As we pass the halfway point of the Utah Legislative Session, many important issues for the business community and community at large are moving towards passage. Notably the appropriations subcommittees have finished their work of prioritizing appropriations requests. The focus will now shift to the Executive Appropriations Committee — we will work closely with them to support funding for several infrastructures and community issues important to the business community.
Several bills of significance emerged this week. Of note:
H.B. 328, Adult Learners Grant Program, sponsored by Rep. Lowry Snow creates the Adult Learners Grant Program. This program will provide financial assistance to students who are at least 26 years old, show a financial need, and are pursuing an online degree or certificate in a field with an industry need. This bill will play an important role to help align those participating in the higher education system with those industries with significant workforce needs. This bill is a priority for the Chamber.
H.B. 347, Homeless Services Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason is a priority bill for the Chamber and will create the Office of Homeless Services within the Department of Workforce Services and the Utah Homelessness Council. This new structure will provide a new oversight and coordinating function for homeless services across the state. We applaud this effort to address a growing challenge, not only in our Capital City, but across the state.
H.B. 348, Economic Development Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Timothy Hawkes is a significant rewrite of Utah’s laws surrounding Economic Development and a restructuring of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). The bill changes the name of the GOED to the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah Office). The bill creates the Unified Economic Opportunity Commission, and restructures other existing GOED boards and commissions.
As we all know, as we enter the second half of the legislative session, significant issues start to move quickly. We look forward to continuing to work with you and will keep you up to date on these important issues.
Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.
Salt Lake Camber Policy Team
During the legislative session, the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Directors designates top priorities of the business community as Priority Votes. The Chamber’s Priority Votes are considered the most critical bills during the legislative session and are used to determine the Chamber’s Business Champion Awards. Below are the most recently declared priority votes.
H.B. 36, Telehealth Mental Health Program, Sponsor: Rep. Ward
H.B. 80, Data Security Amendments, Sponsor: Rep. Brooks
S.B. 18, Property Tax Exemption Amendments, Sponsor: Sen. Harper
S.B. 25, Corporate Tax Amendments, Sponsor: Sen. Bramble
S.B. 41, Mental Health Access Amendments, Sponsor: Sen. Escamilla
S.B. 164, Utah Housing Affordability Amendments, Sponsor: Sen. Anderegg
2021 Legislative Watchlist
Each week, the Chamber’s policy team tracks relevant bills by subject so you can stay up to date on legislation that impacts you and your business. We encourage you to visit our online legislative watchlist and use the far right column to find bills relevant to your topic of interest and view bill status and description.