Representative Christine Watkins Reports on First Week of Legislative Session

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By Representative Christine Watkins

On Monday morning, January 23, the 2017 Session of the Utah Legislature was called to order. House Speaker Greg Hughes spoke about homelessness in the state and the human suffering that occurs because of it. It will be an area of focus for the legislative session. He also spoke about the Bears Ears Monument and expressed that Utah has become the ATM for political payback to special interest groups as Democrat presidents leave office. Just these two areas of interest will keep legislators busy.

HB 36 passed out of the Workforce Services and Economic Development committee, on which I serve. It also passed on the floor and is on its way to a Senate Committee. This bills provides extra funding for new, low-income housing and an insurance policy for landlords who rent to Housing clients. It will help pay for damage, if any occurs, helping landlords with repairs. 20% of the funding is specifically set aside for rural Utah.

In the Rules Committee, we passed out of committee HCR 012, a Concurrent Resolution urging the President to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument Designation, and HCR 011, a Concurrent Resolution urging Federal Legislation to reduce or modify the boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Presently, legislators are working on getting bills written and heard in committee.

Please feel free to call or text me at 435-650-1969 or email, christinewatkins@le.utah.gov or search Facebook at Representative Christine Watkins District 69.

I serve on the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee, the Workforce Services and Economic Development Committee, and House Rules Committee. I am also on the Sub-Appropriation Social Services Committee. I appreciate the opportunity to serve you and appreciate hearing from my constituents.

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