We are in the final stretch of the session with only five working days left. Tensions are high and events are happening quickly.
Hot Topic - Corrections Reform
|Rep. Eric Hutchings presents his reform proposal to Majority Caucus|
Hot Topic - Gas Tax
The House's version of a gas tax bill passed our Revenue and Taxation Committee. I voted no. The proposal takes our 24.5 cent fixed tax and replaces it with a 24.5 cent tax that is calibrated as a percentage of $1.75 per gallon. If the wholesale price of a gallon of gas rises above that amount the tax would rise accordingly as a fixed percentage of that higher price. It is effectively a sales tax with some ceilings and floors on the tax amount. The Senate passed a version of the gas tax that calls for a flat 10 cent increase in the current tax.
We expect that the House Gas Tax and the Senate Gas Tax will be morphed together to produce some hybrid bill before it is finally consideration for a vote on the floor. We will see what comes to us for final review.
Hot Topic - Religious Protection/LGBT Non-Discrimination
|L. Tom Perry speaks at LGBT non-discrimination press conference.|
Hot Topic - Healthy Utah vs. Utah Cares
|Healthy Utah is presented to committee. Bill failed 4-9|
Fortunately, the House has another plan ready, known as Utah Cares, that will cover individuals up to 100% of the Federal Poverty Level and will use the Primary Care Network to help meet basic medical needs. Utahns will have a bigger financial stake in the program and thus Utah will have greater flexibility with how the program is administered. The program utilizes more local funding and more local control. It is truly a Utah solution to providing access to healthcare for our disadvantaged population.
Mr. Peterson's Bills
HB127 - Tax Increments Amendments
I presented my tax increment bill to the House Floor. Here is video. The bill gets off to an awkward start:
SB203 - Immigrant Consultants Amendments
Senator Escamilla asked me to sponsor this bill on the House Floor since we worked together on this subject back in 2012. I was even able to plug Weber State University in the intro:
Lincoln Day Dinner
Governor Herbert and Lt. Governor Spencer Cox showed up to our Weber County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. Glad to see them make the trip up to our neck of the woods.
The Bow Tie Caucus
Of course, it wouldn't be right to go without participating in our annual bow tie day at the Hill.
In final thoughts, it is important for Utahns to be informed on the issues and be in communication with their representatives. Due to time constraints, this will likely be the last update before the session is finished next week. If you have any issue or concern on your mind, please CONTACT ME, and let me know your thoughts. The events at the Capitol do cast a shadow over the rest of the State. Lets keep government accountable and responsive.