by Becky GINOS
UTAH STATE CAPITOL—Lawmakers have completed another week on Capitol Hill and the session is picking up steam. Here are a few highlights.
“We’re busy like normal,” said Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams, R-Layton. “The biggest issue is education funding. We’ll also try to deal with federal tax reform and try to do something as a state.”
Adams is also serving on a suicide awareness task force. “It’s been interesting and eye opening,” he said. “It really affects everyone. Society and the community should do something so we’ve brought knowledgeable people together to come up with suggestions for the legislature to help. (The key) is awareness but we all need to be more self-aware on how to handle a crisis. We all have them. Be a good friend and be inclusive.”
Transportation is another major issue, Adams said. “We approved the bond on Hwy 89 and the West Davis Corridor, etc. It’s a big deal in Davis County, there are a lot of construction needs.”
Along with transportation, the Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force is working on a bill to restructure the governance of UTA. According to Sen. Todd Weiler’s weekly update the bill would “replace the 16-member, part-time, volunteer board with a three member, full-time Board of Trustees.” The governor would nominate the board members and appointees would come from major service areas.
Weiler proposed SB138 that sets out a court process for a gender change petition and establishes what a judge considers to make a decision for transgender people who want to legally change their gender through the courts.
Another bill, SB118 also sponsored by Weiler, would penalize doctors for not showing an informational video to women before an abortion. In the current law there is not an enforcement provision. Weiler said he would like to make sure doctors are complying with the law.