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 could impact the department.

Base budget: These bills are essentially last year’s appropriations, and include many of the ongoing items funded last year only one-time because of the then-proposed tax reform. Among those items is the $2 million for arts and museums grants. So far, leadership has given no indication they plan to amend those bills despite the pending repeal of tax reform.

Committee bills: Multiple bills will begin movement almost immediately thanks to a relatively new process in the House, where bills approved by interim committees go directly to the 3rd reading calendar for floor debate. That includes expected to move in the first week or two. That list will include the department’s clean-up bill, House Bill 42, and the resolution to create a commission for the 250th anniversary of the Decrlaration of Independence. Other bills, including technical changes for Arts & Museums (HB46) and Senate Bill 11, which restores 11 members to the Native American Legislative Liaison Committee (SB11), will likely get moved to a committee and could be heard this week. Throughout the session, we will be updating the status of all of the bills of interest for the department on the Issues page.

Scheduled events:
Jan. 28: Business, Labor, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee will review their base budget and hear multiple requests for appropriations. The Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee will discuss the proposed transition of the Rio Grande Depot to a public market.
Jan. 30: Business, Labor, and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee will meet in the morning. No agenda is available.
Jan. 30: Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost is scheduled to present her request for funding for the World War II Memorial Commission to the Executive Appropriations Committee.
Jan. 31: History Day on the Hill showcases some of the best exhibits from last year’s Utah History Day competition.