The freshman class of legislators on the last day of the session.
By Carl Albrecht
After a busy 45 days, the Utah Legislative Session has come to a close. We have been spending long hours on the floor this week, carefully debating all the bills that come before us. Floor time went until midnight Thursday night, and we have discussed some big legislation in our time here.
On Monday, my Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee discussed HJR 18, Joint Resolution on Economic and Environmental Stewardship. Students at Logan High, BYU and Utah State brought this resolution to the legislature. It impressed me to see young students so active in politics. I think that they are the future for a solution to a better energy economy. I spoke for the need of all energy sources being necessary at this time. The resolution was defeated.
There was a bill proposed this session that would impose an increased tax on food. If this bill had passed, one in seven Utah households would experience food insecurity. It died in caucus this week. We have also voted this week to increase the education WPU by 4%. WPU is the weighted pupil unit that increases education funding needed in the State of Utah. State employees also received a 2% increase. I have been attending meetings with the Rural superintendents from throughout Utah during the session.
The legal blood alcohol limit for a DUI is now .05%. This is supposed to significantly discourage people from drinking and driving. I supported this bill because it keeps Utah roads safe and discourages irresponsible activity.
We have approved bonding for State highway projects and the infrastructure to service the property where the new prison is located. Money will be returned to the State Budget as developed property around the new prison site is sold.
These are just a few of the bills that have gone through this week alone. Combined with the other six weeks we have been here, many issues have been discussed. I passed my very first bill, and it is on the Governor’s desk. My second bill was passed by the Senate on the last day and will now also be sent to the Governor. I have met with constituents, the Rural Caucus, the Conservative Caucus, Nuclear Engineering students, Snow College, superintendents, Nikola Motors and so many more. I have learned a lot, and I have been humbled by the experience.
The Interim is supposed to be “down time” but I plan on working hard to prepare for the next legislative session during this time. I will continue working with the Rural and Conservative Caucuses and I will be busy drafting legislation. The Speaker of the House has also appointed me to the State Water Development Commission and the Energy Producer States Agreement Committee.
Thank you for allowing me to serve the good folks of District 70. It has been an honor and I am humbled to serve. It is still important that I hear from my constituents, especially when there is time for me to really discuss their ideas and issues. Please reach out to me at (435) 979-6578. Thank you.