March 2019

Dear Friends:

We are just two short weeks away from the end of the legislative session. It has been a busy but very productive five weeks. I appreciate hearing from you, and reading all of your emails!
Important Bills to Note
Radioactive Waste Amendments
HB220 - This bill supports the plan by EnergySolutions to store depleted uranium (DU), an extremely long-lived nuclear waste byproduct, in Utah. I worked on this issue, as well as foreign waste, during my time on the SL County Council - my resolution in opposition to foreign waste was done with then Congress Members Jim Matheson and Jason Chaffetz - my depleted uranium resolution passed our council with bipartisan support over the concerns of depleted uranium itself.  
HB220 provides that DU classification will be determined at the time of acceptance. Presently, class A waste is generally accepted for near-surface disposal. However, DU is different from other forms of waste that decrease in potency over time. Disposal of large quantities of depleted uranium is a unique challenge because, unlike Class A Nuclear Waste, "[T]he NRC has acknowledged that at the time the initial classification system for radioactive waste was created, it was not anticipated that significant quantities of depleted uranium would be disposed of in near surface facilities." (NRC SECY 08-0147) As stated by the Chair of the NRC, 2009-2012, Gregory Jaczko, "I do not believe that it is logical to argue that waste that requires additional requirements for disposal (similar to those required for Class C waste) can still be labeled as Class A waste."
The NRC in studying this matter discussed the similarity between depleted uranium and transuranic waste which requires disposal in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plan (WIPP) in New Mexico, based on its radioactivity. They discuss that the alpha activity of DU is 200 to 300 nanocuries per gram - geological disposal (as opposed to landfill disposal) is required for transuranic waste with alpha activity above 100 nanocuries per gram.
Because the majority of the waste is located in Kentucky and Ohio and would be transported via train though Utah, concern surrounds the transportation routes, safety and financial concerns for first responders and for those who bear those financial costs. There is also concern regarding flooding, as well as water contamination because of the 2 aquifers beneath the Clive disposal facility.
This bill unfortunately passed both chambers and is awaiting the Governor's signature.
Container Regulation Act
HB320 - Last year, I reintroduced legislation, SB192 , aimed at reducing the use of retail bags. This year, I decided to hold this bill because many municipalities are bringing their own bills to address this issue. I completely support these efforts in Park City, Moab, Logan and other municipalities. I am in conversation with them and want to respect the local control of each municipality. Like a similar bill from last year, HB320 takes the completely opposite approach. HB320 takes away local control, and does nothing to address the real costs to our landfills and recycling plants, or to our environment and economy. I have received more emails than ever supporting the reduction of retail bags.
This bill passed in the House Natural Resources Committee on February 25 and is waiting to be heard on the House Floor.

My Bills
Below is the status of the bills I am running this year. Again, you can track any bills on the legislative website
SB134  - Campus Safety Amendments 
Passed unanimously in Senate and is waiting to be heard in the House committee on Monday, March 4
This bill ensures all public campuses of higher education (Utah System of Higher Education and the Utah System of Technical Colleges) have a comprehensive, consistent safety plan in place, but also includes flexibility with each unique campus. It facilitates statewide collaboration and sharing of best practices between our schools, leveraging system resources. It also ensures student sponsored groups receive training on prevention and understanding to further help reduce its prevalence on all campuses. This kind of outreach to campuses and communities will hopefully help to achieve a cultural shift towards sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking- and prevention, but also responding to the unthinkable with streamlined, plans of action and survivor-centered standards.
My opening statement was inspired by those who have survived who wanted this to be a positive message of hope: "When we send our children to college, we want them to gain their independence, learn, get involved in activities and campus life, and build relationships that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, the unthinkable can happen and we need safeguards in place, so our children have a better chance at fulfilling those dreams." This has been covered by many media outlets.
SB162 - Corrections Officer Certification Amendments 
Passed unanimously in Senate is scheduled to be heard in the House  
Over the past decade, the application pool for peace officers in the state of Utah has reduced significantly. These changes have resulted in more than 600 law enforcement shortages across the state of Utah. Jails are losing staff to higher paying law enforcement or private sector jobs.
This bill allows one to be 19 years old to be certified as a correctional officer and work in a jail facility.  This change is to increase the group of people who are eligible for Basic Correctional Officer (BCO) Certification.
In 64% of states across the country, Correction Officers may serve under the age of 21.
Specifically, this bill allows an individual to be employed at 19 years old. An individual, at the age 18, can be a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, a member of the United States Armed Forces, a volunteer or civilian at the jail.
The positive impacts of this bill, according to the Sheriffs, all of whom support this bill, include being able to: access an untapped pool of candidates, provide a statewide impact-relief to jails, and attract potential candidates to corrections/law enforcement, prior to them finding employment/career in other fields.
As I toured the different pods and different levels of oversight at the Metro and Oxbow jails, I noticed a lot of new technologies in place for security, as well as other procedures I had not seen in previous visits. Other safeguards will include: agency recruitment and selection process for candidates under 21 years old, extensive pre-service and field training, and agency determined restrictions on assigned areas for officers under 21 years old.
SCR 2  - Concurrent Resolution Recognizing Navajo Code Talkers  
Passed unanimously through both chambers and awaiting Governor's signature
SJR 1 - Joint Resolution Supporting the Study of Water Banking in Utah 
Passed unanimously through both chambers and awaiting Governor's signature
SB 61  - Poll Hours for Early Voting 
Passed unanimously through both chambers and awaiting Governor's signature
SB 62  - Campaign Finance Revisions 
Passed unanimously through both chambers and awaiting Governor's signature
SB 65  - Utah Noxious Weed Act Amendments 
Passed unanimously through both chambers and awaiting Governor's signature
SB 81  - Native American Remains Amendments
Passed through both chambers and awaiting Governor's signature
SB 101  - Navajo Code Talker Recognition
Passed unanimously through both chambers and awaiting Governor's signature
SB 88  - Crime Victims Restitution Amendments
Passed unanimously through both chambers and awaiting Governor's signature
SB 89  - Conflict Disclosure Amendments
Passed unanimously in Senate and waiting for the final vote in the House due to the fiscal note

Events of the Session
Celebrating Women's Suffrage
Thursday, February 14, was the 149th anniversary of the first woman to vote in Utah, Seraph Young. Celebrations at the Capitol took place to also announce the artist who will be sculpting Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female legislator in Utah. We celebrated by wearing yellow roses, a symbol for women's suffrage.
Photo of past and present women legislators

Meeting with Student Art Contest Winners

On Feb 21st, I met with four high school students in my district who were some of this year's Senate art contest winners! Trisha Chandramouli from Olympus High School, Audrey Glende from East High School, Emma Cooley from Skyline High School, and Martha Moffat from Olympus High School were all recipients of scholarships for their great work!

Recognizing Felix Ortiz

On Feb 21st, the Senate honored Felix Ortiz from West High school for his quick response on Tuesday night when he resuscitated a car crash victim before first responders arrived. The Utah Highway Patrol said Felix's CPR likely saved the man's life.  
Honoring Veterans from the American Legion
The Senate recognized three veterans from the American Legion, celebrating 100 years of the American Legion being chartered and incorporated by Congress as the nation's largest wartime service organization.

February 17th Town Hall

Despite being a Saturday and holiday weekend, it was a great and engaged town hall meeting with myself, Senator Gene Davis, House Minority Leader Brian King, Reps. Joel Briscoe, and Stephanie Pitcher.

PTA Day at the Capitol

Meeting with PTA leaders to discuss issues

Recognizing Oakwood Elementary, Guadalupe School Students, St. Vincent De Paul School, and Utah Non-Profits Association
Students from Oakwood Elementary, Guadalupe School, St. Vincent De Paul School, and representatives of the Utah Non-Profits Association visited the Capitol and were acknowledged on the Senate floor.

Oakwood Elementary
Utah Non-Profits
Guadalupe School

Utah Falls Prevention Alliance and the Utah Commission on Aging Luncheon

The Utah Falls Prevention Alliance is a group partnered with the University of Utah dedicated to reducing falls and fall injuries in Utah's older adult population. I founded and co-chair this alliance with the amazing Sally Aerts.

The Utah Falls Prevention Alliance and Utah Commission on Aging luncheon

Connect With Me
I have always been committed to responding to every email and call. However, it can be challenging due to the high volume and because of our meeting and floor schedules, as well as the time spent reading and preparing legislation. It would assist me if you could provide the following information with your email, call or text: 
  • Your full name, home address and telephone number
  • The bill number and title
  • Whether or not you need a response
  • If you are waiting to receive a response from me, your email may be accidentally lost or in junk mail etc. Please try again. 
These steps will assist me in replying to you as quickly as possible. I will do all I can to respond in a timely fashion even with the pressures of a general legislative session. I will read and consider every email.  My email address is: You can also contact me by phone but my phone tends to fill daily due to the volume of messages.
Please visit during the session. The Capitol itself, is abuzz with displays, activities and visitors. If you would like to show your support or opposition to any bill, you may testify during public comment at a committee hearing.  
I hope to provide you with informative updates regarding legislation I am sponsoring, as well as other pertinent legislation and activities during the upcoming Legislative Session. I appreciate your thoughts about pending legislation. Your input is invaluable and makes a difference. And as always, know that I realize the gravity and honor of representing our community. I will continue to work very hard for you, our district and our state. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Utah State Senate. 
As always, I appreciate your input. Your voice is critical. If you would like to volunteer, PLEASE contact me, I can be reached at (legislative matters), (personal matters), by mail to 4760 S. Highland Drive, #427, Salt Lake City, Utah 84117, or by phone at (801)580-8414. You can interact with me on my Facebook!  
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This Senate seat includes the following house districts: District 36 (Rep. Patrice Arent), District 37 (Rep. Carol Spackman Moss), District 40 (Rep. Stephanie Pitcher), District 46 (Rep. Marie Poulson) and District 28 (Rep. Brian King). To see who your Representative is click here!
Jani Iwamoto
Senate District 4

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