Most of the appropriation committees are hearing requests for funding and will be prioritizing their lists at the end of the week – we as staff are working hard to educate legislators on the importance of our number one funding request, election systems for the next 10 years. But there is also a great deal happening on the floor and in committees, we begin the longer days!
- House Government Operations Standing Committee at 3:40 p.m. in Room 30, House Building, will hear municipal instant runoff voting, state training and certification requirements, and early voting amendments.
- House Political Subdivisions Standing Committee at 3:40 p.m. in Room 450, Capitol, will hear bills on moderate income housing and county government change election amendments from Representative Greene.
- House Revenue and Taxation Standing Committee at 3:40 p.m. in Room 445, Capitol, has a packed county agenda on tax revisions, local option sales and use tax formula changes, sales and use tax exemptions, and local option sand and gravel tax bills.
- In House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee, Representative Noel presented his Federal Designations bill HB0136 which would require a governmental entity to bring any proposal for a federal designation back to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment interim committee and cited several examples, including Grande Staircase, that would have benefited from additional input. Rep. Noel is concerned that the public doesn’t have adequate opportunity to express their opinion and for lawmakers to receive feedback on such designations. This is a very charged topic and the chairs of the committee asked that everyone be sworn in. Staff has been working with the sponsor diligently over the last couple of days and Lincoln testified of support of the substitute that the governmental entity coordinate with the State after the groundwork could take place, and receive feedback from the committee. The bill passed out of committee with a favorable recommendation.
- In House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Standing Committee, there were several bills concerning counties. Representative Handy presented his bill that would request for an audit of death penalty cases, which passed out of committee with a favorable recommendation. A longer discussion occurred around Representative Kwan’s HB0209, Mental Health Protections for First Responders, which would allow for a presumption of a first responder’s worker’s compensation claim due to mental stress. Staff met with Representative Kwan and while we agree that the ability for first responders to seek mental health treatment is a priority, there needs to be a very thoughtful and carefully crafted way to accomplish this. After committee members and the public expressed much of the same concerns, the bill was passed out with the expectation that Rep. Kwan will be working with stakeholders to come up with something that everyone can agree on. HB0248, Compensatory Service in Lieu of Fine Amendments from Representative King also had a great deal of discussion. Rep. King proposes that each defendant in infraction and misdemeanor cases be presented a compensatory service option by the judge and be allowed to choose. One of the issues brought up was the changes to funding that result from fines and surcharges. The bill was held by the committee.