Saturday, February 4, 2017

2017 General Session Update: Week 2



Week 2 of the General Session proved to be eventful.  

Transportation Way-Back Machine


UDOT Took our North Utah Caucus on a trip through transportation spending history.  What did we discover?  It turns out Utah County has absorbed the largest share of transportation resources over the past 10 years.  The I-15 CORE project was by far the largest part of that.  Nevertheless, with Utah County continuing to explode in population, this trend may continue.  Utah County has almost more developable land remaining than Weber, Davis, and Salt Lake Counties do combined.  Nevertheless, Northern Utah Legislators are pushing to make sure our part of the State is not forgotten.


A Partisan Floor Debate - HB11

We debated a bill that would remove partisan balance from many boards and commission whose members are appointed by the Governor.  I voted against the bill in committee and then drafted a substitute to present on the House Floor to preserve partisan balance on several of the most politicized commissions.  You can watch that contentious debate below:



HB 23 - Solar Tax Credit Phase Out

Rep. Jeremy Peterson and Ryan Evans, President of the Utah Solar Energy Association

Consensus was reached with the Solar Industry over my bill to phase out the tax credit.  Our compromise calls for the credit to remain in place for the rest of the year and then taper over the next 5.  The tax credit will end in 2022.  You can read more about the hatchet being buried in the Salt Lake Tribune.  





The bill passed committee this week and moves on to the House Floor for a vote.  I am grateful the Solar Industry was able to come to the table and negotiate a compromise that was good for consumers, schools, taxpayers, and solar businesses.  


The Bad Landlord Program



HB178 Came to our Business and Labor Standing Committee this week.  The bill effectively guts Ogden's Good Landlord Program by prohibiting the city from offering a licensing discount to owners to agree to not rent to felons with a record on in the past four years.  The program has had a tremendous impact on improving the quality of Ogden's neighborhoods and this bill threatens the existence of the program.  I spoke against the bill but the bill passed committee on a split vote.  

You can hear the committee debate and my comments on the bill HERE.  The bill now goes to the House Floor where I have an amendment prepared to present.  


Special Guests


I hosted my daughter and her friends from Ogden Preparatory Academy at the Capitol on Friday.  I tried to teach them that Government can be fun.



So far, so good.  It was fun hanging out with this bright group of young people. 


Coming Soon...

Look for more bill drama on the floor as controversial bills are presented.  Our Government Operations Committee heard several bills this week that passed out of committee and will be sure to spark lively discussion on the floor.  



















7 comments:

  1. I find it interesting that you support the bad landlord program, but are exempt from the law. Do you rent to felons or just another example of hypocrisy? Asking for a friend.

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  2. Anonymous,

    I am unsure what you are asking here. Our property management business is Good Landlord Certified and we follow GLP guidelines when screening tenants. We like the GLP and I support its efforts to keep Ogdens neighborhoods safe.

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  4. I am surprised every year when the inversions are around. I would think that Utah would follow in Brazil's footsteps and be the leader in renewable energy. Renewables won't stop the inversions, but it will definitely help, and even more so it will set a precedence, and I believe bring business to our state if we lead the renewables charge-especially if we do it in a pro-business way like Utah is good at. I appreciate your efforts in looking at expenditures in our state; I just wish that we would add more incentives for things like renewables instead of less.

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  5. Dear David Phipps, I was wondering when I would see the next "bad air" discussion, and here it is.
    Last I looked we are in a geological dish along the Wasatch Front. Geologic and weather conditions are not going to will not change. The last national administration provided a text book example of what NOT to do with taxpayers money thrown at renewable energy projects.
    Utah doesn't need huge taxpayers outlays until other alternatives are proven.

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  6. Jeremy - how are you voting on Bears Ears? Will you be following the Utah legislators status quo or will you be on the side of the Utah population, which at last count was in favor of monument status (as were the consortium of native tribal leaders?

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  7. Jeremy - what exactly is the state doing that is so great to clean up our air? Just gotta say I see a few useless band aids but nothing substantial. The oil and gas industries are subsidized

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