February 22nd26th
Rep. Jim Dunnigan

Last week, House Republicans reached an agreement on balancing next year’s budget proposal without a tax hike or making education cuts knowing that they will have to make cuts in other areas.

As for ethics reform, on Monday, amendments were made to the House ethics bills in the Senate committee and on Tuesday, three bills cleared the Senate with unanimous approval and now head to the House for their consideration. The main bill SJR3 would set the structure and rules for a new independent ethics commission that would screen complaints against lawmakers to determine if allegations have merit.

H.B. 51 Family Employment Program – Jan 27 – 71/0 votes – Cash Assistance to a Single Minor Parent – Sponsored by Rep. James A. Dunnigan (R-Taylorsville)

In modifying the provisions of the Family Employment Program regarding the requirements for a single minor parent to receive cash assistance, this bill brings the program into compliance with federal law as to employment and education, or training requirements.

Under current law, if minor parents do not have a high school diploma, the federal regulations requires them to be in school, progressing toward completion, to be eligible for temporary direct assistance. Current Utah statute says minor parents can choose to go to work instead. The proposed change clarifies that the minor parent does not have a choice – they must attend school. That does not mean they cannot have a job as well. Simply put, by statute they will not be allowed to opt out of school anymore.