2023 Legislative Update: Week 2

January 23-27, 2023

Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

The Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee (HEAS) continued its meetings this week and heard presentations from several USHE institutions. The response from HEAS committee members has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly with the institutions’ willingness to openly confront the challenges they are facing, as well as celebrating their successes. The remainder of the institutions will give their presentations in upcoming meetings.

Below are links to the college and university presentations so far:

The subcommittee also heard updates from the Commissioner and his staff on USHE’s Talent Ready Utahsimplified admissionsstate scholarshipstransition to creditmy529, and USHE student mental health and well-being. While we received very encouraging feedback on all these presentations, HEAS committee members reiterated their support for a common application and simplified admissions. They were particularly impressed with the breadth of the System’s efforts around student mental health.

USHE partner Keys to Success also presented to HEAS this week.

Legislation of Interest

SB 146 – Higher Education Amendments by Sen. Millner — removes an exception for public employment of a relative under certain circumstances; creates, within the University of Utah, the Office of the Commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education and the Utah Board of Higher Education for the purposes of shared administrative services; amends the duties of the Commissioner and various aspects of the Board, including membership and duties, nominating and appointment process; repeals requirements regarding the establishment of certain committees; amends provisions regarding the employment, support, and evaluation of institution of higher education presidents; amends provisions regarding the approval of programs; requires the Board to engage in certain program and discipline reviews; amends provisions regarding the set aside and reallocation of new performance funding; repeals obsolete provisions regarding past requirements.

SB 43 – Public Notice Requirments by Sen. Pitcher — Proposed tuition increases –Notice – Hearings – If an institution within the State System of Higher Education considers increasing tuition rates for undergraduate students in the process of preparing or implementing its budget, it shall hold a meeting to receive public input and response on the issue. The institution shall advertise the hearing, as required, using the following procedure: The institution shall advertise its intent to consider an increase in student tuition.

SB 128 – Public Safety Officer Scholarship Program by Sen. Ipson — Creates a public safety officer scholarship program for high school graduates.

SB 125 – Transportation Infrastructure Amendments by Sen. Wilson — Designates the ASPIRE Engineering Research Center at Utah State University as the research center for strategic planning for electrification of transportation infrastructure in this state; creates a steering committee and requires the creation of an industry advisory board to assist in the direction of the research center and initiative; provides duties of the steering committee, industry advisory board, and the research center; requires reports on the proposed action plan and goals of the initiative.

HB 102 – Higher Education Residency Amendments by Rep. Teuscher — Amends higher education residency provisions by requiring an institution to grant residency status to an individual who is not a citizen of the U.S. but has been granted or has applied for certain immigration status.

HB 116 – Intergenerational Poverty Solution by Rep. Thurston — Creates the Education Savings Incentive Program (the program), including:

  • providing a process for an individual identified by the Department of Workforce Services as experiencing intergenerational poverty to receive a state match of deposits into certain 529 savings accounts;
  • providing for the sharing of information between the Department of Workforce Services, the Utah Educational Savings Plan, and the State Tax Commission; and
  • requiring the Department of Workforce Services and the Utah Educational Savings Plan to provide information about the program to the Legislature through the department’s annual report.

HB 234 – University Recognition for International Baccalaureate Achievement by Rep. Spackman — Amends the Board’s requirement for acceptance of credit for prior learning; requires institutions to award credit for International subject scores under certain circumstances; allows institutions, in collaboration with the International Baccalaureate State Association and school International Baccalaureate program coordinators, to determine to what degree requirements the credit will be awarded; requires the Board to consult with the International Baccalaureate State Association and school International Baccalaureate program coordinators to develop policies regarding standards for awarding International Baccalaureate program credits.

HB 278 – First Responder Mental Health Services Grant by Rep. Wilcox — Creates the First Responder Mental Health Services Grant Program to be administered by the Utah Board of Higher Education to provide grants for specific retirees who are studying at certain educational institutions to become mental health therapists.

HB 81 – Mental Health Treatment Amendments by Rep. King – Requires health plans offered by a governmental entity that opts out of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (the act) to substantially comply with the act, including the act’s financial requirements and treatment limitations; provides limitations that a governmental entity may place on residential treatment coverage;

HB 295 – Educator License Amendments by Rep. Thurston — Allows individuals who complete certain educator training programs, without receiving a bachelor’s degree, to obtain an educator license from the State Board of Education; requires the State Board of Education to establish licensing standards for educator training programs.

HB 109 – Veteran Dependent Tuition Amendments by Rep. Musselman — Provides the conditions under which a state institution of higher education is required to waive undergraduate tuition for the dependent of a disabled veteran. 

HB 197 – Higher Education Financial Amendments by Rep. Ballard — Allows a president of a state institution of higher education to waive tuition for students who are members of certain tribes; extends the length of eligibility for promise grants; allows the Utah Board of Higher Education to name a promise partner grant after a business that has funded the grant; extends promise partner grants to dependents of promise partner employees; allows Veterans Tuition Gap Program funds to be applied to education-related supplies and housing allowances.

HB 203 – Inmate Education Amendments by Rep. Ballard — Directs the Higher Education and Corrections Council to facilitate postsecondary education for inmates housed in county jails; directs the Utah Board of Higher Education to assign student success advisors to correctional facilities; removes a provision requiring an inmate to pay 50% of tuition at the time of enrollment; requires an institution of higher education to consider an inmate a state resident for tuition purposes; directs the Department of Corrections to:

  • provide an inmate with certain education during the time the inmate’s case action plan is being developed;
  • require an education plan for each inmate’s case action plan; and
  • house inmates participating in postsecondary certificate or degree programs in common residential units; requires a correctional facility to inform an individual sending money to an inmate that a process exists for the individual to review the inmate’s financial records.”

SB 47 – Incarcerated Youth Education Amendments by Sen. Owens — Clarifies a definition related to the Utah Tech University Higher Education for Incarcerated Youth Program.

SB 18 – Public Expression Protection Act by Sen. Bramble — applies to a cause of action asserted in a civil action against a person based on the person’s: communication in a legislative, executive, judicial, administrative, or other governmental proceeding; communication on an issue under consideration or review in a legislative, executive, judicial, administrative, or other governmental proceeding; or exercise of the right of freedom of speech or of the press, the right to assemble or petition, or the right of association, guaranteed by the United States Constitution or Utah Constitution, on a matter of public concern.

HB 238 – Political Party Public Meetings Facilities by Rep. Brammer — Amends the use of public meeting buildings by political parties to include public institutions of higher education.

HB 263 – Apprenticeship on Public Works Requirements by Rep. Dailey-Provost — This bill enacts provisions relating to labor provided by an apprentice for a public works project. This bill makes technical and conforming changes and for certain public works projects: requires that a specified amount of labor be performed by an apprentice; establishes other requirements for a contract between a government entity and a contractor relating to labor provided by an apprentice; and provides exceptions to the apprentice labor requirement under certain circumstances.

SB 136 – Legislative Office Amendments by Sen. Bramble — When requested by the Office of the Legislative Auditor General, each entity that the legislative auditor general is authorized to audit under Utah Constitution shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, provide the office with immediate access to information, materials, or resources the office determines is necessary to conduct an audit, examination, investigation, or review

HB 21 – Open and Public Meetings Act Amendments by Rep. Briscoe — Amendments require a public body holding an open meeting to allow a reasonable opportunity for the public to provide verbal comment at the meeting, with certain exceptions, and require a public body to adopt a resolution, rule, or ordinance allowing public comment in a public meeting.

Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director