Participate in the special session regarding Utah’s coronavirus response

April 15th, 2020|Action of the Day|0 Comments

It’s official – the Utah State Legislature has been called into a special session beginning on Thursday, April 16 and possibly running up to 10 days to address pressing issues Utah is facing regarding COVID-19. For the first time ever, the special session will be held virtually online. But that does not mean that the public can’t participate and weigh in on the issues.

How to Participate in the 2020 Third Special Session

  1. Review the proposed legislation – Bills that will be considered during the session are listed on the legislative website HERE. The official proclamation also contains a list of the 21 legislative proposals that will be discussed.
  2. Contact your state House representative and state senator using the simple email form below about any bills you care about to let them know if you are in favor or against and if you have any personal stories, expertise or data to help inform their decisions.
  3. Watch the floor proceedings via streaming video on the legislative website (le.utah.gov) and broadcast on television on KUEN Channel 9 and Comcast channel 388.
Simply scroll down and click “Start Writing” to email your state legislators now!
The issues being discussed during the 2020 Third Special Session will include:

  1. authorizing the state to accept certain federal funds available from the United States government to assist states, political subdivisions, and individuals in addressing issues raised by the COVID-19 emergency and issues raised by steps taken to abate the emergency;
  2. adjusting the fiscal year 2020 and fiscal year 2021 budgets to address the COVID-19 emergency and its impacts;
  3. increasing the state’s capacity to issue general obligation bonds by removing statutory limits on current debt authorizations;
  4. making changes to budget implementation and budget reporting requirements;
  5. making changes to the state’s unemployment insurance program to reduce the waiting period before benefits can be distributed to an applicant under certain circumstances;
  6. making changes to the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program to cover first responders who contract COVID-r9 under certain conditions;
  7. making changes to income tax provisions relating to qualified retirement plan distributions, filing and payment deadlines, and extension requirements;
  8. establishing protocols, requirements, and processes to guide the state toward economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 emergency;
  9. providing assistance to certain Utah businesses and residents negatively affected by the COVID-19 emergency;
  10. making changes to requirements governing statewide emergencies, including pandemic emergencies;
  11. making changes to requirements governing local government authority in emergencies, including pandemic emergencies;
  12. establishing, or encouraging the establishment of, protocols, requirements, and processes to make it easier for patients to obtain safe medications that could positively affect outcomes for patients diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus;
  13. establishing liability protection for certain entities that provide or support access to emergency medical treatments to address the COVID-19 virus and, with certain exceptions, establishing liability protection for health care providers who provide health care to a patient for an illness or condition that resulted from a declared public health emergency;
  14. establishing processes to govern the 2020 regular primary election;
  15. making changes to municipal annexation requirements;
  16. making changes to the sales and use tax exemption for sales of fuel to a rail carrier for use in a locomotive engine and enacting related provisions;
  17. creating a program to provide scholarships for students with disabilities to help cover certain costs to attend qualifying private schools, and creating related corporate and individual tax credits for certain donations to the scholarship program;
  18. a resolution urging state and local government entities to exercise fiscal responsibility with the remainder of their 2020 budgets and to continue to limit spending in fiscal year 2021 because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 emergency.
  19. waiving the requirement for local education agencies to administer year-end statewide and other assessments for the 2019-2020 school year; addressing statutory requirements impacted by the suspension of year-end assessments in the 2019-2020 school year; granting a waiver from the requirement to pass a civics test as a condition for graduation if the student is a senior and meets certain conditions; and addressing the requirement that local education agencies perform educator evaluations for the 2019-2020 school year;
  20. a resolution expressing solidarity with the Chinese people regarding the COVID-19 virus; and
  21. establishing liability protection for individuals and entities related to exposure to contagious diseases.

Find bill language for specific proposals HERE.

  • Respectfully let your legislator know how would like for them to vote on one or more of the proposed bills or resolutions and why.
  • Do you have a personal story, data or expertise that could help in form their votes? Be sure to share it!
  • Consider thanking your representative and senator for their service and their work on behalf of Utahns responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

How to make sure your letter is successful:

  1. Use a clear and specific subject heading.
  2. Start with a salutation (“Dear Rep. ___ and Sen. ___,”).
  3. Be CIVIL, PERSONAL and as CONCISE as possible.
  4. Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address with zip code.
  5. Sign your name at the end.

Write Your Letter Here

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