Dear Business Community,
The 2020 Legislative Session is officially over. While we have all been focused on protecting our health, families, economy and businesses, since the session ended, we wanted to send out a summary of the major outcomes of this year’s session.
In the last few days of the Legislative Session, legislators appropriated $16 million to help support state efforts to address the coronavirus, and made available another $4 million in state emergency funds. We can expect additional and continued state efforts to address this pandemic as the needs and situation progress.
Taxes and Education
Taxes and tax reform have dominated the policy discussions in the state for the last year. In the last week of the session, the Legislature and education stakeholders in the state reached an agreement that will address both the imbalance of the State’s constitutional tax structure and the drastic need to increase education funding in our state.
HB 357, Public Education Funding Stabilization, sponsored by Representative Robert Spendlove, will increase education funding by a historic 6%, and dedicates $200 million in new ongoing education funding. The bill also provides for guaranteed yearly funding increases for student enrollment increases and inflation. Additionally, the bill creates an ongoing public education budget stabilization account that would set aside $75 million to ensure, at a minimum, that this increase in funding can occur every year.
SJR 9, Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – Use of Tax Revenue, sponsored by Senator Daniel McCay, is a companion to HB 357. SJR 9, is a proposed constitutional amendment that will appear on the ballot this November. The proposed amendment addresses the constitutional limit that dedicates income tax on income to funding education only. The amendment would allow income tax to support programs for children and individuals with disabilities in addition to education. HB 357 above, will become effective only if this constitutional amendment is approved by voters.
The combination of these two bills will help address two Chamber priorities — Increasing education funding and addressing the state’s structural tax issues.
SB 39, Affordable Housing Amendments, sponsored by Senator Jake Anderegg, will help ensure that our available housing is affordable for our workforce. The bill appropriates $10 million to the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund to provide gap financing for private activity bond-financed multi-family housing and preservation funding for the construction of existing affordable housing and to leverage $20 million in private funding. Passing this bill was a community effort and a massive undertaking. Thank you all for your collective efforts to help address Utah’s Housing Gap.
HB 396, Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Amendments, sponsored by Representative Lowry Snow, will allow for the creation of utility-owned electric vehicle charging infrastructure and electric vehicle charging station services throughout the state to ensure that electric vehicle charging is available in every economic development area and frequently visited area of the state. The bill authorizes Rocky Mountain Power to spend $50 million in support of electric vehicle infrastructure and for electric vehicle charging services
HB 259, Electric Vehicle Charging Network, sponsored by Representative Robert Spendlove, requires the Utah Department of Transportation together with the Department of Environmental Quality, the Office of Energy Development, the Department of Natural Resources, the Division of Facilities Construction and Management, and private industry to develop a statewide plan for an electric vehicle charging network along the interstate and major highways of the state.
The major transportation bill of the session was SB 150, Transportation Funding and Governance Amendments, sponsored by Senator Wayne Harper. SB 150 is a broad transportation infrastructure and funding bill which enhances and focuses on the coordination of transportation, housing and land use at UTA Transit Oriented Development sites and creates a Transportation Reinvestment Zone Fund. The bill increases the sales tax on short term leases and rental of vehicles from 2.5% to 4%. It also charges UDOT to provide a written plan by 2021 to enroll all vehicles in a Road Usage Charge Program by 12/31/31.
We will provide a complete list and summary of passed bills in a few weeks, after the Governor’s signing period has ended. We will also hold legislative updates for our various policy committees and industry roundtables so you can learn more about the new laws that will affect you and your businesses.
Although the 2020 Legislative Session is over, the Salt Lake Chamber policy team looks forward to working with you during the 2020 interim to advance policy and legislation that will support Utah’s economy and support business. In light of the uncertainty we face as a business community and a community of neighbors, those efforts will be more important than ever.
All the best,
Salt Lake Chamber Policy Team
|H.B. 68||Apprenticeship and Work-based Learning Amendments||Rep. Gibson||Priority|
|H.B. 99||Enhanced Kindergarten Amendments||Rep. Snow||Priority|
|H.B. 259||Electric Vehicle Charging Network||Rep. Spendlove||Priority|
|H.B. 357||Public Education Funding Stabilization||Rep. Spendlove||Priority|
|H.B. 396||Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Amendments||Rep. Snow||Priority|
|S.B. 26||Water Banking Amendments||Sen. Iwamoto||Priority|
|S.B. 39||Affordable Housing Amendments||Sen. Anderegg||Priority|
|S.B. 51||Secondary Water Requirements||Sen. Anderegg||Priority|
|S.B. 95||Economic Development Amendments||Sen. Sandall||Priority|
|S.B. 150||Transportation Governance and Funding Amendments||Sen. Harper||Priority|
|S.J.R. 9||Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – Use of Tax Revenue||Sen. McCay||Priority|