We have reached week three of the legislative session and continue to make progress in policy discussions with legislators. There was some policy debate on SB 139, Prescription Cost Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Vickers, and it is viewed as a patient friendly bill. It would make prescription drug costs, even those recouped through a pharmaceutical coupon, count toward one’s patient deductible.
More discussion was had on HB 60, Vaccine Passport Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Brooks, and it has a 1st substitute, changing some language around protected status, but it is not yet adopted. This bill has significant co-sponsors but infringes on the private right of business to set the terms for entry and patronage. The Chamber’s stated position from the beginning of mandate discussions is that business leaders should have the final say on protecting their employees and customers, not mandates for or against one provision.
Additionally, Governor Cox signed the base budget bills into law this week to keep the lights on.
Below are highlights of some critical legislation that the Chamber is tracking:
- HB 193, Full-Day Kindergarten, sponsored by Rep. Waldrip, seeks to expand all-day kindergarten offerings and supports access to high-quality early childhood programs designed to improve learning outcomes.
- SB 140, Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zone Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Harper, stipulates municipalities or public transit counties may only propose housing and transit reinvestment zones along light rail or bus rapid transit and sets county caps.
- HB 242, Secondary Water Metering Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Peterson, would require full metering of secondary water no later than Jan 1, 2030. This bill also directs the Board of Water Resources to create grants for secondary metering for water systems in place, but not metered before May 4, 2022.
- HB 307, Earned Income Tax Credit Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Winder, would allow a nonrefundable tax credit equal to 15% of the amount of the federal earned income tax credit for the current year.
- HB 130, Driver’s License Test Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Bennion, would permit expansion of license testing into other languages. The bill will help new Utahns receive a license while they learn English.
Thank you for everyone’s participation in the Capitol Club, where we discuss critical issues and strategize priorities.
We will continue to keep you informed weekly and encourage your input. Continue to check our legislative watchlist for the big picture view on the scope of our advocacy efforts on your behalf.