We are well into fall and approaching winter! Although very well-intentioned, I have not lived up to my goal of producing newsletters on a more consistent basis. Please know that representing constituents is always my first priority and that I am working diligently to represent you at the legislature. I respond to your emails and phone calls - and the legislation I propose represents the values and needs of our community, understanding of course that every constituent may not always support a particular piece of legislation.
For a complete summary of topics discussed during interim meetings, please see Interim Highlights and Fiscal Highlights, which are excellent resources prepared by the amazing Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, and Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst.
The July Interim meeting included a Special Session to discuss 9 pieces of legislation, including:
-- Tax Credit Review Amendments (Rep. Peterson, J.)
HB 310 passed in the 2016 Session but was invalidated for technical reasons. The legislative fix was the inclusion of an enacting clause.
-- State Fair Park Amendments (Rep. Hollins, S.)
This bill included an appropriation of roughly $10,000,000 for the construction of an outdoor arena at the State Fair Park. This appropriation will help fund the new 10,000 chair, state-of-the-art multi-purpose arena. The new facility will become the new home of the Days of '47 Rodeo and is designed to attract large events like the World Series of Barrel Racing, professional bull riding competitions, concerts and multiple sporting competitions.
-- Unmanned Aircraft Amendments (Rep. Ipson, D.)
The interference of drones with the efforts to fight the Saddle Fire in Pine Valley, highlighted the need to strengthen existing law. These stronger measures address offenses such as preventing a plane from taking off, increasing fines, allowing incident commanders to remove the drone if necessary, financial responsibility for lost fire retardant and the costs of wasted fuel, and preventing the owners from selling any video footage by unmanned aerial vehicles over restricted wildfire airspaces.
4.H.B. 3004 -- Criminal Justice Reinvestment Amendments (Rep. Hutchings, E.)
This bill was needed to properly implement the Justice Reinvestment Initiative we passed in 2015. This was the bill at the very top of the Senate Board on the last day of the 2016 Session but died when we adjourned at midnight. It passed the House with only one dissenting vote.
-- Grandparent Rights Amendments (Rep. Christensen, L.)- FAILED
This bill deals with a grandparent's ability to visit grandchildren adopted by a family member of the child. Upon vetoing this bill earlier in the year, the Governor agreed to place the bill on a special session call if the sponsor made certain changes, including a specified time period for the petition, a limit to the petitions, and notice to the adoptive parents. This bill failed in the House and never reached the Senate.
6. S.B. 3001 -- Controlled Substance Database Modifications (Sen. Weiler, T.)
We thought we had fixed this issue during the 2016 session, but a drafting error resulted in the continued warrant requirement for probationers and parolees being monitored for substance abuse. This bill amends the exceptions to the warrant requirement to the controlled substances data base for individuals on probation or parole.
7. S.B. 3002 -- Economic Development Revisions (Sen. Bramble, C.)
Legislation to address economic credits to help encourage new enterprise data centers to be built along Utah's Silicon Slopes. This bill is similar to Senator Bramble's SB 178 in the 2016 Session, which passed the full senate, plus the house committee, with no dissenting votes.
8. S.B. 3003 -- Judicial Nominating Commissions - Amendments (Sen. Knudson, P.)
This bill addressed situations where there may be multiple concurrent vacancies in a district court, by requiring the nominating commission to submit five names for EACH vacant position for the governor and senate to consider. Without this amendment multiple appointments would be made from the same five names.
9.S.B. 3004 -- Continuing Care Retirement Community Amendments (Sen. Henderson, D.)
This legislation addressed the security of investments in continuing care facilities.
Update on some of my Legislation
SB192 - Governmental Immunity Cap Amendments
This bill addresses the limitations of the present governmental immunity cap in the event of catastrophic personal injury cases.
Utah Code Section 63G-7-604 currently contains a limit
on the amount that an individual may
claim against a governmental entity for damages for personal injury. If an individual's claim exceeds the amount of that statutory limit, the individual cannot recover the amount of damages that exceed the statutory limit - where there are multiple individuals' claims arising from the same occurrence, all individuals cannot recover beyond the aggregate amount of the cap.
We have continued to meet the day prior to interim meetings, with numerous stakeholders pursuant to the directives in SB 192 - Study on Claims Exceeding Statutory Limit, which I sponsored during the past 2016 legislative session. Senators Lyle Hillyard and Howard Stephenson are co-sponsors and Representative Lowry Snow is the house floor sponsor. Representative Mike McKell has also joined in some of our meetings. We are hopeful to have legislation prior to the start of next January's legislative session that makes a difference to those who have suffered catastrophic injuries above the current cap on damages. A great deal of time and effort has been spent by those participating in these meetings. I appreciate colleagues in the public and private sector for their invaluable input and their willingness to work collaboratively to find solutions.
SB140 Home and Community-Based Services Amendments
"Report on Medicaid Long Term Services and Supports"
, a directive of SB 140 has been completed, and was reported to the Social Services Appropriation Subcommittee on June 16th and the Health and Human Services Interim Committee on September 21st. An overview of the report can be seen here.
SB 140 required the Division of Medicaid and Health Financing study the benefits and risks of various options in transitioning individuals from institutions into the community. From this study, there are issues that were highlighted that will lead to future legislation and/or appropriation requests.
SB 196 - Retail Bag Impact Reduction Program
This bill has continued to generate public
interest. Although SB 196 passed through committee to the senate floor, it stalled at the end of last session, partly due to my health (pneumonia). There are hundreds of laws throughout our nation and world that address this issue. This bill is being studied and researched by a national organization to determine its support for statewide legislation. I am also continuing to collect input from cities, counties, the private sector and the public.
Update from the Prison Development Commission
According to the Prison Development Commission co-chairs Sen. Jerry Stevenson and Rep. Brad Wilson, the commission continues to monitor and provide input on the process of developing a new state correctional facility. Paperwork on the purchase of the "West" portion of the parcel in SLC's Northwest Quadrant, location of the new correctional facility is expected to close by October 28th. Agreements regarding placement of roads and utility lines to the facility should be resolved, as well. Below is a schedule for some key construction milestones as the project moves forward:
- November/December - begin construction of temporary construction roads to the site
- May 2017 - begin site preparation, including site fill
- January 2018 - begin construction of support buildings and utilities
- March 2018 - begin construction of housing units
- October 2020 - facility completion
Opening of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater
This past week I attended the ribbon cutting and opening of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City. Designed by world-renowned architect César Pelli, this 2,486 seat facility is already attracting touring productions and top-notch performers to Salt Lake City. While serving on the Salt Lake County Council, we supported this project after detailed discussion and debate. Concern over the impacts to existing and cherished venues, such as the Capitol Theater, Pioneer Theater, Kingsbury Hall, was at the forefront. In the end, Salt Lake County was the obvious entity to operate the new theater, ensuring through programming that impacts will be minimized to our other performing arts venues. Also of great importance to me was the inclusion of a Black Box Theater for community events - this 2,400-square-foot black box theater will seat 150-250. Also important is the variety of pricing, allowing for subsidized tickets to broaden community access to our performing arts. Visit Live at the Eccles to see entertainers coming to Salt Lake for the opportunity to perform in a venue that is heralded as one of the best in the nation!
Community Councils in Senate District 4
In my May Newsletter, I highlighted the community councils in my Senate district. I've been fortunate to represent these same community councils and areas while on the County Council. Community councils are an important voice and they are served by active volunteers who are passionate about improving the lives of those who live in their communities. Below is the complete list of community councils in our district. I have included additional information on Wasatch Hollow Community Council and Foothill/Sunnyside Neighborhood Association, as they were not highlighted in the May Newsletter.
Salt Lake City Community Councils
Bonneville Hills Neighborhood Council
- Ellen Reddick, Chair: 801-581-0369
-4th Thursday of Jan, Apr, Jul, & Oct - 7:00 pm
-Anderson Foothill Library (1135 South 2100 East)
Foothill/Sunnyside Neighborhood Assoc.
- Laurel H. Young, Chair: 801-582-4165
-4th Thursday of January, April, July, and October - 7:00 pm
-Anderson-Foothill Library (1135 South 2100 East)
Foothill/Sunnyside Neighborhood Association represents the residents living south of Sunnyside Avenue and north of 1300 South between 1900 East and 2100 East/Foothill Drive. Our neighborhood includes Davis Park and the Anderson-Foothill Branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library. We meet jointly with our neighbors to the south, the Bonneville Hills Neighborhood Council.
Sugar House Community Council
- Amy Barry, Chair: 801-699-6924
-1st Wednesday - 7:00 pm
-Sprague Library (2131 South 1100 East)
Wasatch Hollow Community Council
- Michael Dodd, Chair: 801-706-9413
-4th Wednesday (except July, November and December) - 7:00 pm
-Anderson-Foothill Library (1135 South 2100 East)
-Boundaries range from 1300 East to 1900 East and
from 1300 South to 1700 South.
Chair - Michael Dodd
First Vice Chair - Laurie Bryant
Board Member - Brad Johnston
Treasurer - Marilyn Domenick
Secretary - Mike Bender
Yalecrest Community Council
- Robin Carbaugh, Chair: 801-870-1428
-1st Wednesday (except January and July) - 6:30 pm
-Pingree School (780 South Guardsman Way)
Millcreek Community Councils
Canyon Rim Community Council
- Jeff Waters, Chair: 801-467-8155
-3rd Tuesday - 7:00 pm
-Christ United Methodist Church (2375 East 3300 South)
East Mill Creek Community Council
- LeeAnn Hansen, Chair: 801-631-5492
-1st Thursday - 6:30 pm
-Millcreek Community Center (2266 Evergreen Avenue)
Millcreek Community Council
- Diane Angus, Chair: 801-266-1410
-1st Tuesday - 6:30 pm
-Millcreek Activity Center (4405 South 1025 East)
Mount Olympus Community Council
- Jeff Silvestrini, Chair: 801-277-0817
-1st and 3rd Tuesdays - 7:00 pm
-Churchill Jr. High (3450 East Oakview Drive)
Cities and Council meeting dates in Senate District 4
-Holladay City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday at 6:00 pm
-Council Chambers (4580 South 2300 East)
Millcreek (soon to become a city) - presumptive Mayor Jeff Silvestrini
Murray City Council meets first and third Tuesday each month.
5025 South State Street, Suite 112, Murray, Utah
-Salt Lake City Council generally meets three Tuesday's per month with a work session a 2pm and formal meeting at 7pm.
-The second Tuesday is generally the work session.
Meet My Summer Interns!
My name is Lara Yovanovich, I was born and raised in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. This upcoming year will be a senior at the University of San Diego majoring in International Relations with a minor in Italian Studies. I love to ski, hike, rock climb, camp go to the beach and do basically anything outside. When I finish my undergrad I want to continue to law school and eventually become an International Lawyer with a focus on human rights. I'm so excited to have the amazing opportunity of working with Senator Iwamoto this summer!
Adrian Auchterlonie is from Park City, Utah and is currently attending college at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is studying Political Science and English Literature. She aspires to attend law school after she graduates in 2018 and would like to practice family law. When she is not studying for school she enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. Next Spring she is planning to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic and study Eastern European political systems. She is excited to have returned home and to be an intern this summer.
Remember to vote!
Note that mail-in ballots must be POSTMARKED (not just placed in the mail box where it might be delayed and miss the deadline) the day before the general election - that's Monday, November 7th! Mail your ballots as soon as possible. Early voting is also underway. Polling locations will be open from 7 am to 8 pm on Election Day. For more voter information, please go to https:/slco.org/clerk/elections.
- Passage of Proposition A would authorize Salt Lake County to issue a $90 million parks and recreation bond that builds on the funding from the Zoo, Arts, and Parks (ZAP) funding - $59 million would allow for the development of 11 proposed major projects across Salt Lake County, while $39 million would be invested in proposed capital maintenance and improvement projects for existing facilities. If approved, the bond will not raise property taxes but will continue a bond obligation of $18.18 per year for a $295,000 home. That bond will otherwise expire. During my tenure on the Salt Lake County Council, we made parks, recreation and open space investment a priority. Salt Lake, with more than one million residents, is the most urbanized county in the state and there are very few areas left to set aside for outdoor enjoyment and recreation. I support Proposition A. For more information, please visit Salt Lake County Proposition A website in order to learn more about the bond - and to view the list of proposed parks and recreation projects.
The legislature will have its last interim session in November. It's hard to believe that we are already gearing up for the 2017 session. I have heard from many of you. Your voice is critical and makes a difference! If you would like to volunteer or contribute in some manner, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, (for legislative matters) email@example.com (for personal matters) by mail at 4760 S. Highland Drive, #427, Salt Lake City, Utah 84117, or by phone at (801) 580-8414. You can go to my website here, or interact with me on my Facebook, as well.
|This Senate seat includes the following house districts: District 36 (Rep. Patrice Arent), District 37 (Rep. Carol Spackman Moss), District 40 (Rep. Lynn Hemingway), District 46 (Rep. Marie Poulson) and District 28 (Rep. Brian King). To see who your Representative is click here!