Have you ever run a marathon? (I caught part of one on TV once.) I imagine the Legislative Session is much like a marathon. Today we finished up week five of a six and a half week session. If this were a marathon, we’d be on mile 19. At this point in a marathon (as well as the session), we’re dragging as our side hurts and there’s a good chance a blister’s forming on our toe. Soon, though, we’ll catch our second wind and sprint to the finish line.
Catch a breather this weekend, and let’s get ready to pick up the pace for the stretch run!
Looking Forward to Monday, February 27
- The House Government Operations Standing Committee is considering an important governmental immunity bill as well as more election law bills in room 30 of the House Building at 8:00 AM.
- The House Political Subdivisions Standing Committee is hearing what would have to be a substitute to a bill that puts in place a process for removing local officials unable to fulfill their responsibilities as well as a bill requiring the treasurer provide a notice regarding delinquent property taxes. The committee meets in room 450 of the State Capitol also at 8:00 AM.
- The House Business and Labor Standing Committee is debating a problematic bill dealing with workplace discrimination as well as a compromised bill dealing with business licenses in room 445 of the State Capitol at 4:10 PM.
- The Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Standing Committee is deliberating the bill that would limit state and local civil asset forfeiture in room 250 of the State Capitol at 4:10 PM.
- The Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Standing Committee is discussing street legal ATVs also at 4:10 PM in room 415 of the State Capitol.
- Here’s a rundown on all the bills we’re following in committee Monday.
- Over the past couple of days, the Salt Lake County district attorney’s office has been leading an effort by law enforcement to find a compromise regarding the dueling asset forfeiture bills before the legislature. What we hoped would be the introduction of that compromise ended up not being considered in committee this morning after the parties failed to reach consensus. Efforts are still ongoing to fix this and hopefully we’ll see a grand compromise sometime next week. (In the meantime, let’s all thank Senator Thatcher who finds himself in the middle of one of these unfortunate battles–this after he went through the same thing last year with dueling body worn cameras bills.)
- Yet another substitute of the UTA governance bill was introduced today. Unlike previous versions of the bill, this one does not make changes to the UTA board. It still creates a Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force to evaluate best practices regarding multimodal transportation to support mobility, safety, economic growth and quality of life. The task force would be scheduled to report its findings to the legislature by December 2017. Two members of the 14-member task force would come from UAC designees. (Thanks to Andrew Gruber of Wasatch Front Regional Council who provided the information on this bill.)
- Surprisingly, this year’s police worn body camera bill moved out of committee with little debate. This time, it appears we have consensus from all the actors.
- A bill that would have removed schools from RDAs was held again in committee this morning. Look for plenty of RDA discussion over the interim as the question as to the role of RDAs is still very much in debate. Primary among those discussions will be the affordable housing piece included within many RDA projects.
- A bill that gives a timeline for local governments to approve construction plans was before committee this morning. The bill was amended in a couple of key ways for the benefit of cities and counties. First, the bill now has a repeal date a year after its implementation. Second, the bill was amended from 14 and 21 days to review one or two housing developments and residential structures to 14 and 21 business days. It now moves onto the Senate floor.
That’s enough for now. Drink plenty of fluid, eat a protein bar or two, and we’ll see you on the Hill bright and early Monday.
Arie Van De Graaff