We’re wrapping up week three of the 2014 legislative session here on the hill. This week we continued to meet in appropriations and standing committees, as well as debate House and Senate bills on the House floor. We spent time discussing the Utah School Readiness Initiative (HB 96), election laws (HB282), and a variety of other bills, including HB 283, a bill that enacts the Nonprofit Entity Receipt of State Money Act.

The caucus also discussed he Public Education Modernization Act, which is an education initiative designed to enact a statewide one-to-one mobile device technology program for grades 1 through 12. Which means that every student in Utah will have access to his or her own tablet or laptop. The Public Education Modernization Act invests in students, but it also invests in teachers. Teachers will receive extensive professional development that will give them all of the knowledge and training they will need to utilize software, personalize curriculum, and assess student understanding. We’re excited to give new opportunities to Utah students, as well as improve drop out rates, graduation, academic achievement, and reduce discipline issues. Not to mention, the chance to invest in our teachers.

Be sure to contact us with any questions comments, or concerns. Your feedback and participation is always welcome.

Bill of the Week

H.B. 275 – Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day 

This week the Utah House passed a bill that designates March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day.  
Representative Oda sponsored the bill in an effort to honor those that served in the Vietnam War by creating a day in which all Utahans could show their gratitude for the Veterans’ sacrifice. 

Bills that passed the House

H.B. 316 – Financial Institutions Fee Amendments (Dunnigan, J.)

            This bill reduces certain fees imposed by statute, addresses use of money by the commissioner, and makes technical changes.

H.B. 261 S2 – Domestic Horse Disposal (Anderegg, J.)

            This bill allows the owner of certain dead animals to bury the dead animals on the owner’s property.

H.B. 96 – Utah School Readiness Initiative (Hughes, G.)

            This bill creates the School Readiness Board to negotiate contracts with private entities to fund certain early childhood education programs and award grants to certain early childhood education programs.

H.B. 289 – Traffic-control Signal Amendments (Anderson, J.)

            This bill repeals the sunset date on the affirmative defense for an operator of a motorcycle, moped, or bicycle who is 16 years of age or older, to a red light or red arrow violation in certain circumstances.

H.B. 292 – School Grading – Calculation of High School Graduation Rate (Menlove, R.)

            This bill modifies the calculation of a high school graduation rate for the purpose of school grading by excluding from the four-year adjusted cohort for the graduating class a student with a disability who has an IEP that includes a plan to complete high school graduation requirements in more than four years. 

Lincoln’s Birthday

February 12, this passed Wednesday, marked President Lincoln’s Birthday. We had three Lincoln’s come and visit the House; one of which was Representative Dunnigan!