Earlier this year, the UAC Board of Directors adopted a new policy concerning legislation for which there is a substantial difference in opinion among UAC membership. One reason for the policy is to prevent diluted UAC positions on the Hill. In the past, there has been nothing that has hurt our voice at the legislature more than UAC staff arguing against a subset of our membership regarding specific legislation. Today at our weekly Legislative Committee meeting, that policy was used for the first time.
The bill in question is HB 256–a bill that would remove a requirement for elected assessors in 4th through 6th class counties to become a state licensed appraiser within three years of the beginning of the term of office. While the majority of the assessors in the state oppose the legislation, there was enough support for the bill within the meeting that UAC ultimately elected to remain neutral regarding the issue. County officials are now free to argue the bill on its own merits–on either side of the issue.
Looking Ahead to Friday, February 17
- The House Health and Human Services Standing Committee is considering legislation that would establish essential treatment and intervention for individuals suffering for substance abuse disorders in room 210 of the Senate Building at 8:00 AM.
- A bill that would allow counties to extend early voting locations up until the Monday before an election (HB 105) passed out of committee and moved onto the Senate consent calendar.
- After taking a position to oppose HB 239 (Juvenile JRI) during the UAC Legislative Committee, a group of county sheriffs, prosecutors, commissioners, and UAC staff met with Representative Snow (the sponsor of the bill) and Ron Gordon (of CCJJ) to discuss the status of the bill and concerns over burdens being placed on the counties. The sponsor shares our concerns and is willing to work with us to continue to identify possible solutions to address our concerns.
- A bill that allows counties to count the provisional ballots cast by citizens registering to vote on Election Day statewide (HB 285) failed to pass out of committee this afternoon with a vote of 3-5.
Arie Van De Graaff