Checking In At The Legislature: 2020 Session Week 5
With less than two weeks left in the session, the legislators on the Hill are busier than ever. Many of the most highlighted bills are making their way to the floor for presentations and debates. At the same time, the Executive Appropriations Committee is making its final recommendations for the state’s budget. It is a very busy time at the Capitol!
In this update, you will find highlights from week five of the 2020 Legislative Session. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or questions regarding my Legislative work this coming week.
Representative Joel Ferry
House District 1
HB 328 Division of Water Resources Study Update
This week we passed off the house floor HB 356, which directs the Division of Water Resources to review a study on the Green River and update the study with current data. This project will reaffirm Utah’s allocation of the Colorado River water and help protect this vital resource for future use.
HB 382 Property Tax Records Amendments
The House of Representatives also passed unanimously HB 382. This bill makes personal information private on property tax notices and records. The bill makes a person’s email address, cellular phone, payment information, and tax relief information private. I believe that it is important that we protect personal information and keep this information private.
After months of negotiations, the Utah Legislature and Better Boundaries reached an agreement on redistricting. Better Boundaries and legislators from both political parties support this agreement, which will allow an independent commission to draw political boundaries based on the 2020 census data. This compromise resolves legal complications while still reflecting the voice of the people.
Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Amendments
Last year, the Legislature commissioned a study known as the Utah Roadmap to help identify areas of opportunity to further reduce emissions and ensure a healthy, productive, and prosperous future for all Utahns. One of the main areas of opportunity is to position Utah as the market-based electric vehicle state. HB 396 will begin a public-private partnership to help us build a statewide electric transportation infrastructure system. This will allow us to take advantage of new technology and new opportunities.
Utah currently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 2.3%, and we enjoy a growing and robust economy. However, we cannot always count on this environment. As a Majority Caucus, we have discussed setting aside a cushion to support us in the case of an economic downturn. We are hopeful that with this, we will be able to continue to support the general government, social services, and education even during the hardest of times.
Each year, the Legislature must also balance our state’s budget. We have been ranked as the best-managed state in the nation because of these forward-thinking and fiscally responsible decisions.
Bills Passed As Of March 2nd, 2020
To see a list of bills that have been passed during the 2020 Legislative Session, click here.