TODAY: Impact social policy on the Hill!

Here in Utah we have a short, fast, but extremely ACCESSIBLE state legislative session, and it’s happening NOW! Ordinary citizens can participate in the political process by calling your state representatives and senators at key times during the life of a bill, by meeting with your legislator in person on the Hill and by showing up to public hearings.

Two reasons to show up to public hearings

  1. Often it helps a bill simply to have people in the room showing community support.
  2. It can also help a bill to have community members volunteer to testify during public hearings.
If you feel strongly about a particular bill that you support or oppose, you can come and offer your presence and/or testimony! Action Utah members are supporting and opposing a number of bills this legislative session in Social, Health and Environmental policy. Below is a list of SOCIAL POLICY bills you can make a difference on with hearings happening TODAY!

CALL TO ACTION

  • Make an impact on the Hill by attending a public hearing!

How? Show up at the appointed time and place for the public hearing, listed below. (FYI for the future – if you don’t know the time/location of a hearing, you can look up the bill by number and/or name on the le.utah.gov website). When the committee asks who in the room will testify, raise your hand and sign a register. You will be called in turn to approach the microphone and give a BRIEF testimony.

 

TIPS:

  • Know what you want to say, and practice it ahead of time if you can. Some hearings limit testimony to as little as one minute. Others may give you 2-3 minutes.
  • Be prepared to answer questions from the committee
  • Offer up personal stories and heartfelt feelings that support your argument
  • Offer up professional expertise/data to support your argument, if you have any (don’t worry — if you aren’t an expert it’s okay, data is not necessary)
  • Be POLITE, calm and respectful
  • Don’t be disappointed if your argument doesn’t sway the committee — sometimes having your argument on the record is as important as winning

SOCIAL POLICY BILLS:

1. IN SUPPORT! 2PM WEDNESDAY
 
HB 178: Good Landlord Amendments
Rep Brian King
Date: Wednesday, February 1 
Time: 2:00PM
Place: 445 State Capitol/House Business and Labor Standing Committee (map here)

If passed, this bill will help discourage discrimination based on past criminal conviction, which can cause a disparate impact against people with a mental illness, disability and/or people of color. We support bills that discourage discrimination and help the homeless or housing insecure population rent secure housing options, rather than finding themselves stuck in the shelter systems. “A New York study demonstrated that the use of state prisons and city jails dropped by 74 percent and 40 percent respectively when people with criminal records were provided with supportive housing.” ACLU — For more information, please find the attached ACLU FAQ flyer.

 

2. IN OPPOSITION! 4PM WEDNESDAY

 
See the below from Moms Demand Action regarding a dangerous bill that would allow anyone to carry hidden, loaded guns in public with no license and no training:
 
HB 198: Concealed Carry Amendments
Rep. Lisonbee
Date: Wednesday, February 1 
Time: 4:00PM
Place: 30 House Building, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee (map here)

We’re going to be showing up in our Moms Demand Acion shirts (I have extras if you need one!) and testifying against this bad bill. Please RSVP (or reply to this email) so we can prepare you with testimony. If you do not wish to testify, showing up is a powerful statement too! Please don’t let that hold you back.

Utah Moms Demand Action Speak Against Permitless Carry
Wednesday, February 1, 4:00pm
Utah State Capitol, 350 N. State Street, Salt Lake City
RSVP NOW

3. IN SUPPORT! WEDNESDAY

SB 89 Adoption Agency Amendments
Sen. Escamilla
Time: 2:00PM
Place: 250 State Capitol, Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee (map here)

This bill focuses on reducing the sometimes predatory nature of adoption (“child placing”) agencies by creating ethics minimums for those agencies.

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