This is when your voice matters most!
Only 4 days left in the 2018 state legislative session, and they are perhaps the most critical. Very few bills have passed through the legislative process, and legislators need to hear from you about what you want to see passing this year.
WEEK #6 HIGHLIGHTS
HCR007 Concurrent Resolution on Environmental and Economic Stewardship by Rep. Becky Edwards (R-N. Salt Lake) saw another HUGE victory when it received a unanimous vote with favorable recommendation from the tough Senate Natural Resources committee on Thursday. One more vote to go in the Senate! Action Utah has been proud to have worked on this bill, from drafting to lobbying to raising organizational and community support, and we hope to see it cross the finish line this week! Click here to ask your Senator to vote YES on HCR007.
HB 479 Zero Emission Vehicle Program by Rep. Steve Eliason (R-Sandy) would adopt a 30-year old program that exists in 10 other states to incentivize automakers to send more electric vehicles for sale in Utah and at reduced prices. This bill is good for consumers, good for the economy and good for clean air. That’s why Action Utah helped draft this bill and bring it to fruition this year. The bill was numbered, introduced and passed unanimously through committee last week with support from Rocky Mountain Power and auto dealers.
SB 172 Medicaid Waiver Amendments by Sen. Daniel Hemmert (R-Utah) is a bad bill that failed in committee last week when legislators realized the sweeping changes to Utah’s Medicaid program that it proposed not only costs many people their healthcare services, it also fails to increase efficiency or reduce costs to the state. However, this bad bill was revived by Rules and put in another committee hearing THIS AFTERNOON. Click here to ask the House Rev & Tax Committee members to respect the will of their HHS colleagues suit and vote NO on SB 172.
Bill of the Week: HB 483
HB 483 Extreme Risk Protective Order by Rep. Steve Handy (R-Layton) responds to public outcry and leadership calls for legislative action after the Parkland FL shooting. This good public health bill aims to reduce firearm deaths and incidences of mass shootings, including suicides and school shootings, through proven “Red Flag” policy aimed at prevention. HB 483 strikes a good balance of addressing extreme circumstances when a person poses a threat to themselves or others, allowing family members and law enforcement to file for protective orders that are proven to save lives, while including strong due process and evidentiary standards. ERPO laws already exist in 5 states, where they have been shown to significantly reduce firearm homicides. Scroll down for ways to impact this bill!
Action Utah’s Final Lobby Day – Tues, March 6th, 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, March 6th. Tune in to 90.9 FM from 6:00-7:00p. Action Utah Executive Director Andrea Himoff will cover key bill updates #OnTheHill during the last week of the State Legislative Session.
Caucus Night – March 20th across the state. Attend your local precinct caucus meeting if you want to run as a delegate or vote on delegates in your local precinct caucus. Contact your state party to find out the exact time and location of your local precinct caucus meeting. You must attend your own meeting to be eligible to vote.
State Legislative Session
In these final four days of the 2018 State Legislative Session bills will move faster than ever. Today is the final day of standing committees, and many bills will now skip committee hearings and certain readings altogether. It is more important than ever for community members to speak up about the policies you want to see passed. Don’t forget to check our website, Facebook and Twitter pages for Urgent and Daily actions throughout the week!
- HB 483 Extreme Risk Protective Order is a terrific public health bill that would reduce firearm deaths, including suicides and mass shootings like the Parkland FL school shooting. We’re hoping this bill passes its committee hearing at 10a this morning. If so, community members must raise their voices to ask legislators to pass HB 483 THIS SESSION and not delay by sending it to Interim.
- 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. This bill died in committee last week, but was revived when Rules put it in a new committee hearing for TODAY at 4PM. Email the members of the House Rev and Tax Committee NOW and ask them 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. Ask your state senator to vote YES on HCR007!
Families and Communities:
- HB 319 Early Care and Learning Coordination Amendments would create an Early Childhood Commission to ensure that programs offered to Utah families with young children are efficient, effective, coordinated and family-centric. Check out Action Utah’s 2-minute VIDEO of this bill. Ask your state senator to vote YES on HB 319!
- 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. Click here to ask your state senator to vote YES on HB 380.
- HB 148 Tax Revisions would eliminate the state food tax to help ease the burden for our state’s most vulnerable people, including low income families and fixed-income elderly. This bill is in committee at 10a this morning. Email the members of the committee NOW and ask them to vote YES on HB 148. If it is after 10am, ask your senator to support HB 148!
- HB 218 Modifications to Election Law combines clarification on motor voter registration, election day registration and adjustments to vote-by-mail into one voting policy bill. Ask your senator to support this bill!
- HB 471 Initiative Amendments aims to address financial and legal issues with implementing laws passed through ballot initiatives by delaying the effective date of those laws by up to a year. There are other solutions that don’t harm Utahns or subvert the voice of the people. Ask your House rep to vote NO on HB 471.
Final push to the end!
There are hundreds of bills left for the legislature to consider in just 4 days. Cheer on the good ones. Weigh in on the bad ones. Speak up about the issues that matter to you most. Community participation is part of a thriving democracy. Make a final push for these last few days to have a voice during this critical moment in public policy making!
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!