Get a Seat at the Table: Utah's Legislature and How it Impacts Your Business


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Get a Seat at the Table: Utah's Legislature and How it Impacts Your Business

  1. 1. Murray City Chamber of CommerceGET A SEAT AT THE TABLE:UTAH’S LEGISLATURE AND HOW ITIMPACTS YOUR BUSINESSJ. Michael BaileyOctober 26, 2012Salt Lake City, Utah 4839-8831-3105
  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. Brief 2012 Session ReviewIII. Protecting your Business by Playing an Active RolePlease ask questions throughout 3
  4. 4. Composition of LegislatureRepublicans (80) Democrats (24) 4
  5. 5. It was a Very Busy Session0 200 400 600 800 Bills that were numbered (891) Bills that were introduced (764) Bills that passed (478) 5
  6. 6. It was a Very Busy Session 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 at the end) 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 78% 56% 56% 55% Senate Senate House House Republicans Democrats Republicans Democrats 9
  10. 10. 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%) 10
  11. 11. It All Starts With A Budget Budget was $13 billion Had $440 million more to spend – Funded growth in education – State employees - 1% raise – $11 million into rainy day fund – Did not borrow for roads 11
  12. 12. Session’s Broad Themes That Affected Businesses Employment E-Verify Local Government Health Insurance Mandates “The Loud Issues” 12
  13. 13. Employment Initiatives That Passed Employer premium reduction for wellness programs (HB144S02 – Dunnigan) Unemployment insurance top rate reduced 2% (SB129 – Bramble) 13
  14. 14. Employment Initiatives That Failed Immigration (HB300 – Sandstrom/Herrod) – Would have repealed the guest worker provisions enacted last year Job Discrimination (SB51 – McAdams) – Would have approved a statewide prohibition on job discrimination based on sexual orientation “Open Carry of Firearms Bill ” did not pass (HB49S03 – Ray) 14
  15. 15. E-Verify Governor Herbert wanted teeth put in the law – Disappointed it didn’t happen – Bill would have: • Suspended business licenses for violations • Applied to all businesses • Applied to hiring of independent contractors Legislature will pursue it next year 15
  16. 16. 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 16
  17. 17. 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” 17
  18. 18. The Loud Issues 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 Employ the Chicago Rule: “Get involved early and often” Play Offense Play Defense Get Involved or Hire Someone to be Involved (during the interim process, not just the session) Famous old saying: “You’re either at the table or you’re on the menu” 19
  20. 20. Play Offense 38-15-1 is the Lobbyist Rule of Thumb: – 38 votes in the House of Representatives – 15 votes in the Senate – 1 “vote” from the Governor 20
  21. 21. Disadvantages of Playing Offense It costs more The odds are longer (not as favorable) 21
  22. 22. Advantages Of Playing Offense Instead of just defending against the bad you can achieve great things The specific law or practice that has impeded your business goes away You never know the ways in which the government will help you until you ask 22
  23. 23. Steps for a Good Offense Analyze what assistance your business needs from the government Craft a solution that negatively impacts as few other entities as possible “Shoot for the stars” Think big. You never know what you can get passed until you try (clean-up standards bill) Sometimes “the best defense is a good offense” 23
  24. 24. Play Defense Lobbyist Ancient Proverb: “There is only one way to pass a bill but many ways to kill it.” 24
  25. 25. Arrows in the Defensive Quiver Kill the bill in interim stage Kill the bill by lobbying the agencies that are recommending the bill Kill the bill by lobbying the agencies that are affected by the bill Kill the bill in the drafting stage Kill the bill in committee Kill the bill on the floor 25
  26. 26. And When All Else Fails… Amend, amend, amend Sometimes a really good amendment actually kills a bill 26
  27. 27. Get a Seat at the Table Get Involved – Participate in the political process – Educate yourself / Stay informed If you see an issue of concern, what can you do about it? – Build a coalition – Contact your legislator ( – Contact us…we will help 27
  28. 28. Other Ways to Get a Seat at the Table Find Friends – Who do your board members know? – Who do your staff members know? – Who might be ready to help you? – Do you have leverage or pressure points? Make Friends – Who should your board members get to know? – Who should your staff members get to know? Marketing/Messaging 28
  29. 29. Outside Help to Protect Your Business To strategize with clients To monitor the Legislative Session To draft legislation To help get bills passed To help get bills killed To seek appropriations To help with incentive packages To help clients get whatever they need to protect their nonprofits (no request is too difficult) 29
  30. 30. What About 2013? Legislature has interim study committees that meet monthly Master study list gives some idea of issues to be studied What can we expect to see in 2013? – New faces (redistricting and retirements) – Old issues 30
  31. 31. Study Issues That May Affect Businesses Study ways to incentivize wellness Third-hand smoke in the workplace Employment Discrimination Subcontractors 31
  32. 32. More Study Topics Government competition with Private Sector Coal and other severance taxes – Impact on utility rates Other Issues? 32
  33. 33. Task Forces Economic Development – To include air quality issues Health System Reform 33
  34. 34. Don’t Hesitate to Call We’re here to help – never be reluctant to call – About immigration… – or guns… – or any issue relating to businesses 34
  35. 35. Thank you Mike Bailey direct: (801) 536-6777 cell: (801) 201-0115 email: twitter: @utahcounselor 35