The new session of the legislature already has the new record for the amount of bills open. Within a 45-day period they surpassed the last record which was set last year with 1,298 bills. This year they have 1,359 bills. This is a very large number of bills and some lawmakers are even complaining about the amount.
While it may only be March, there have already been quite a bit of bills already passed. In total there has been 248 bills passed. Although of the 248 bills passed only 21 of these bills have been signed by the governor. While this seems like a lot of bills to be passed the legislature has only scratched the surface there is still 1,111 bills that need to be passed and1,338 that still need to be signed by the governor. At the moment none of the bills are in full effect.
In an interview with Brent Strate, who is part of the South Ogden City Council, I asked his opinion on this year’s legislative session and if he had any comments on any of the bills that have been passed already this year. Brent Strate stated “I think the agreement between our schools and the legislature is the best because it is giving schools equality with the tax money. This is because schools get more tax money because they are in a better area and this made it more equal. so Schools that are not in the best city or town get more money than they used to. Schools in the Weber County will benefit from this immensely because many people have to commute. The recommendation will be voted on by the citizens for a ten cents a gallon gas tax. Education is the biggest benefit.” and for his comments on this years legislative session “I believe that the attempt of the utah legislative to move the board of education is not the right move. They are trying to get rid of the state board of education. I think there is a dilemma were the politics of the board get in the way of the education. But, to have the legislature take over to much is also a bad thing. Something needs to change but doing away with the state board of education is not the best answer.”
I feel like one of the most important bills that has been passed is the H.B. 41 Mental Health Crisis Line Amendments or the Hannahs bill. This bill put more money in preventing suicides. This includes the phone lines and more money to go towards medicaid. This bill is important because Utah is one of the top states for the most suicides.
Some of the recent bills passed and signed by the governor were:
- H.B. 20 Political Activities and Elections
- H.B. 113 Candidate Filing Amendments
- H.B. 253 Trust Lands Amendments
- S.B. 80 Exempt and Apportioned License Plate Amendments