Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Interim Report from Marc Roberts

During the summer months the legislature meets once a month on the third Wednesday for legislative interim meetings. We had our first summer interim meeting last week and also held a special session the same day.

I sit on the Business and Labor interim committee and the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice interim committee.

Our Business and Labor committee received a presentation from the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce regarding the Grand Boulevards Corridor Plan, which is an effort to create a more welcoming and attractive impression of Salt Lake City when visitors enter or leave via 500 South and 600 South. We also heard a presentation on proposed legislation for the Revised Business Corporation Act.

Our Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice committee received several reports from the Sentencing Commission, the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, the Department of Corrections and the Board of Pardons and Parole.

One interesting report we receive every year is from the Sentencing Commission. Part of their report shows the number of new felonies or misdemeanors added during the previous legislative session. I'm always very hesitant to add new criminal penalties, for the most part I think we have enough as it is and many people don't even know what they all are. The last two pages of the this report will show you a table of all the additional criminal penalties over the last few years.

After the interim meetings were over we met for a special session called by the Governor. The Governor vetoed a number of funding line items related to education. We had enough votes to for a veto override session but I don't think the Governor wanted us to publicly override his vetoes right now while he is in campaign mode. Our leadership agreed to have a special session instead. Ultimately we ended up reinstating the line items he had vetoed anyway.

We also passed a resolution opposing the creation of the Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan county. It is likely President Obama, prior to leaving office, will create at least one, and possibly more, national monuments in our State, similar to what Clinton did with the Escalante National Staircase.

The monument would lock up hundreds of thousands of acres and would be devastating for the local communities in the area and would continue to set bad precedent of Presidents using the executive power to make political statements. The resolution passed overwhelmingly.

If you would like to see the report from all of the interim meetings you can find it here.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

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Marc Roberts - Utah House | 801-210-0155