Representative Christine Watkins attends the Utah Hospital Association’s Reception.
By Representative Christine Watkins, District 69
The second week at the legislature was a busy one for me. I was working on several bills that needed some changes done to them. I presented several bills in committee and one on the floor. All but one bill moved on and I am reworking the bill that received a tie vote in committee. I am on the Workforce Services and Economic Development Committee that passed out HB 212 1st Substitute, Business Expansion and Retention Initiative Amendment (BEAR). I am also on the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee and on the Sub Appropriation committee for Natural Resources. I have filed and are running a number of bills at the request of my constituents. You can go to le.utah.gov and look under my name to see the bills’ names, numbers and where they are in the process.
As a member of the Native American Liaison Committee, I had a young man whose father is Navajo shadow me on Monday. It was Native American Day on the hill and I enjoyed showing him around. Unfortunately, I did not have any committee meetings but he was able to enjoy other activities.
I spoke in favor of the Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act. This bill will give legal guidelines for small farmers and home gardeners to produce and sell their food directly to consumers. I believe this is good for our economy and consumers who are looking for local farm fresh produce and home cooked food.
Some of the men on the committee were concerned about safety and getting sick from the food. I believe the labeling that is required will allow appropriate follow up if there is a problem. If anyone is concerned, they can continue to purchase their food where they feel comfortable. I personally believe with all of the produce that is coming to states from foreign countries, food from the local area is a safe bet.
I really enjoyed meeting with Mark Holyoak, CEO of Castleview Hospital, at the Utah Hospital Association Reception. I learned of a bill that is being written that will really help our rural hospitals with some Medicaid issues. Castleview Hospital was given several national awards last year and I want to acknowledge him (Holyoak) and all of the medical providers and all other employees at the hospital. I know the community is proud of you and appreciates the care and service you provide for us.