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Educator ‘time’ and voucher expansion bills headed to the governor – March 3

The pace is quick in the Session’s final days:

  • UEA-supported bills passing today and on their way to the governor for signature include Paid Professional Hours for Educators (HB396), Period Products in Schools (HB162, and full-day kindergarten (HB193).
  • UEA-opposed bills moving closer to law today include special needs voucher expansion (SB62), Regulatory Sandbox in Education (SB191) and Special Education Amendments (SB134).
  • Important bills still pending votes on the final day include Sensitive Materials in Schools (HB374), Health Education Amendments (HB274) and Student Eligibility in Interscholastic Activities (HB11).

UEA Capitol Insights Session Re-cap: The UEA Legislative Team will hold a session re-cap for all UEA members on Thursday, March 17, at 4:30 p.m. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER (NOTE: If you already signed up for the UEA Capitol Insights weekly Zoom briefings, you do not need to re-register.)

House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): The following UEA-tracked bills passed the House and now go to the governor for signature or veto:

The following bills passed the House and were returned to the Senate to approve changes:

Senate Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): The following UEA-tracked bills passed the Senate and now go back to the House to concur with changes.

  • HB428 (2nd sub.): School Safety Amendments requires the State Board of Education to provide training on certain state and federal law and requires an LEA to review information on harassment and discrimination within the LEA, adopt a plan for harassment- and discrimination-free learning, and report on the plan. The bill passed on a vote of 19-10.
  • HB346 (2nd sub.): Funding Independence in Foreign Language Education focuses primarily on higher education but also includes language making K-12 dual language immersion programs a program that will automatically receive enrollment growth and inflationary costs in the state funding formula. It passed unanimously.

The Senate concurred with House changes to the following bills and they now go to the governor for signature or veto:

 

LegTeam Insights

Your UEA Legislative Team is on the Hill every day, working behind the scenes to represent educators. Here are some insights:

Reported by Legislative Team Member Mike Kelley: The last week of any Utah General Legislative Session is always a whirlwind. People often ask why so many votes happen in the Session’s final days. Part of the reason is that any bill with a ‘fiscal note,’ meaning the bill needs money to implement, must wait for other administrative things to happen before they can receive a final vote.

Ultimately, it means the final week of the session is when many things happen. Even on the session’s last day, we’re watching a few bills very closely:

 

Policy Ambassador Messages

In 2022, 15 educators were selected as UEA Policy Ambassadors. These teachers received training from the UEA Legislative Team and agree to engage with legislators and share their experiences with UEA members. Here is an excerpt from a new submission:

Band Together to Create Real Change

Submitted by UEA Policy Ambassador Shelly DeWitt, school psychologist in the Tooele County School District

“I participated in a professional development course with Dr. Rebecca Branstetter who stated, “We have a choice: accept ‘what is’ and slog through our careers, or band together to create real change at a grassroots level and make this career what it was intended to be, helping prevent student failure and improving student outcomes in school and life.” This stuck with me and inspired me to apply to become a Policy Ambassador this year with UEA to be a part of real change. Being a part of something new can bring anxiety and apprehension. It is easy to be a part of change in ways that are comfortable, but sometimes it is essential to step outside of your comfort zone…”

 

Upcoming Schedule

Floor Time schedule for the Session’s final day, March 4:

  • House – 8 a.m. – noon, 2 – 5:50 p.m., 7 p.m. – midnight
  • Senate – 9 a.m. – 11:50 a.m., 2 – 5:50 p.m., 7 p.m. – midnight

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