Week One of the legislative session is now in the history books! The first week contains a few formal and ceremonial events that are traditions each year. The Chief Justice of our State Supreme Court always gives a report on the State of the Judiciary. This year Chief Justice Christine Durham informed us that she would be stepping down as Chief Justice, but would remain on the bench as an Associate Justice. Judge Matthew Durrant will take her place as Chief Justice. The Governor also delivered his State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate on Wednesday night.
I have committed to a set of guiding principles that will guide my actions this year. The principles are: fiscal responsibility, taxpayer protection (no tax increases), continued commitment to Utah children (funding student growth and meeting the needs of education), and keeping Utah’s competitive business climate (eliminate government intrusion into private business). Below are some of the bills that saw legislative action this week that I thought you mind find interesting.
HB 33 Fireworks Amendments (Dunnigan)
Last year we passed a law legalizing a new class of aerial fireworks for discharge in Utah. We also expanded the dates the fireworks could be discharged in an effort to make the rules easier to understand. It turned out that Utahns loved the new aerial fireworks law perhaps a little too much. We heard from constituents that were concerned about the constant barrage of the new aerial fireworks throughout the month of July. This bill limits the discharge of fireworks to the same time limits pre-2011 (3 days before and after the holiday) and sets a quiet time after 11:00 pm. Aerial fireworks will continue to be legal to use in-state.
HB 28 Economic Development Task Force (Wilson)
One of my primary objectives as legislator is to ensure Utah businesses continue to create jobs. This is my first bill of this session to be voted on by the House. This bill is an effort to better coordination and focus economic development efforts in the State by adding real-life input from business and industry leaders. The bill would create an economic development task force to make recommendation on how economic production can be increased, including: how more exports and high paying jobs can be created, how the State can attract more businesses and how regulatory barriers to economic production could be reduced or eliminated. Industry and business leaders would serve on the task force along with legislators and representatives from the Governor’s office.
I wrote an editiorial for the Standard Examiner this week. If you missed it and would like to read my article you can find it here: http://www.standard.net/
If you are interested in a youth group tour of the Capitol during the session, please contact my intern, Blake Barcus, at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, I welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions.
Representative Brad Wilson