For the first 43 days of the Legislative Session we’ve met in a variety of committees: standing, appropriation, sub-committees, task forces, commissions. Each of them play an important role in the legislative process. Committees are where bills are first heard, either on the House or the Senate side. By rule, each bill should have a hearing in both House and Senate Committees. Our leadership team this year has been very focused on making sure this has been the case. In fact, in an effort to give all bills a chance to go through that process we have held committees for an extra two days this session, ending this afternoon. Committees are where in-depth discussions and questions on bills can be explored. They are also the only opportunity for public input on proposed legislation. They are important!
So, as of this afternoon, we are done with committees for the 2015 legislative session. We now move on to full time on the House and Senate floor. The House at this point is pretty much only discussing Senate bills and vice versa. In the next two days we will be spending 25 hours on the floor. This is approximately the equivalent of the time we spent on the floor during the first two weeks of the session.
The following are budget bills we passed today. Also, HB 226, my air quality bill allowing Utah experts to create state-specific rules to address EPA standards, passed the Senate 2nd Reading Calendar with a vote of 22-7. We still have to pass the 3rd Reading Calendar in the Senate, but I’m thinking that will most likely happen tomorrow. Sen. Todd Weiler did a great job as our Senate sponsor and helped a lot with the success of the bill on the Senate side. The complete Clean Air Bill Tracker as of today is at the bottom of this post.
Air Quality bills: