The 2014 Utah Legislative Session: The Interesting, The Ordinary and What to Expect in 2015

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  • 1. THE 2014 UTAH LEGISLATIVE SESSION: THE INTERESTING, THE ORDINARY AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2015 Mike Bailey Shelly Cordon Teuscher Salt Lake City April 16, 2014 4819-0608-5914 parsonsbehle.com
  • 2. 2  Inform you  Alert you to issues that may affect your business  Scare you…just a bit  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. Goals of Today’s Presentation
  • 3. 3 I. Utah Legislature by the Numbers II. 2014 Session Review (using themes) III. Protecting your Business by Playing an Active Role Please ask questions throughout Outline of Presentation
  • 4. 4 61 24 14 5 2014 House and Senate Composition Republicans Republicans DemocratsDemocrats House Senate
  • 5. 5  Large Number of Freshmen in the House – 20 of 75 in the House were in their second year – 11 more beginning their second term  “Slow and steady” meant many bills were not heard  Mood was serious  Media focused on the “easy” issues 2014 Legislative Session
  • 6. 6 782 764 748 786 504 478 524 484 Comparing Bill Passage Over Time Bills Introduced Bills Introduced Bills Passed (64%) Bills Passed (62%) 2011 2012 2013 Bills Introduced Bills Passed (70%) 2014 Bills Introduced Bills Passed (62%)
  • 7. 7 478 524 484 183 203 217 Even More Bills Passed in the Final Two Days Bills Passed Bills Passed Last 2 days (39%) Last 2 days (38%) 2012 2013 Bills Passed Last 2 days (45%) 2014
  • 8. 8 2014 Bill Passage By The Numbers Republican - sponsored bills that passed (89%) Democrat - sponsored bills that passed (11%) 2012: 87% Republican 13% Democrat 2013: 94% Republican 6% Democrat
  • 9. 9  Most Prolific Legislators Highest bill passage percentage (minimum 10 bills) – Sen. Lyle Hillyard (17 for 17) – Sen. Ralph Okerlund (13 for 13) – Rep. Mel Brown (12 for 12) – Rep. Jim Dunnigan (12 for 12) Most bills passed – Sen. Curt Bramble (19 for 26) • Including SB 54 – “Count my Vote” Most bills introduced – Sen. Curt Bramble 26 (19 for 26) – Rep. Kraig Powell 20 (6 for 20) – Sen. Todd Weiler 19 (14 for 19) 2014 Bill Passage By The Numbers
  • 10. 10 78% 73% 76% 56% 73% 56% Senate Sponsored v. House Sponsored Passage Rates (Republicans only) Senate Senate HouseHouse 2012 2013 Senate House 2014
  • 11. 11 Big-Time Changes in the Legislature  Speaker is done – Speaker vs. Governor  Senate Majority Leader may be stepping down  House Minority Leader is done  Lots of Democrats are done – In Senate (Senators Jones & Robles) – In House (Representatives Cosgrove, Seelig, Fisher, Hemingway)
  • 12. 12 The Session’s Broad Themes Issues Headed Our Way Interesting Heavily debated & usually received media attention Ordinary Expected, not surprising
  • 13. 13 Interesting Issues These bills were heavily debated and usually received media attention
  • 14. 14 Air Quality – The People Spoke  Air Quality has Been an Issue for a Few Years but This Year was Different  Session Started With Two Bangs and a lot of Inversions – First, the Governor discussed Tier III Fuels in his State of the State – Second, there was a clean air rally which had 4000 attendees – Parking was awful
  • 15. 15 Air Quality – The People Spoke
  • 16. 16 And Air Quality Did OK  Legislators put their money where their mouth was: – Enhanced funding for DAQ – Grant programs for wood-burning stoves – Replacing dirty diesel school buses  Not everything passed: – Quarter-cent sales tax hike – State vs. federal regulation
  • 17. 17 “No more stringent”  Utah law says environmental regulations can be no more stringent than corresponding federal regulations (except if a certain finding is made) – David Bird drafted  Protects business and industry  Environmentalists: “Chills” new ideas  Two bills in play: – Bill to eliminate protection – DIED – Bill to modify restriction – DIED
  • 18. 18 Election Reform  Flurry of Ethics Laws – Consultant Costs – Candidate Disclosure – Penalties  Voter Day Registration  Still No Limits On Campaign Donations
  • 19. 19 Anti-Discrimination  State lawsuit in process  No consideration of anti-discrimination law – Activist pressure  No anti-gay marriage bills allowed either
  • 20. 20 Count My Vote  CMV organizers gathered 100,000+ signatures  Pressure on legislature  Compromise – SB 54  There is already talk of amending the law
  • 21. 21 SB 54 (Bramble)  Dual route to the ballot: – Convention: Same as now – Signatures • 28,000 for statewide office • 2,000 for state Senate seats • 1,000 for state House seats – Parties must have open primaries – May be a moderating factor  Several legislators may pay the price
  • 22. 22  It was a tale of two bills – SB 211 sponsored by Sen. Margaret Dayton – HB 49 sponsored by Rep. Kay McIff  SB 211 restored the power of the state water engineer  HB 49 modified the procedure for filing a change application  Both bills died on the boards Water
  • 23. 23 Health Care  Autism Mandate – “Every Decade we Pass a Mandate – This is That Mandate” – Compromise was struck • Would not affect many large employers • Diagnosis and Treatment 2-9 years old • Applied Behavior Analysis • Treatment Plan and Treatment Review  Cannabis Oil
  • 24. 24 Privacy Issues  Voter registration data  Limits on law enforcement – Drones – GPS location information  Revenge Porn
  • 25. 25 Fun, Odd or Silly Issues Likely to Land a Legislator on “Jon Stewart’s Daily Show”  Crickets, crickets  No feral cats, no state gun  We did get a new state tree (Quaking Aspen instead of Colorado Blue Spruce) but we didn’t replace Iowa and New Hampshire as the state with the earliest presidential primary  Cities can’t ban specific breeds of dogs – pit bulls are safe  It was a very serious session with few distractions
  • 26. 26 Ordinary Things that were expected or not surprising
  • 27. 27  Abolished PRADA board & created a commission  Provides for RFPs  Became controversial  Group to work quickly – hope to get done as soon as practicable Prison Relocation
  • 28. 28 Gas Tax  Persuasive case by Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and local government that more revenues are needed  Early push to allow 10 cent local option tax faded  Three bills in play: – Raise tax by 7.5 cents, phased in – DOA – Decrease the gas tax, increase the sales tax, but “not a tax increase” – DIED, killed by sponsor’s own committee. – Change the way it’s calculated; may have raised tax over time – DIED
  • 29. 29 Medicaid Expansion  Two Proposals – Governor/Senate: Block grant – House: No federal money  Governor can decide any time, but must get legislative approval  Governor has sent emissaries to Washington  Speaker very opposed to accepting federal money
  • 30. 30 Education Funding  Public education – Funded new students – 2.5% increase in per-pupil spending  High-quality preschool – Funding by private investors  Higher education – 11.2% increase  STEM  Speaker’s $300 million initiative fell short
  • 31. 31 Issues That May Be Headed Our Way
  • 32. 32  Uniformity of Healthcare Practice Acts (DOPL)  Non Profit Organizations & Tax Issues  Competency Based Education  Privatizing State Golf Courses  Cyber Bullying  Air Quality Master Study Resolution
  • 33. 33  Tier III Fuel Production  Drone Technology  DUI Standards  Water Issues  Title and Escrow Insurance Related Amendments  Daylight Savings Time  Minimum Wage Master Study Resolution
  • 34. 34 How To Succeed  Relationships with legislators  Relationships with lobbyists  Strategic alliances  Work with trade associations  Take reasonable positions  Be ever-vigilant
  • 35. 35  We strategize with clients  We monitor the Legislative Session  We draft legislation  We help get bills passed  We help get bills killed  We seek appropriations  We help with incentive packages  We help clients get whatever they need to protect their businesses (no request is too difficult) What We Do
  • 36. 36  Get in the Game – Stay apprised of any developments • Legislature has study committees that meet monthly • Master study list gives some idea of issues to be studied – As we saw this session, reading the newspaper is not enough – If you see an issue of concern, what can you do about it? – Contact us. We can help Protecting Your Business
  • 37. 37  Be vigilant – stay informed  Think of ways that legislation can help your business – No request is too crazy / it is almost never too late  We’re here to help – feel free to call – regarding business issues… – or even the state tree Takeaways
  • 38. 38  Mike Bailey direct: (801) 536-6777 cell: (801) 201-0115 email: mbailey@parsonsbehle.com twitter: @utahcounselor  Shelly Cordon Teuscher direct: (801) 536-6976 cell: (801) 541-5918 email: steuscher@parsonsbehle.com twitter: @shel1290 Thank you