Week 4 of the 2024 Legislative Session

Working for Utah
We’re more than halfway through our 45-day Legislative session! Week 4 has been productive, fast-paced, and meaningful for Utah. My colleagues and I have passed legislation to improve housing affordability, create a 30 year statewide energy plan, and invest in our outdoor recreation opportunities. These bills have a real, meaningful impact not only for our state but for our community. Make sure you’re following along with the process over the next 3 weeks! I would love to see you at the Capitol, but you can also participate online at le.utah.gov.

Helping Utah's Homeless
As a Legislature, we’re taking steps to prevent and reduce homelessness for Utah. This week, the House unanimously passed H.B. 298 Homeless Services Amendments. This bill will help in the collection of effective data to track both trends and solutions surrounding homelessness. It also requires the state strategic plan on homelessness to be frequently updated to reflect proven strategies to reduce homelessness. This will have real, meaningful impacts on the lives of Utahns and our communities.

For Utah Lands
We know what’s best for Utah and our lands – not the federal government. This week, the House Natural Resource Committee passed H.J.R. 26 Joint Resolution Rejecting Exchange of School and Institutional Trust Lands to reject a proposed land exchange of school and institutional trust lands and mineral interest for federal lands and mineral interests. 

Social Media
This week we announced enhanced legislation to protect youth from the harms of social media and empower families with resources to keep children safe. Utah is leading the nation with landmark legislation that helps safeguard kids and teens from the growing mental health crisis tied to the rise in social media addiction. I am committed to protecting minors from the harmful impacts of social media. 

One Refugee
This week I was able to meet with students who have received the One Refugee scholarship. This is a wonderful program that helps students with refugee backgrounds with more than just tuition.

The Prayer
On Thursday, Pastor Barry Smith from Eagle Mountain's own Pioneer Community Church gave the opening prayer for the House of Representatives. It was such a unique, special experience to have someone from our district participate in this opportunity and I'm grateful he and his wife were able to join me on Capitol Hill.

Come Join Me!
I love having guests with me throughout the day. You're welcome to shadow for committee meetings or sit on the House Floor with me as we debate bills and cast our votes. Reach out to Laurbong and we'll make sure to get you on the schedule. You can email him at [email protected] or call/text him at 385-420-3103. I look forward to having you!

Updates on My Legislation

HB75 - Paid Leave Modifications

This is a bill given to me by the Government Operations Committee. It clarifies the state's parental leave statue for state employees. This bill passed is currently on the Senate 2nd Reading Calendar waiting for final passage.

 HB77 - Division of Human Resource Management Amendments

This is another committee bill from the Government Operations Committee. It clarifies provisions related to the state's Division of Human Resource Management. This bill has passed the legislature and is heading to the Governor.

 HB87 - Department of Government Operations Revisions

This is a third committee bill from Government Operations. It streamlines some internal processes for the department and saves the state money. This bill has passed the legislature and is heading to the Governor.

HB140 - Amendments to Custody and Parent Time

This bill adds to the parental advisory guidelines a requirement to immediately notify the other parent if the one parent begins cohabitating with a registered sex offender. It also allows this to qualify as a material change so custody can be reevaluated if either party desires to do so. This bill is in the Senate awaiting final passage.

HB145 - Veterinary Amendments

This bill allows veterinary technicians who have completed a 2 year program to administer medication under indirect supervision. This will allow doctors to prescribe medications and have their technicians administer it similar to how a doctor and nurse operate. This bill is in the Senate awaiting final passage.

HB146 - Human Trafficking Amendments

This bill creates a statewide Anti Trafficking Coordinator within the Attorney General's office. This person will be responsible for training law enforcement agencies across the state in how to work with victims and perpetrators in these cases. This bill is being heard in House committee on Tuesday.

HB147 - Threats of Violence Amendments

This bill adds threats of sexual violence to the existing threats of violence statute. Right now, whether or not sexual threats count under statute is a gray area. This makes it very clear that you cannot threaten sexual assaults in the same way you cannot threaten other types of physical harm. This bill is awaiting final passage in the Senate.

HB 157 - Child Custody Factor Amendments

This bill says that courts and the state cannot discriminate against parents based on their view of their child's gender identity. Child Protective Services should not be getting involved just because a family is going through a challenging time. States around the country are moving different directions on this as some have CPS involvement for parents affirming gender identity and others are having CPS involvement for not affirming gender identity. I believe we should let the families work through this. This has passed the house and is being heard in Senate committee on Tuesday.

HB200 - Order for Life Sustaining Treatment Amendments

This is a very simple bill that says a doctor may not enter an advanced directive of Do Not Resuscitate for a child without parental consent. If they do, it will be a licensing violation. This bill is in the Senate awaiting final passage.

HB209 - Human Trafficking Civil Action Amendments

This bill simply relocates the right for civil action by human trafficking victims to the correct location in statute. It is currently on the House Consent Calendar and is scheduled to pass on Monday.

HB222 - Wildlife Hunting Amendments

This bill simplifies the state's blaze orange requirement for big game hunting. It also outlines a process for the sale of big game byproducts to increase testing and minimize the spread of chronic waisting disease. Additionally, it puts strict audit requirements into place to ensure meat processors return the proper amount of meat to the hunter. This bill is on the House 3rd reading calendar.

HB223 - Airport Weapon Possession Amendments

This is a follow up to my bill last year, HB461. Salt Lake International Airport was struggling to follow the new law so this gives them very specific instructions on what to do and how to do it. Because they've chosen to support and implement this bill, I've opted not to move forward with HB56 which would have transferred enforcement at the airport from SLPD to DPS. This bill is being heard in Senate Committee on Monday.

HB311 - Lane Filtering Amendments

This bill clarifies that motorcycles can lane filter on off ramps but NOT on on ramps. It passed the house and is awaiting introduction into the Senate.

HB451 - Foster Care Amendments

This bill outlines requirements for licensing foster families. It also creates a short term relief provider qualification for foster families to lean on their relatives for respite care. Because it streamlines the process and has agencies communicate rather than duplicate efforts, it is estimated to save the state money each year. This bill has been recommended to the House Consent Calendar for passage this week.

HJR8 - House Joint Resolution Amending the Rules of Civil Procedure on Disqualification of a Judge

This resolution would allow each party in a civil case, to disqualify a judge and be reassigned without cause. This is very limited in scope and would only apply in counties with 7 or more judges to prevent a party from being able to determine an outcome. It also exempts tax, water, and chancery court. This is currently done in 17 other states and I believe will help strengthen our judiciary system.

Senate Bills I'm Floor Sponsoring

SB13 - Education Entity Amendments

This bill outlines a pathway for micro schools to exist without being classified as a charter school. It will strengthen choice in education without impacting our public system.

 SB47 - Local Government Business License Amendments

This is an expansion of the "Lemonade Stand" law for kids and grants the exemption until their 19th birthday. This will capture a large majority of high school students.

SB66 - Criminal Offense Amendments

This bill adds AI generated pornography to the definition of an intimate image.