Special Session Recap

davidwicaiBlog, COVID19, Legislature

Legislators considered nearly two dozen bills during the first two days of their special session on Thursday and Friday. Nearly all of the bills related to issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Westwater excavation

Legislative Recap 2020

davidwicaiBlog, Legislature, Museum

All things considered, the Department of Heritage & Arts fared relatively well during the 45 days that those two events bookended. While the department didn’t get everything it requested, it also didn’t lose much and even benefitted from a couple of unexpected surprises.

Legislature Week 2 Recap

davidwicaiBlog, Legislature

As the Legislature closes its second week, two of the bills impacting the department have already passed both the House and Senate. The department also presented its budget requests.

Legislature Week 1 Recap

davidwicaiBlog, Legislature

Things moved quickly, in a good way, during the first week of the legislative session — and, indeed, on the first day. Foremost, many of the bills supported by the department passed their originating chamber on Monday — in other words, House bills passed the House, Senate bills passed the Senate. They included: HB42 (Heritage & Arts amendments) HCR1 (U.S. 250th anniversary …

Legislative Session Begins

davidwicaiBlog, Legislature

The legislative session begins Monday morning, likely starting with a “command-Z” after Gov. Gary Herbert and legislative leaders announced they plan to repeal the tax reform passed barely a month ago. Aside from that last-minute-first-day excitement, the first week of the session will be primarily spent on base budgets and bills recommended during by interim committees. Both of those items …

Governor Gary Herbert speaks during his budget announcement.

Governor’s Proposed Budget Demonstrates Continued Strength of Utah’s Economy

davidwicaiBlog, Legislature

Additional funding for arts and museums grants, cost-of-living increases for employees, and grant money for STEM programs were among the highlights for Heritage & Arts in Gov. Gary Herbert’s 2020 budget proposal. During his announcement Wednesday, Herbert emphasized the amount of increased funding for education. This reflects a pattern of his entire administration, during which time the weighted pupil unit …

Legisplaining: Revenue Estimates

davidwicaiBlog, Legislature

Every March, the Utah Legislature approves a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins nearly four months later. To do so, legislators must rely on economic forecasts. These forecasts, called revenue estimates, are updated every month (except July and August) to provide state leaders a current snapshot of the state’s economy. Throughout the year, they can help state leaders …

A soap box derby finish line celebration.

Impacts of Tax Reform Passage

davidwicaiBlog, Legislature

The passage of tax reform by the Utah Legislature and subsequent actions by legislative leaders has some notable and positive impacts for the department.