Tonight at midnight we will reach the end of the 2017 Legislative Session. We will not meet again as a full Legislature until next January, unless Governor Herbert calls us into a Special Session or the Legislature decides to have a veto override session. We will, however, still meet for regular meetings (described below) throughout the year.
I will continue to do my best to stay in touch with you and hope you will do the same with me. I appreciate hearing from you all times of the year about issues that are important to you. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the coming months.
The Process from Here
While many bills will be passed by both the House and Senate during the session, that does not mean that they will have become law quite yet. Before they reach that status, they must first be considered by Governor Herbert. When considering a bill, the governor has three options: sign the bill and make it law; refrain from signing the bill for 20 days, after which it becomes law; or veto the legislation. So if you have concerns about bills or appropriations that passed this session, now is the time to contact Governor Herbert and ask him to veto the bill.
If the governor chooses to veto a bill, the legislature then has the option of calling a veto override session. If that happens and the vetoed bill passes with the support of two-thirds of legislators in both houses, it then becomes law. Veto override sessions are rather rare, but they are occasionally held.
End of Session Updates
The Legislature's award-winning website allows you to search for all bills considered this year, as well as in past sessions. By using the search bar at the top of the webpage, you can find a bill's page, which shows the text of the bill and other information about the legislation. If you click on "status" at the top of the bill's page, you can find each step of the process the bill has passed through. If the most recent status of the bill is listed as "prepared for enrolling," that means the bill is awaiting the governor's consideration. If it says "signed by the governor," then the bill is now a law. Most laws take effect 60 days after the session ends.
Also, tomorrow our website will contain reports prepared by our staff summarizing which bills passed and failed and the major bills passed during the session. Budget information will also be available.
We had a fairly good year for clean air legislation and appropriations. You can find the status of the session's proposed clean air bills and appropriation requests here. The column on the far right will list the status of the legislation and appropriations as of late tonight. But things could change before midnight, so always check the status on the legislative website.
Upcoming Interims, Committees and Task Force Meetings
While the Legislature is constitutionally-bound to only meet as a body to pass legislation for 45 days a year, we still meet the rest of the year to consider bills and appropriations for the next legislative session. Except for April and November, legislators will meet on the third Wednesday of each month to consider proposed legislation. These are called "Interim meetings." I encourage you to write me about your ideas for proposed legislation and any bills you may have concerns with that are being considered during Interim meetings. As always, you can find our agendas on our website: www.le.utah.gov.
We will be traveling during our April Interim meeting to learn about issues in rural Utah. The two-day site visit will include stops in Piute, Millard, Iron, Garfield and Sevier counties.
Various other committees and task forces will also meet periodically throughout the year. I already have a variety of assignments and anticipate receiving a few more by April.
The bipartisan Clean Air Caucus will meet most Tuesday nights before our monthly Interim meetings. We welcome your ideas on how to improve our air quality.
Money Owed to You
Occasionally I like to share useful tips that I learn up at the Capitol. The state provides a lot of helpful services that not many people are aware of yet. One such service is MyCash.Utah.gov, a website that helps Utahns find "lost" money that is owed to them. Each year millions of unclaimed dollars are turned over to the State Treasurer from a variety of sources, such as unused bank accounts or uncashed insurance checks.
By following this link, you can enter your first and last name and the website will search the state's database to see if there is any unclaimed money that belongs to you. Now aren't you glad you're on this mailing list?
Visitors at the Capitol
As the Legislative Session concludes, I want to thank you for the extraordinarily helpful input that I have received from so many of you. As I have said before - your comments help me more effectively represent you in state government.
I began the session with a binder on my desk in the House Chamber which contained copies of many of your email messages. As the session continued, that binder became a bigger binder, and that binder then became two binders. During debates, I would constantly refer to your messages to know what some you thought about legislation we were considering. Your input truly helped me understand many issues that were new to me. For that, I am very thankful.
I also want to thank my incredible intern, Christian Mower, for his help on these updates and all his other amazing work before and during the session. He is an incredibly talented, bright and hard-working student. I have truly been lucky to have such great assistance on the hill.
After the session, my updates will be less regular, but I encourage you to stay in touch with me about matters that are important to you. I will continue to read all your messages and work to improve the quality of life in our state.