The Utah Legislature: What Happened in 2012 and How to Protect Your Business (and yourself) in 2013


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Presented in Salt Lake City, this presentation discusses the laws that were enacted during the 2012 General Session and issues that will likely be discussed during interim sessions in anticipation of the 2013 General Session of the Utah Legislature.

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The Utah Legislature: What Happened in 2012 and How to Protect Your Business (and yourself) in 2013

  1. 1. S A L T L A K E C I T Y | R E N O | B O I S E | L A S V E G A S | P A R S O N S B E H L E . C O MThe Utah Legislature:What Happened in 2012 andHow To Protect Your Business(and yourself) in 2013Presented to the Associationfor Corporate GrowthMike BaileyParsons Behle & LatimerApril 26, 2012 4823-1746-0751
  2. 2. Goals of Today’s Presentation Educate you Alert you to issues that may affect your business Arm you for discussions at backyard barbecues • This presentation is a source of general information for clients and friends of Parsons Behle & Latimer. Its content should not be construed as legal advice and attendees should not act upon the information in the presentation without consulting legal counsel 2
  3. 3. Outline of PresentationI. Utah Legislature 101II. 2012 Session Review (using themes)III. Protecting your Business by Playing an Active RolePlease ask questions throughout 3
  4. 4. Composition of LegislatureRepublicans (80) Democrats (24) 4
  5. 5. 2012 Legislative Session There was a great deal of turnover for an “off election year” Mood was calmer than some years – This is an election year No new taxes, again! No bonding Some squabbling between Senate & House – Senate has fewer members (29, compared to 75) but passed almost as many bills (209, compared to 269) 5
  6. 6. It was a Very Busy Session 891 bills were numbered; 764 bills were introduced; 478 bills passed The Governor vetoed 2 bills (HB363 (Sex education) and HB414) 72% of the bills were not written & introduced until after the first day The legislators admitted in the press that they cannot keep track of it all Especially the bills in the last few days of the Session 6
  7. 7. Comparing Bill Passage Over Time 2011 2012 782 764 504 478 Bills Bills Bills Bills Introduced Passed (62%) Introduced Passed (64%) 7
  8. 8. 2012 Bill Passage By The NumbersRepublican - sponsored bills that passed Democrat - (414) sponsored bills that passed (64) 8
  9. 9. 2012 Bill Passage By The Numbers Most Prolific Legislators – Republican Senator Curt Bramble (20 out of 26 for 76.9%) – Democrat Senator Ben McAdams (9 out of 15 for 60%) 9
  10. 10. Session’s Broad Themes Local Government Environmental Boards States’ Rights Budget Health Insurance Mandates E-Verify The Sexy Stuff (always at the end) 10
  11. 11. Local Government Legislature has mixed feelings about local control but mostly let cities have the reins – Allowed local anti-idling ordinances – Did not prohibit cities from regulating electronic billboards – Did create state ethics committee to hear local ethics issues 11
  12. 12. Environmental Boards Adjudication – Permit challenges will be less of a circus – Boards won’t hear appeals of permits – ALJ will hear appeals, Executive Director to make decision Membership – Changing an attempt to make boards more technical and effective 12
  13. 13. States’ Rights Federal Lands: Sagebrush Rebellion 2.0 – Demanding the federal government turn over lands to state – Lands would be opened up to mining, drilling and grazing Health Care Compact – Asking federal government to cede control of health care programs 13
  14. 14. Budget Budget was $13 billion Had $440 million more to spend – Funded growth in education – State employees - 1% raise – Used mortgage settlement money – More into rainy day fund than required - $11 million – Did not borrow for roads 14
  15. 15. Health Insurance Mandates Health Insurance Mandates – Important because if passed before 2014, become set in stone for state under federal health care reform – Many bills this session – Only autism pilot project passed • To serve 350 children at a cost of $30,000 annually per child • “Back-door mandate” 15
  16. 16. E-Verify Governor Herbert wanted teeth put in the law – Disappointed it didn’t happen – Will pursue it next year – Bill would have: • Suspended business licenses for violations • Applied to all businesses • Applied to hiring of independent contractors 16
  17. 17. Other Issues Ag-gag bill Employer premium reduction for wellness programs Open carry law did not pass Alcohol – tinkered with commission Car inspections less frequent Unemployment insurance top rate reduced 2% 17
  18. 18. Sexy Issues Immigration – Stepped back from the brink (Sandstrom lost voice vote) Tanning Beds – Not for minors Hookah and e-cigarettes – Outlaw them Sex Education – Don’t ask, don’t tell 18
  19. 19. Protecting Your Business Get in the Game – Stay apprised of any developments – If you see an issue of concern, what can you do about it? – Contact your legislator ( – Contact us. We will help 19
  20. 20. Protecting Your Business Legislature has study committees that meet monthly Master study list gives some idea of issues to be studied 20
  21. 21. New Faces are Coming in 2013 Numerous legislators ran (or are running) for other seats – Rep. Chris Herrod (US Senate) – Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (US House-4th District) – Rep. Ken Sumsion (Utah Governor) – Rep. John Dougall (Utah Auditor) – Sen. Ross Romero (SL County Mayor) – Sen. Ben McAdams (SL County Mayor) (didn’t have to resign or choose which race to enter) Redistricting just occurred – Many incumbents will be running in districts that are substantially different from the last election 21
  22. 22. New Faces are Coming in 2013 Retirements – Senate President Michael Waddoups – House Minority Leader David Litvack – Senate Minority Whip Karen Morgan – Rep. Todd Kiser 22
  23. 23. Likely Study Issues E-Verify Alcohol Employment Discrimination Product Liability Subcontractors Water CO2 Emissions Encouraging Manufacturing 23
  24. 24. More Study Topics Privatization of Government (Prison, ABC) Government Competition with Private Sector (County Recreation Centers) Agency Retention of Fines and Forfeitures Coal and other severance taxes – Impact on utility rates Telecommunications Taxation Other Issues? 24
  25. 25. Task Forces Economic Development – To include air quality issues Health System Reform 25
  26. 26. Don’t Hesitate to Call We’re here to help – never be reluctant to call – About tanning beds… – or billboards… – or even hookah and e-cigarettes 26
  27. 27. Thank you Mike Bailey direct: (801) 536-6777 cell: (801) 201-0115 email: 27