My pronouns are she, her, hers, and sometimes they. I’ve been coming to South Valley for over nine years, and I guess you could say that I’m a convert, a transplant, and a recruit. The last time I told my South Valley Journey was over two years ago, in October 2017. This has been a tough week for me. In addition to the physical isolation we are experiencing during the outbreak of Covid-19, the earthquake and its 100-plus tremors, I also lost my step-son Josh on May 27. Josh was a strong, loving, and very passionate man. It has been my experience that with intense passion comes incredibly dark sensations. When the flames of passion do not burn openly as a beacon to the world, they can become a destructive ravaging fire that swallows us as the kindling which is our lives. We lost Josh to the dark. I just wish he could see the light that he was to others while he was still here and the man that he could one day yet be.Read more
On October 17, the Utah Business and Labor Interim Committee met and discussed several issues. They also were presented with hundreds of pages of reports detailing financial organizations, technological incentive programs, and the current state of amendments to international fire codes and building codes as adopted by state code, as well as recommended changes to those codes. Having finally read through that material and currently reviewing the transcript from the meeting, my last report detailed the first three issues considered by the committee, which included discussion related to draft legislation for support animals, suggested amendments to the fire code, and suggested amendments to the building code. This report covers the discussions on the remaining two topics: medical evaluation panels for worker's compensation and licensing for home inspectors.Read more
On October 17, the Utah Business and Labor Interim Committee met and discussed several issues. They also were presented with hundreds of pages reports detailing financial organizations, technological incentive programs, and the current state of amendments to international fire codes and building codes as adopted by state code, as well as recommended changes to those codes. Having finally read through that material and currently reviewing the transcript from the meeting, this report details the first three issues considered by the committee, which includes discussion related to draft legislation for support animals, suggested amendments to the fire code, and suggested amendments to the building code.Read more
Last month the Utah State Legislature interim committees brought up issues of concern in preparation for the upcoming legislative session. A major concern before the judiciary interim interim committee was the impact of governmental immunity on everyday citizens, while the business and labor committee reviewed draft proposed legislation for administrative appeal rights and licensing exemptions for bowen work providers.Read more
This month I attended the Interim Judicial Committee meeting because Senator Todd Weiler is bringing back his bil for gender marker changes on the birth certificate, which in its current state poses a couple of problems for the transgender community because it requires a minimum age of 18 and requires the change be annotated on the revised birth certificate. The Transgender Inclusion Project, which I chair, felt strongly that if those two requirements are not removed, they would oppose the bill. So I wrote an email to Senator Weiler, spoke with my representative who sits on the committee, Bruce Cutler, and with Senator Gene Davis, who is the Senate Minority Leader and also sits on the committee. I went fully intending to speak, but delegated my position in line to people who were better messengers as there was not enough time for everyone to speak. There was a lot of content is that meeting, so I will be focusing on the first three issues in this newsletter: diversity on the bench, change of legal gender, and gestational agreements.Read more
In the month of July, the interim committees met once again on Wednesday, July 18th. The judiciary committee had on its docket discussion of the sex marker change bill for birth certificates, but due to the tyranny of the clock had to postpone the discussion until next month's meeting in August. The Business and Labor Committee met to discuss peer-to-peer storage rentals and to hear two bills that were scheduled for special session that afternoon regarding off-premise beer retailer licensing and the Inland Port Authority.
This week the Utah State Legislature Interim Business and Labor had its second meeting of the year. The study items on the table were amusement park safety, housing discrimination, and dram shop laws.
The interim legislative session started up again on May 16. All the respective committees met to discuss what study items they wanted to focus on for the 2019 Legislative Session that starts up in January. For the next six months, the committees will be meeting once a month to focus on specific issues. The Business and Labor subcommittee focused on what seems to be an epidemic of payroll fraud and the emerging market of peer-to-peer vehicle leasing. What follows are my notes from the meeting:Read more
The seventh and last week of the 2018 Utah State Legislature came to a close on Thursday night when the gavel in both houses came down at midnight. Monday was the last day for committees to meet, and Tuesday through Thursday, the House and Senate met is full session trying to finish getting through all the bills on the calendar. The Inland Port Authority bill was a highly contentious issue between Salt Lake City and the State of Utah. While both entities want the port, Salt Lake City had claims of government overreach by the state expecting the city to pay for the infrastructure and the resulting difference on taxing increments paid to the state coffers. Another hot topic concerned the ability of cities to restrict the use of plastic bags that wreck the recycling equipment. The legislature tried, but failed, to pass a bill that would have banned cities from banning any kind of plastic sales. Coming through the Business and Labor Committee, Republican legislators tried to make sure that their candidates would have a place on the ballot if the Utah Republican Party strikes the membership of any candidate gathering signatures. Our Schools Now came to a compromise with the legislature to get more funding to schools, and somehow they including corporate tax cuts in the new plan. In addition, a bill passed requiring news media outlets to allow anyone who leaves their employ to immediately get another job in the field if they make less than $47,500 per year without having to sit out a year. Here are the nine bills that I saw in the Business and Labor Committee on Monday that I hadn't previously covered that you might be interested in:Read more
Week 6 of the 2018 Utah State Legislative is complete and we now have less than 100 hours until it is over. You can definitely tell that our legislators are busy by the sheer number of bills being heard. As usual it's a challenge to keep up. Also, there was a lot more debate going on in committee. Some of the decisions made me want to celebrate and others--well, it was all I could do to keep listening. There are some good healthcare bills in flight, and some of the dreaded alcohol restrictions are hopefully on the way to being removed. On the other hand, any and all equality bills, including an attempt to raise the minimum wage were killed on arrival in committee. Below I summarize 25 bills that came across my radar this week.Read more