchase Long-term Care Insurance, and monitoring controlled substance prescriptions.


How to pay for public schools and roads will be on committee agendas.

Revenue and Taxation will hear

Overviews of which taxes fund Public Education and of Utah’s Tax Burden, that is who is paying those taxes.

Transportation will hear

Background on where transportation funds come from and where they are spent.  Staff will also spell out roles and responsibilities of those charged with transportation funding and planning.


Business and Labor

Review Study Items for the 2013 Interim

Discuss Sunset Review of the Utah Injured Worker Reemployment Act with comment from the public and the Utah Labor Commission

Discuss Discretionary Clauses in Insurance Contracts, which allow insurers to freely interpret their policies to their advantage, putting consumers at risk of losing the coverage they counted on.  Discretionary clauses may be inserted in most insurance policies provided by employers in employer in the large and small employer market.

Overview of Alcoholic Beverage Control 2013 legislation with comments by sponsors and discussion and direction for future action.



 School Trust Lands Oversight Report from Margaret Bird, Director of the School Children’s Trust in the State Office of Education

Acquisition of New Products and Services Funded in the 2013 General Session.  Timelines for when new technology products funded last session will reach the schools  The products include math instructional technology, interactive computer software for literacy instruction and for preparing high school students for college math course, interactive computer software for literacy instruction and assessment of K through three students, college readiness assessments, an online test preparation program, and deployment of whole school, one-to one mobile device technology.

Discuss implementing H.B. 318, Classroom Size Revisions.  The new law says school districts and charter schools must submit plans for how they will use the class size reduction money. It also asks the State School Board to report results to the Education Interim Committee

Decide which Education Studies the committee will cover during interim this year.


Political Subdivisions

Open and Public Meetings Act Training

Local Land Use Revisions – issues related to the land use authority of municipal or county governments

Eminent Domain Amendments Study – Rep. Lee Perry, study sponsor, has requested Mr. Craig Call, author of the publication “Utah Law of Eminent Domain,” to explain the problem – uses, condemnation and reimbursement, etc.

Wrongful Documents – study and address documents submitted to county recorders for recording, which are claimed to be wrongful (H.B. 20). [Master Study Item #160]The study sponsor will explain, “What is the problem?” Potential solutions to the problem may be discussed at a future meeting.

Protest Requirements for assessment areas

Assessment Methods – calculation methods for determining an assessment

Expand RSS Feed for Local Government Public Meetings

Study the review and approval of Conservation Easements


Public Utilities and Technology

Utah’s Public Utility Regulatory Process – an overview from the Public Service Commission, Division of Public Utilities and Committee of Consumer Services

County development offices will discuss issue of providing competitive Utility Rates in Rural Utah to promote economic development, including options in 2013 General Session S.B. 202, “Extensions of Natural Gas Lines.”

Committee Study Item Discussion


Health and Human Services

Update on State and Federal Health Reform, including the Governors Options for signing up for expanded federal Medicaid.

Consider setting up a Community Health Worker program and offering incentives to encourage people to purchase Long-term Care Insurance.

Marketing and regulation of Electronic Cigarettes

InterConnect Briefing – interstate data-sharing program for monitoring prescriptions for controlled substances. The system could be used to alert prescribers when a patient is getting prescriptions from more than one doctor.


Government Operations

Evaluating and Adjudicating Election Complaints – changes needed, if any, to the process

Attorney General by Appointment or Election – speakers include Assistant AG Jerrold Jensen and Brian Tarbet, AG General Counsel, and Thomas Vaughan

State Fleet Issues- including reducing size and relying on state rental contract for overflow, and privatization

Statewide Ombudsman and Office of the Inspector General – whether to create these two offices as some states have done.l

Recall Elections – Should Constitution be amended to allow?





Economic Development and Workforce Services

Overview of Committee Subject Areas and Committee-Related Bills Passed – The committee oversees statewide economic development, workforce services, housing and community development, heritage and arts

Required Annual Agency Written Reports – discuss best practices for receiving and reviewing reports

Focus and Vision for the Committee’s Interim Work – what are most important issues to consider?

Economic Development Task Force – Update on work from chair Rep Brad Wilson

Department of Heritage and Arts — Structure, Mission, Duties, Goals, and Concerns



Summary of 2013 General Session Committee Bills and Overview of 2013 Interim

Administrative Subpoenas – study the use of administrative subpoenas to obtain electronic

communication records in certain criminal investigations.

Interim Study List Committee Discussion

Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

General Session Summary and 2013 Interim Studies

Department of Public Safety – Issues and Agency Update from Executive Director D. Lance Davenport

Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice – Issues and Agency Update from Executive Director Ron Gordon

Domestic Violence Report from Alice Moffat, Chief, Bureau of Criminal Identification

Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment

Remediation Waste Fees

Utah’s School Trust Lands Beneficiary Report from Margaret Bird, Director, School Children’s Trust, State Office of Education

Water Pollution Reduction of Nutrient Pollution – report from Agriculture and Food Commissioner Leonard Blackham, and from Utah Dairyman’s Association, Association of Conservation Districts and Utah League of Cities and Towns

Revenue and Taxation

After discussing which Interim Study Items they want to cover this year

Hear Overviews from legislative staff of Taxes that go to Public Education Funding

And of Utah’s Tax Burden, that is who is paying those taxes (from Utah Tax Commission).


Annual Report: Additions to or Deletions from the State Highway System

Background on Transportation Funding In Utah, specifically where the funds come from and where they are spent.  Staff will also spell out the roles and responsibilities of those charged with transportation funding and planning

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