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2015 Utah Legislative Session, What Happened and What's Next

There were many issues that received a lot of attention during the 2015 legislative session. How did the legislature’s actions affect your business? We can help you understand the session’s impacts.

What are the legislature’s plans for 2016? How can you protect your business during the upcoming legislative study sessions and the 2016 legislative session?

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2015 Utah Legislative Session, What Happened and What's Next

  1. 1. 2015 UTAH LEGISLATIVE SESSION: WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT’S NEXT Mike Bailey Shelly Cordon Teuscher Salt Lake City April 9, 2015 4829-1971-5619 parsonsbehle.com
  2. 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. 3 I. Utah Legislature by the Numbers II. 2015 Session Review (using themes) III. Protecting Your Business by Playing an Active Role Please ask questions throughout Outline of Presentation
  4. 4. 4 63 24 12 5 2015 House and Senate Composition Republicans Republicans DemocratsDemocrats House Senate
  5. 5. 5  Some things stayed exactly the same (Senate Majority Leadership)  Some things changed drastically (House) 2015 Legislative Session 2014 2015 Speaker Lockhart Hughes Majority Leader Dee Dunnigan Majority Whip Hughes Gibson Majority Asst. Whip Ipson Wilson Appropriations Chair Brown Sanpei Appropriations Vice-Chair Wilson Dee Rules Chair Sanpei Noel
  6. 6. 6  New Speaker added intrigue, and battled Senate President  Many bills were not heard; hearings in both houses  Serious mood; not many “weird” issues  As usual, the media focused on the “easy” issues  A “quiet” $500M went to schools 2015 Legislative Session
  7. 7. 7 It was a Record Setting Session 5 bills were vetoed HB 385 (Renaming Veterans’ Highway) SB 249 (Railroad crossings) SB 278 (Motion pictures) HB 197 (State Board of Education) SB 94 (Overpayment of corporate franchise or income taxes)  831 bills were introduced (record)  528 bills passed (record)
  8. 8. 8 764 748 786 831 478 524 484 528 Comparing Bill Passage Over Time Bills Introduced Bills Introduced Bills Passed (70%) Bills Passed (64%) 2012 2013 2014 Bills Introduced Bills Passed (62%) 2015 Bills Introduced Bills Passed (63%)
  9. 9. 9 478 524 484 528 235 260 276 277 Many Bills Passed in the Final Week Bills Passed Bills Passed Last Week (50%) Last Week (49%) 2012 2013 Bills Passed Last Week (57%) 2014 2015 Bills Passed Last Week (52%)
  10. 10. 10 2015 Bill Passage By The Numbers Republican - sponsored bills that passed (487) Democrat - sponsored bills that passed (41) 2013: 94% Republican 6% Democrat 2014: 89% Republican 11% Democrat 2015: 92% Republican 8% Democrat
  11. 11. 11 65% of the bills introduced by Republicans passed 52% of the bills introduced by Democrats passed Effectiveness of Legislators by Party Republicans Democrats 2012: 64% Republicans 55% Democrats 2013: 73% Republicans 43% Democrats 2014: 64% Republicans 49% Democrats
  12. 12. 12  Most Prolific Legislators By Party Republican – Sen. Curt Bramble (28 for 32) 88% pass rate Democrat – Sen. Karen Mayne (9 for 12) 75% pass rate 2015 Bill Passage By The Numbers
  13. 13. 13 78% 73% 76% 71% 56% 73% 56% 60% Senate Sponsored v. House Sponsored Passage Rates (Republicans only) Senate Senate HouseHouse 2012 2013 Senate House 2014 2015 Senate House
  14. 14. 14 The Session’s Broad Themes The Boutique Issues The Really Big Issues Heavily debated & usually received media attention The Ordinary Issues Expected, not surprising
  15. 15. 15 The Really Big Issues These bills were heavily debated and usually received media attention
  16. 16. 16 Anti-Discrimination  “Threaded the Needle”, not once, but twice  People cried, applauded, hugged
  17. 17. 17 Tax Increases!  In a year with budget surpluses? Sad but true!  Property Tax  Sales Tax – maybe – Gas Tax – City Tax - maybe
  18. 18. 18 Healthy Utah – Dead Man Walking
  19. 19. 19 Healthy Utah – Dead Man Walking  No deal  And the talk goes on until July 31  Special session in August?  Even if you lead the House to water, they may not drink
  20. 20. 20 Criminal Justice Reform
  21. 21. 21 So, Let’s Move the Prison!  PRADA 1.0, PRADA 2.0, PRC = PDC  $80M in funding plus process  Pick a site  Special session?
  22. 22. 22 And Air Quality Did OK  Legislators put their money where their mouth was: – Enhanced funding – Replacing dirty diesel school buses (almost)  Not everything passed: – Increase in fines and lengthening of statute of limitations (SB 208 failed by a 12-14 vote)  Some went backwards: – Wood-burning stoves
  23. 23. 23 “No more stringent” became “May be different”  Utah law said 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 – PASSED
  24. 24. 24 The Ordinary Issues Things that were expected or not surprising
  25. 25. 25 Nothing Big on Liquor  Wasn’t for lack of effort  Unless you count Palchohol – Utah’s prohibition passed the day after the federal government approved it
  26. 26. 26 Political Reform  Lobbyist Restrictions Loosened  Still No Limits On Campaign Donations
  27. 27. 27 Count My Vote  Attempts to amend it failed – “A deal is a deal.”
  28. 28. 28 The Boutique Issues
  29. 29. 29 Commerce & Regulation  Uber-regulation – Taxis are freed too! – Better negotiate before you get in  Zenefits legalized too  Tesla’s bill did not pass
  30. 30. 30  Just talk to Dallin Jensen, David Bird or Wendy Crowther  It was a tale of two bills that passed – HB 25 sponsored by Rep. Lowry Snow ( Sen. Dayton – Senate Sponsor) – 3 HB 43 sponsored by Rep. Kay McIff  HB 25 restored the power of the state water engineer to evaluate non-use in a change application  3 HB 43 modified the procedure for filing a change application by a shareholder of an irrigation company Water
  31. 31. 31 And Weird Stuff, as Always  Medical Marijuana? In Utah?  Cow share – Who knew?  Cockfighting  State Domestic Animal  Death Penalty  Seatbelts
  32. 32. 32 And Weird Stuff, as Always  Constitutional Convention  High School Civics Test  Breastfeeding Anti-Discrimination in the Workplace
  33. 33. 33 Healthy Utah Notwithstanding, They More or Less Do the Right Thing  Anti-discrimination  Refused to bail out millionaires
  34. 34. 34 Issues That May Be Headed Our Way
  35. 35. 35  Health Insurance  Automobile Franchise Laws  Medicaid Expansion  Minimum Wage  Daylight Savings Time  Medical Marijuana  Air Quality Master Study Resolution
  36. 36. 36  Safety Inspection Repeal  Bear Lake  Tire Fees  Property Taxes  E-Cigarettes  State Inheritance Tax  Historic Districts Master Study Resolution
  37. 37. 37 Ways to Succeed  We’re from the legislature and we’re here to help – Change the rules in midstream – Allow a new business product  First, do no harm – Permission is easier than forgiveness – Defense, defense, defense
  38. 38. 38 How We Succeed  Relationships with legislators  Relationships with other lobbyists  Strategic alliances  Work with trade associations  Take reasonable positions  Be ever-vigilant
  39. 39. 39  We strategize  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 you get whatever you need to protect your businesses (no request is too difficult) How We Succeed
  40. 40. 40 How did PB&L do?  It was a very good session for PB&L
  41. 41. 41  Get in the Game – Stay apprised of any developments – 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
  42. 42. 42  Legislature has study committees that meet monthly  Master study list gives some idea of issues to be studied Protecting Your Business
  43. 43. 43  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 medical marijuana Takeaways
  44. 44. 44  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

There were many issues that received a lot of attention during the 2015 legislative session. How did the legislature’s actions affect your business? We can help you understand the session’s impacts. What are the legislature’s plans for 2016? How can you protect your business during the upcoming legislative study sessions and the 2016 legislative session?

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