Countdown Begins: 6 Bills to Watch the Last 6 Days

6As the 2015 legislative session speeds to a close, I thought it might be fun to start a countdown.

With six days left, here are six bills worth watching.

1. Utah Cares, HB 446, is the House proposal for caring for more Utahns needing health coverage. It passed out of committee last night and will be debated on the floor. This is the alternative to “Healthy Utah,” the Governor’s plan which still has significant and very vocal support.

2. Anti-discrimination/religious liberty, SB 296, will probably sail through with explicit support from the LDS Church, but there’s opposition too. Conservative groups like the Utah Eagle Forum, and libertarian group, Libertas Institute of Utah, oppose this bill for a variety of reasons.

3. Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act, SB 169, is a bill to prevent price-fixing by contact lens manufacturers. It passed the Senate and the House committee, but has heavy lobbying against the bill by – no surprise – the contact lens manufacturers. The stated goal by one manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, is to disincentivize consumers from price shopping.

4. Medicaid Waivers for Children with Complex Medical Needs, HB 199 is a bill that proposes a pilot program to help families with children who have extensive medical needs. This bill has been tabled on the Senate 3rd reading calendar, waiting to see if there is funding. The funding question is directly tied to #1, and how much the state will be funding health care.

5. HB 394 deals with Tesla dealerships and a current law that prevents them from even opening their doors. Freshman Representative Kim Coleman is working to get this bill through so Tesla can open their doors as soon as possible. (The Tesla dealership was scheduled to open tomorrow but were denied a license.)

6. Cow Sharing. Yup. It’s a thing. HB 104 says that two or more parties can share ownership of a cow (currently legal) and share the milk produced by the cow (currently illegal). This bill has passed the House and is in the hands of the Senate.

BONUS: HB348, Epic Criminal Justice Revisions. (Pretty sure that’s the actual title.) Representative Eric Hutchings has been a tireless advocate for reform. It looks like this is THE YEAR that our criminal justice systems sees generational changes for the better.  The bill is out of the House and on the Senate floor.

What else should be added to this list?

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