2010 Legislative Session Recap

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The 2010 Utah General Legislative Session will be remembered for the responsible actions of legislators to balance the budget without impairing Utah’s nascent economic recovery.  …

The 2010 Utah General Legislative Session will be remembered for the responsible actions of legislators to balance the budget without impairing Utah’s nascent economic recovery. 

The Chamber worked to protect education funding and to advance man other business friendly policies. For a recap of the 2010 session, see the prioritized list of bills the Chamber either supported or opposed this session. 

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  • 1. S A L T L A K E C H A M B E R M A R C H 1 2 , 2 0 1 0 2010 Legislative Session Recap The 2010 Utah General Legislative Session will be remembered for the responsible actions of legislators to balance the budget without impairing Utah’s nascent economic recovery. The following is a brief update on critical business issues, as well as a prioritized list of bills the Chamber either supported or opposed this session. Budget The Legislature adeptly navigated an unprecedented budget challenge. The Chamber encouraged legislators to meet this challenge by adhering to several budget cornerstones: no general tax increase, keep commitment to transportation, invest in human capital, maximize state efficiencies and raise targeted user fees. We are pleased they incorporated each of these cornerstones into the final budget. The Legislature did the following: • Reduced state spending. • Passed a tobacco user fee that will generate approximately $44 million annually. • Used approximately $209 million of the Rainy Day Fund, leaving a balance of approximately $210 million. November 11, 2009: The Chamber laid out a plan to bridge the projected $850 million budget deficit while protecting public and higher education funding. slchamber.com 1
  • 2. S A L S T E Q L U A O K IE A C C H L A U MB B E R Education Our Education Committee chair, Mark Bouchard, worked tirelessly to coordinate the efforts of business leaders and Chamber staff to communicate the Chamber’s education message to legislators. We emphasized that Utah must continue to invest in the future by investing in education. A well-trained workforce is the single most important element for long- term business strength. In the end, the legislature funded higher and public education at FY 2010 roughly budget levels, avoiding cuts that would negatively affect business. February 24, 2010: The Chamber called for the Legislature to dig deeper into the Rainy Day Fund and increase the tobacco tax to protect education funding. Ethics The Legislature modernized Utah’s legislative ethics laws to support transparency and high standards of conduct in government. This legislation comes on the heels of last year’s efforts which established a one-year cooling-off period, strengthened the gift ban, placed limitations on the use of campaign funds after leaving public office and required annual ethics training for legislators and lobbyists. Taken together, the Utah Legislature has enacted the most significant ethics reform legislation in our state’s history and dramatically improved transparency and accountability in government. Ethics legislation passed this session includes: • Establishment of an independent ethics commission in the state constitution • A ban on gifts with a value greater than $10 • Stronger laws regarding financial and conflict of interest disclosure that also require such disclosures to be posted online, thereby increasing transparency • Restrictions on the use of funds raised for campaigns, including prohibitions on the use of campaign funds for personal expenditures • Changes to ethics complaint review process which depoliticizes the process slchamber.com 2
  • 3. S A L T L A K E C H A M B E R January 20, 2010: The Chamber presented the 2010 Public Policy Guide to House Speaker David Clark and Senate President Michael Waddoups Health System Reform The Legislature furthered Utah’s health system reform by passing legislation that addresses problems brought to light during the limited launch of the Utah Health Exchange. The Exchange, created last legislative session, facilitates a defined contribution market, available to employers as an option to provide health benefits. In its limited launch, it was discovered that an artificial price discrepancy existed between the Exchange and the market outside the Exchange, which deterred consumers from participating in the Exchange. To strengthen this foundational piece of Utah’s health system reform efforts, the Legislature passed H.B. 294, which resolves this issue without mandates. H.B. 294 resolves the pricing disparity while providing greater choice to all involved in our health system including employers, employees and insurance carriers. This legislation also allows for the establishment of a large group pilot project that has the potential to bring nearly 40,000 individuals to the Exchange. This volume will increase competition in the Exchange and begin to unleash the powers of market-based reform to contain costs, strengthen the economy and improve lives. Influence on the Hill ✓No general tax increases ✓Keep higher and public education at FY 2010 funding levels ✓Increase the tobacco tax to at least the national average ✓Use Rainy Day Fund as a strategic asset slchamber.com 3
  • 4. S A L S T E Q L U A O K IE A C C H L A U MB B E R Downtown In the final hours of the session, several important downtown issues were resolved. Emergency Operations Center The Legislature wisely inserted intent language into H.B. 3 that directs the State of Utah to work with Salt Lake City to determine the cost effectiveness and operational efficiencies of a joint Emergency Operations Center. Equalization This legislation brings much needed accountability to the use of certain funds received through capital outlay levy equalization programs. It sunsets certain of those programs in 2016 and it requires school districts which receive equalization funds to report to the Legislature on the use of those funds. North Temple Viaduct The legislature allocated $3.5 million for the construction of the North Temple Viaduct which will connect downtown with the Salt Lake International Airport via TRAX. Mayor Becker announces plans for EOC School District Capital Outlay Equalization The future of the North Temple Viaduct State Pension/Retirement System Reform The Legislature took on a difficult issue that, left unaddressed, would have negative impacted state budgets for the foreseeable future. The Legislature addressed this issue by establishing a two-tiered pension system whereby new hires after 2011 will work under a new set of retirement rules. It also eliminated the so-called "double dipping" that has occurred in state employment in recent years. slchamber.com 4
  • 5. S A L T L A K E C H A M B E R Priority A Education HB 1 – Newbold Minimum School Program Base Budget PASSED HB 4 – Newbold Current School Year Supplemental Minimum School Program Budget Adjustments PASSED SB 1 – Hillyard State Agency and Higher Education Base Budget PASSED SB 2 – Stephenson Minimum School Program Budget Amendments PASSED SB 175 – McAdams School District Capital Outlay Equalization Amendments PASSED Ethics HB 124 – Cosgrove Campaign Funds Expenditure Restrictions PASSED HB 267 – Garn Lobbyist Disclosure and Regulation Act Amendments PASSED HB 270 – Hughes Financial Disclosure and Conflict of Interest Amendments PASSED HJR 14 – Hughes Joint Rules Resolution on Financial Disclosures PASSED HJR 15 – D. Clark Joint Resolution on Legislative Ethics Commission PASSED SB 136 – Valentine Open and Public Meetings Revisions Related to Review of Ethics Complaints PASSED SB 138 – Valentine Grama Revisions Related to Review of Ethics Complaints PASSED SJR 3 – Valentine Joint Resolution on Ethics Complaint Procedures PASSED SB 275 – Stephenson Removing Signature from Initiative and Referendum Petition PASSED Health Care HB 294 – D. Clark Health System Reform Amendments PASSED HCR 8 – D. Clark Concurrent Resolution on Federal Health Care Reform PASSED SB 145 – Adams Medical Malpractice Amendments PASSED State Budget HB 3 – Bigelow Appropriations Adjustments PASSED HB 196 – Ray Tobacco Tax Revisions PASSED SB 259 – Christensen Amendments to Tobacco Tax PASSED Transportation SB 215 – Niederhauser Highway Project Funding - Salt Lake County PASSED Priority B Business Regulation HB 18 – Mascaro Unemployment Insurance Amendments PASSED Economic Development SB 73 – Bramble Sales and Use Tax Exemption Relating to Aircraft PASSED Energy HB 70 – Draxler Certification of Retrofit Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles PASSED Health Care SB 273 – Hillyard Hospital Assessments PASSED Retirement SB 42 – Liljenquist Retirement Eligibility Modifications SB 43 – Liljenquist Post-retirement Employment Amendments PASSED SB 63 – Liljenquist New Public Employees' Tier II Contributory Retirement Act PASSED SB 94 – Liljenquist Supplemental Benefit Amendments for Noncontributory Public Employees SB 171 – Liljenquist Higher Education Retirement Amendments PASSED SB 240 – Liljenquist Retirement Participation Amendments PASSED Transportation HB 438 – Lockhart Transportation Modifications PASSED Priority C Business Regulation HB 15 – Dunnigan Deferred Deposit Lending Amendments PASSED HB 17 – Mascaro Amendments to Programs for People with Disabilities PASSED HB 23 – Beck Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing PASSED HB 43 – Mascaro Unemployment Compensation Amendments PASSED HB 45 – Morley State Construction Code Adoption PASSED HB 53 – Wilcox Foreclosure Rescue and Loan Modification Amendments PASSED HB 139 – Oda Emergency and Disaster Management Amendments PASSED HB 289 – Oda Judicial Nominating Commission Amendments PASSED HB 307 – Hughes General County Powers Amendments PASSED HCR 5 – Daw Concurrent Resolution Recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America PASSED SB 26 – Urquhart Utah E-Commerce Integrity Act PASSED SB 108 – Jenkins Judicial Nominating Commission Staff Amendments SB 179 – Liljenquist Utah Revised Business Corporation Act Amendments PASSED slchamber.com 5
  • 6. S A L T L A K E C H A M B E R Priority C (cont’d) Economic Development HB 24 – Wallis Economic Development Incentives Act Amendments PASSED HB 118 – Harper Economic Development Incentives Modifications PASSED SB 51 – Hillyard Bioprospecting PASSED SB 123 – Hillyard Motion Picture Incentive Fund Amendments PASSED SB 124 – Stevenson Military Installation Development Authority Modifications PASSED Education HB 166 – Dougall Reductions to Education Mandates PASSED SB 16 – Stephenson Utah Performance Assessment System for Students (U-PASS) Amendments PASSED SB 95 – Niederhauser Utah Educational Savings Plan Amendments PASSED SB 132 – Valentine Higher Education Scholarship Amendments PASSED Energy HB 192 – Watkins Renewable Energy - Methane Gas PASSED HB 228 – Barrus Renewable Energy Source Amendments PASSED HJR 5 – Moss Joint Resolution on Clean Air PASSED SB 47 – Van Tassell Electrical Utility Amendments - Efficiency and Conservation Tariff PASSED SB 104 – Urquhart Renewable Energy Modifications PASSED SB 242 – Van Tassell Economic Development Incentives for Alternative Energy Projects PASSED Health Care HB 20 – Dunnigan Amendments to Health Insurance Coverage in State Contracts PASSED HB 25 – Newbold Health Reform - Administrative Simplification PASSED HB 52 – Newbold Health Reform - Uniform Electronic Standards - Insurance Information PASSED HB 71 – Ray Nicotine Product Restrictions HB 88 – Newbold Electronic Cigarette Restrictions PASSED HB 206 – Ray Ban on Sale of Smoking Paraphernalia to Minors PASSED HB 408 – Last Hospital Claims Management PASSED HB 421 – Last Medical Financial Records Amendments PASSED HB 459 – D. Clark Health Amendments PASSED HJR 11 – Morley Joint Resolution Regarding Federal Health Insurance Reform PASSED HJR 27 – Newbold Authentic Charity Healthcare Joint Resolution PASSED SB 208 – Okerlund Jury Amendments State Budget HB 49 – Kiser Amendments Related to Tax, Fee, or Charge Administered by the State Tax Commission PASSED HB 464 – Dougall Family Health Services RFPs - Tobacco Settlement Funds PASSED Transportation SB 272 – Stevenson Amendments to Transportation Provisions PASSED Oppose HB 85 – Seegmiller Responsible Development of Nuclear Power Generation RULES HB 90 – King Income Tax Amendments RULES HB 227 – Sandstrom Licensing Eligibility BOARD HB 203 – Watkins Repeal of Sales and Use Tax Exemption Relating to Mining RULES HB 428 – Greenwood Nonresident Tuition Amendments RULES SB 27 – Hillyard Sales and Use Tax Definition of Tangible Personal Property RULES SB 115 – Robles Unemployment Insurance Revisions FAILED SB 151 – Bramble Collection, Remittance, and Retention of Certain Taxes, Fees, or Charges RULES SB 251 – Buttars Verification of Employment Eligibility PASSED* *The Chamber worked to moderate this bill and does not support this legislation. slchamber.com 6