2017 Legislative Update – Week 5
Over the past couple of weeks, the House of Representatives has done a large amount of work. Much of the ceremony has ceased and we have been going through increasing amounts of bills as the session progresses. All of the appropriations subcommittees have concluded and submitted their proposals to the Executive Appropriations Committee.
Within the last couple of weeks all of the bills I have sponsored have moved through their assigned committees. These bills have focused on topics ranging from student loan awareness to extending help to homeless children. Again, I would like to thank all of my constituents for helping me with this legislation. I would appreciate your input on any of my bills. Feel free to look at them at http://le.utah.gov/asp/billsintro/RepResults.asp?Listbox3=SPENDRM .
Higher Education Financial Literacy HB 249
One of the bills I am excited about sponsoring is HB249 – Higher Education Financial Literacy Amendments. The purpose of this bill is to address the problem of increasing student loans. Over the last several years the amount of student loans for college students has increased substantially. HB249 will have colleges and universities give an annual notice to students of their loan situation. Other states who have adopted similar practices have seen a drop in student debt.
Two weeks ago the Public Education Appropriations Committee made their final recommendations to the Executive Appropriations Committee. We were excited to recommend a three percent increase in the WPU (Weighted Pupil Unit) as well as funding to support the increase in population. We also voted to eliminate teacher licensing fees as a sign of our support for our educators. Over the past 25 years we have funded teacher supplies using one-time money, meaning educators had to advocate for the funding every year. This year we decided to transfer the teacher supplies over to ongoing money so that it will automatically be funded every year from now on. Much of the committee process was done in conjunction with the state school board and the governor’s education advisors.
In Health and Human Services we saw several more bills addressing the opioid epidemic and various other topics. The Transportation Committee debated a few bills that promote better transportation.
Connect with Me
I would appreciate it if you would take the attached survey if you have not already done so. Feel free to forward it to friends and neighbors that live within district 49 as well. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N8H3FJB