Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Week three of session is complete! As of this week, 535 bills have been numbered and 58 of those bills have passed in both the House and Senate. With only four weeks left in the session, we certainly have a lot of work to do, but we are making great progress. Below is an update on a handful of the bills we considered this week. You can research more bills here.
Thursday afternoon, we expressed our heartfelt gratitude for the brave first responders who gave their lives protecting Utahns across the state by joining their families and friends in a moment of silence on the Senate floor. We are blessed to live in a state with such incredible individuals willing to give their all on our behalf. Read the citation here.
We also recognized 30 wonderful teachers who have gone the extra mile to become National Board Certified Teachers. National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in education and goes beyond required state licensure. We commend these teachers for their efforts and wish them continued success in their professional endeavors.
This week, we also recognized those born with an omphalocele birth defect and the medical professionals who assist children and their families following a diagnosis. An omphalocele occurs when one major organ is formed outside an individual’s body. Those with an omphalocele birth defect often spend months in the NICU and experience lifelong health challenges. We recognized individuals directly impacted by an omphalocele diagnosis for their strength and determination despite their difficult circumstances. Read the citation here.
Tuesday, February 1, was National Unclaimed Property Day. One in five Utahns have lost money, and each year the state receives tens of millions of dollars of Utahns’ lost money and tangible property. At the end of 2021, we received $66.7 million in lost property online, waiting to be claimed. I encourage each of you to search our state’s unclaimed property database at mycash.utah.gov for any unclaimed property you, your family, friends, deceased relatives or organizations might have.
Wireless Communication Device in a Motor Vehicle
S.B. 102 Wireless Communication Device in a Motor Vehicle prohibits an individual from using a wireless communication device to view or take a photograph while operating a motor vehicle with certain exceptions such as using GPS, medical emergencies and reporting a safety hazard or criminal activity. If this bill passes, those who violate these provisions are at risk of a suspended driver’s license. S.B. 102 passed in the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy and Technology Committee and will now be considered on the Senate floor. Listen to the committee presentation here.
Public School Curriculum Requirements
S.B. 114 Public School Curriculum Requirements establishes an open process for parents to review and recommend instructional materials for board approval. This bill requires:
- Parental involvement when school boards consider changes to district-wide curriculum resources that are pre-approved by the board.
- A public hearing before a board adopts and approves district-wide materials and resources.
- School districts to inform teachers and parents of the district’s own standards for supplemental materials that teachers can select.
This bill does not place restrictions on the materials teachers may use or place any additional requirements on teachers. It does, however, grant parents the right to see and give their opinion on the materials considered by their local school boards or charter schools. S.B. 114 passed in the Senate Education Committee and will now be considered on the Senate floor. Listen to the committee presentation here.
Electronic Vehicle Registration Amendments
S.B. 99 Electronic Vehicle Registration Amendments would permit a driver to display a photograph of a registration card on a mobile device instead of showing a paper form. This change would follow similar laws already in place for showing proof of insurance on a mobile device. The Senate passed S.B. 99, and the House will now consider the bill. Listen to the floor presentation here.
School Board Expansion Requirements
Utah is the fastest growing state in the nation. This growth has made it difficult for school districts to predict where population growth will occur. In high growth areas, equal school board representation can be a problem. For example, in Jordan School District, one of the seven school board members represents half of the households in the district as a result of uneven population growth.
S.B. 78 School Board Expansion Requirements would allow local school boards to expand when population growth warrants it. S.B. 78 passed in the Senate and will now be considered in the House. Listen to the Senate floor presentation here.
I look forward to hearing from you!
I’ll continually keep you informed about my work on the Hill – likewise, please keep in touch – I’d love to hear your insights and opinions.
I can be reached by email at email@example.com. My mobile phone number is (801) 319-0170. You’re also welcome to join me at the Capitol any time.
If you’d like to meet with me in person outside of interim or the legislative session, you can reach Jason Gould at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’ll help us get in touch.
I’m truly grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me to serve in this capacity. We live in a unique and special place. Thank you for all you do to make Utah the best state in the nation – and thanks for paying attention.
Until next time,
Senator Keith Grover
Utah Senate District 15