Good new bills you should know about!
Only two weeks left in the session, but new bills are still getting introduced, including three bills addressing the housing shortage in Utah.
- HB 430: Affordable Housing Amendments by Rep. Becky Edwards creates a commission on housing affordability within the Department of Workforce Services. This great bill passed unanimously in committee this morning!
- HB 462: Homeless Services Amendments by Rep. Steve Eliason creates a funding mechanism for homeless shelters by assessing a fee on municipalities that fail to provide sufficient low-income and affordable housing for their populations. by Rep. Steve Eliason creates a funding mechanism for homeless shelters by assessing a fee on municipalities that fail to provide sufficient low-income and affordable housing for their populations. This bill has great potential and we are watching it to make sure it satisfies advocate concerns.
- HB 464: Affordable Housing Amendments creates a bond to provide $100 million in funding from the Economic Revitalization and Investment Fund to build or repurpose housing developments that meet certain affordable housing criteria.
Action Utah will continue following these great bills and bring you opportunities to weigh in and influence their trajectory this legislative session!
OTHER WEEK #5 HIGHLIGHTS
HB 278 Paid Family and Medical Leave Amendments passed committee unanimously, showing legislator support for family economic prosperity bill that incentivizes employers to add paid leave policies and supports families. HB 278 moves on to a House vote. Click here to ask your rep to vote YES on HB 278!
HB 127 Controlled Substance Database Act Amendments passed in committee, which would require medical professionals to check the prescription database before prescribing controlled substances in order to prevent overprescription of opioid drugs. This is one good idea we’d like to see get passed! Would you be willing to testify about how HB 127 could have helped you or someone you know avoid addiction or related danger? Email us!
HB 218: Modifications to Election Law has grown into an omnibus voting policy bill that would combine automatic voter registration (ADR, as encompassed in this year’s HB 67 and SB 112), same day registration (SDR) and adjustments to vote-by-mail. Check out more detail about this complicated bill in our onesheet. After a lot of hard work and convergence of ideas from both sides of the aisle, this good bill passed committee last week and moves on to a vote on the House floor. Click here to ask your House rep to vote YES on HB 218!
A Home of Their Own – Mon, February 26th at 8:00p on KUED. This KUED film discusses critical housing issues in Utah and features The Road Home, VOA, South Valley Sanctuary and the Utah Housing Coalition.
Action Utah’s Weekly Lobby Day – Tues, February 27th, 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 lobby legislators in person on issues that matter to you. No experience necessary! RSVP here.
Action Utah on KRCL’s RadioActive Tuesday, February 27th. Tune in to 90.9 FM from 6:00-7:00p. Action Utah Executive Director Andrea Himoff will discuss bills we are watching at Action Utah this week #OnTheHill during the State Legislative Session.
The Housing Affordability Crisis: A Panel Discussion – Tues, February 27th, 6:00p. – 8:00p at the Girl Scout Headquarters, 445 East 4500 South in SLC. Hosted by the League of Women Voters of SLC.
Adopt-A-Native-Elder Food Delivery and Packing Events – Sat, March 3rd (and also March 10th and 17th), 9:00-11:00a. Look no further for a good community service activity for the whole family!
Action Utah’s Last Lobby Day – Tuesday, March 6th at 1:00p, Seagull Room in the Senate (East) Building on Capitol Campus. Last chance to see the State Legislative Session in action before next January. Any experience level welcome!
State Legislative Session
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!
- Oppose SB 172: Medicaid Waiver Amendments, which would make sweeping changes to Utah’s Medicaid program that could lead to dramatic cuts in services and care provided to some of Utah’s most vulnerable citizens. Click here to ask your senator to vote NO on SB 172.
- Pass HB 325: Primary Care Network Amendments to expand healthcare services for medically needy Utahns. Click here to ask your state rep to vote YES on HB 325.
- HCR 7: Concurrent Resolution on Environmental and Economic Stewardship brings legislators from all ideologies together on the important issues of environmental protections in economically viable ways, including addressing climate variability and its impacts. This bill is expected to pass in the House today. Ask your state senator to support HCR 7!
- HB 135 Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Amendments would strip Class 1 municipalities of their century-old right to regulate watersheds outside their boundaries that supply their populations with drinking water to protect water quality. Ask your House Rep to vote NO on HB 135.
Families and Communities:
- HB 278 Paid Family and Medical Leave Amendments allows Utah businesses to support Utah families while growing the economy and preserving our state’s business climate through an incentive-based approach that encourages businesses to expand leave policies. Ask your House Rep to vote YES on HB 278!
- HB 380: Utah School Readiness Initiative Amendments strengthens and extends an existing program to improve school readiness by providing high quality preschool to Utah’s most at risk kids. This bill could get a vote in the House as early as TODAY – click here to ask your rep to vote YES!
- HB 283: Workplace Protection Amendments – COME to the committee hearing TODAY from 4-6p and show support for expansion of protection against discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The House Business and Labor Standing Committee will hear HB 283 in Room 445 of the State Capitol Building (map). Beware – HB 283 is last on the agenda and might get pushed to as late as 7:30p or to another day. If you want to attend, please email us! Click here to ask the committee members to vote YES on HB 283.
- HB 218 Modifications to Election Law combines automatic voter registration, election day registration and adjustments to vote-by-mail into one big voting policy bill. Ask your House rep to support this bill!
In case you missed it – you can still take action on these good bills:
- HB 57: Utah Intergenerational Poverty Work and Self-Sufficiency Tax Credit strengthens Utah’s groundbreaking IGP initiative by supporting progress toward financial stability and independence for working families. Click here to help get HB 57 passed in the Senate!
- HB 148 Tax Revisions would eliminate the regressive state food tax to help ease the burden for our state’s most vulnerable, including low income large families and fixed-income elderly. Ask your senator to support HB 148!
Two weeks to go!
Bills are flying through the legislature, and only some will make it to the finish line. Action Utah continues to keep our finger on the pulse of new bills being introduced and older bills trying to make it to the finish line. Legislators want to hear from you about where you stand on the issues, so keep using your voice to help see good policy through to the finish line!
Andrea & Katie,
Co-Founders, Action Utah
Action Utah is a nonprofit organization, and we rely on financial contributions from our supporters to boost civic engagement in Utah through education, training and advocacy opportunities. Your gift will allow us to continue our work toward elevating the voices of Utahns in policymaking. Please consider making a gift today!