Day 22 out of 45 – we’re halfway done!
It’s been yet another exciting and fast-paced week #OnTheHill in this brief 45-day legislative session, and half of it is already over. Yet there are still many good bills left for community members to impact. Scroll down to our Weekly Actions to find out what YOU can do to make a difference, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by signing up for our Action Alerts so you don’t miss a thing!
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WEEK #3 HIGHLIGHTS
An appropriation request for opioid addiction prevention curriculum by Rep. Joel Briscoe (D-Salt Lake) for middle and high schoolers by the Genetics Science Learning Center at the University of Utah by expanding their Learn.Genetics and Teach.Genetics websites, already used in most public schools throughout Utah. This little appropriations request made a big enough impression to hit the papers in this great Desert News article after the appropriations committee hearing on Thursday. Scroll down to find out what you can do to support this request!
HB 38 Fireworks Amendments passed through the legislature! This compromise bill will reduce the number of days and hours fireworks may be legally used in Utah to reduce noise and potential air pollution. The last step for HB 38 is getting a signature from the Governor to pass it into law. Thank you for taking action on this good bill!
The Food Tax bill (HB 148) began to move this week at last, getting out of Rules and into a committee, and passing with a favorable recommendation to repeal the state tax on food to ease the burden on some of our state’s neediest people. Rep. Quinn is now joined in this effort by Rep. Steve Eliason.
How paraprofessional wages impact Utah schools – We’ve been tracking teacher retention and wage issues at Action Utah and calling you to action to improve education in our schools. Yesterday Action Utah Policy Coordinator, Ashley Anderson, had this great op-ed on paraprofessional wages published in the Deseret News. Good job, Ashley!
Action Utah launched #InTheirWords – Action Utah has begun publishing a series of 2-minute videos on Facebook about some of the great bills we are supporting in the words of bill sponsors themselves (many thanks to AU board member, Alan Seawright for creating these excellent videos!). Find out what these bills do and why they are worth supporting by clicking the links below. And stay tuned for more #InTheirWords videos to be released this week!
- #InTheirWords VIDEO – HB 12: Family Planning Services Amendments – providing contraceptive services to improve the lives of women and families and save the state money
- #InTheirWords VIDEO – HB 148: Tax Revisions – eliminating the state food tax to help our state’s most vulnerable.
- #InTheirWords VIDEO – HCR 1: Global Warming and Climate Change – acknowledges that climate change is real and man-made and encourages energy policy decisions to be based on these two facts.
- #InTheirWords VIDEO – HCR 7: Environmental and Economic Stewardship – encourages responsible stewardship of natural resources and reduction of emissions
Bill of the Week: HCR 7
HCR007: Concurrent Resolution on Environmental and Economic Stewardship by Rep. Becky Edwards (R-N.Salt Lake) created a terrific resolution that encourages the responsible stewardship of natural resources and reduction of emissions through incentives and support of the growth in technologies and services that will enlarge the economy. Check out Rep Edwards’ great op-ed in the Deseret News. And click on the video above to hear about the bill #InTheirWords. Scroll down to find out what action YOU can take to support this good bill TODAY!
Action Utah’s Weekly Lobby Day – Tues, February 13th, 1:00p in the Seagull Room in the Senate (East) Building on Capitol Campus. Attend a brief training on advocacy during the state legislative session, then join us at 2:00p to attend a standing committee meeting of your choice. No experience necessary! RSVP here.
Action Utah on KRCL’s RadioActive Monday, February 12. Tune in to 90.9 FM from 6:00-7:00p. Action Utah Policy Director, Carrie Butler, will discuss bills we are watching at Action Utah this week #OnTheHill during the State Legislative Session.
Latino Day on the Hill – Thurs. February 22nd, 4:00-5:00p at the Utah State Capitol. Join the Utah Republican Latino Coalition and guest speakers AG Sean Reyes and State Senator Luz Escamilla for a bipartisan event celebrating our unique Latino culture and diversity within the state of Utah.
Here are the great bills you can impact this week at the State Legislature. Each action only takes a minute or two! Bills move very quickly during the State Legislative Session, so be sure to take action right away. And stay tuned on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages for more Urgent and Daily actions coming up throughout the week!
1. Appropriations request for opioid addiction prevention – Thank the members of the Public Education Appropriations Committee for hearing this request by Rep. Joel Briscoe and Amy Hawkins last week and to prioritize this request as a high funding priority! Check out the article about the request in the Deseret News. Click here to take action TODAY.
2. Ask the House Natural Resources Committee to allow a full House debate on environmental stewardship (HCR 7) – HCR 7: Concurrent Resolution on Environmental and Economic Stewardship encourages the responsible stewardship of natural resources and reduction of emissions through incentives and support of the growth in technologies and services that will enlarge the economy. Click here to ask the Natural Resources Committee vote YES and send HCR 7 to the House floor for debate BEFORE TUESDAY AT 8AM!
3. Ask your state representative to reduce costs for prescription medications in Utah (HB 163). URGENT: The House is about to take a full vote on a good bill as early as this morning, which would allow the Department of Health to design and seek federal approval for a drug reimportation program so Utah could import brand name pharmaceuticals from Canada for purchase at lower prices within the state. Click here to ask your state representative to vote YES on HB 163: Prescription Drug Importation Program THIS MORNING!
4. HB 139: Telepsychiatric Consultation Services Amendments would allow doctors to help their patients get mental health care in a timely and effective way to improve mental health care, outcomes, and accuracy of prescriptions and even save lives. HB 139 will likely go up for a vote THIS MORNING in the House. Click here to contact your House rep to support HB 139 THIS MORNING. After today, HB 139 will likely head to the Senate. Click here to email your state senator and ask them to vote YES on HB 139!
5. HB 148: Tax Revisions would eliminate the state sales tax on food to ease the burden on the state’s most vulnerable, including low-income families and fixed-income seniors. We’ve asked you to contact your state senators. But as a full House vote on this measure quickly approaches, please take a moment to ask your state representative to vote YES on HB 148: Tax Revisions as a moral imperative.
6. Did you miss these actions last week? Bills you can still impact:
- HB 57: Utah Intergenerational Poverty Work and Self-sufficiency Tax Credit supports progress toward financial stability and independence for working families, strengthens Utah’s economy by reducing poverty in a responsible and lasting way and creates better outcomes for families and children. Click here to ask your senator to vote YES on HB 57.
- SB 112: Voter Registration Revisions would create automatic (opt-out) voter registration at the DMV to improve government efficiencies. This bill is slated to get a full Senate vote this week. Click here to ask your senator to vote YES on this good bill.
- HB 264: Elementary School Counselor Program would provide grants for mental health support in Utah’s public elementary schools. Click here to help this bill get a favorable vote in the House.
- HB 283: Workplace Protection Amendments would create more equitable and fair workplaces by extending anti-discrimination and anti-harassment labor laws to small workplaces. Do you work for a company with less than 15 employees and have a story to tell about overt or subtle discrimination or harassment? Utah Women’s Coalition is collecting your stories! Please take 3 minutes to complete this confidential survey in order to advance workplace protections in small workplaces.
1. Ask our Senators to support Dreamers. Although Trump ended DACA in September, leaving it up to Congress to create policy around Dreamers, Congress has so far failed to act, leaving the lives of hundreds of thousands in turmoil. No vote has been called on Dreamer legislation in the House, despite broad support by Congress. The Senate is expected to finally hear multiple pieces of Dreamer legislation this week, though the form of the legislation is still unclear.
- Contact our two Senators once again and ask them to support Dreamers through legislation like the Dream Act and settle the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who contribute to our economy and know no other home but the United States.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City) // Email // Twitter: @senorrinhatch // Facebook: @senatororrinhatchSen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden) // Email // Twitter: @SenMikeLee // Facebook: @senatormikelee
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Andrea & Katie
Action Utah Co-Founders