2024 Legislative Update: Week 1

Utah State Capitol building

January 16-19, 2024

Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

On Thursday, January 18, the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee convened its first meeting of the 2024 legislative session. Presentations included an overview of the Utah System of Higher Education and Talent Ready Utah

Members of the HEAS voted unanimously to include the Board of Higher Education’s prioritized requests for appropriations in the subcommittee’s list of requests for appropriations that will be considered later in the session. 

Upcoming Appropriations Subcommittee Meetings

  • Monday, January 22, 8 a.m. Agenda
  • Wednesday, January 24, 8 a.m.
  • Friday, January 26, 8 a.m.
  • Tuesday, January 30, 8 a.m.
  • Thursday, February 1, 8 a.m.

Legislation of Interest

HB 22 – Concurrent Enrollment Revisions (Rep. Val Peterson, Sen. Lincoln Fillmore) — Expands the PRIME program eligibility by adding participation in a youth apprenticeship to the list of options for qualifying for the TRANSFORM certificate. Removes the previously specified scholarship amount ($500) of a TRANSFORM certificate and requires the Utah Board of Higher Education to determine scholarship amount based on the number of eligible students and appropriations made by the Legislature.

HB 67 – First Responder Mental Health Services Grant Program Amendments (Rep. Ryan Wilcox, Sen. Don L. Ipson) — Expands eligibility for the program and adds private, nonprofit institutions of higher education in Utah that are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to the list of qualifying institutions where the grant may be used. Clarifies that the grant may be applied toward tuition and fees as a last-dollar award after all other aid. Requires that the Board of Higher Education select two periods during each calendar year to accept applications and that applications will be accepted for no fewer than 30 days during each period. 

HB 111 – Employment Training Requirement Limitations (Rep. Tim Jimenez) — Prohibits, for purposes of employment discrimination (public and private employers), certain training or other requirements that compel or require adherence to or belief in certain concepts. 

HB 202 – Student Athlete Amendments (Rep. Jordan Teuscher) — Prohibits a student athlete from entering into a Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) arrangement in which the athlete endorses certain prohibited products and services or in which the contract conflicts with institutional contracts or policies. Requires student athletes to disclose NIL contracts to their institution before entering the contract. Requires institutions to review the contract for conflicts and inform the student and any professional representing the student within seven days of identifying the conflict. Requires the student athlete or their professional service provider to resolve any conflicting contract provisions within 10 days of notification. Clarifies that student athletes are not employees of the institution. Requires student athletes to seek written permission from the institution to use institutional logos, uniforms, etc., in NIL activities and to pay the market rate to use institutional facilities for NIL activities. Clarifies that student athletes may earn compensation from selling their autographs so long as there is no conflict with institutional policies or procedures. Provides protections for student athletes, including prohibiting institutions from disqualifying student athletes from scholarships, grants, or financial assistance for earning NIL compensation or hiring a professional service provider.

HB 247 – Statewide Online Education Program Amendments (Rep. Dan Johnson) — Requires Utah State Board of Education and Utah Board of Higher Education to coordinate to offer an online concurrent enrollment option, including online concurrent enrollment courses in the Statewide Online Education Program. Requires USBE and the Utah Board of Higher Education to make recommendations to the Education Interim Committee about funding structures and recommendations for allowing a student to be enrolled through multiple Local Education Agencies (LEAs) for access to any online concurrent enrollment course.

HB 253 – Use of Sex-Designated Facilities in Public and Higher Education (Rep. Phil Lyman) — Defines a person’s sex based on the characteristics of a person’s reproductive anatomy present at birth and requires individuals to use the public school or higher education restroom or changing facility that aligns with that sex. Exceptions are made, including for individuals accompanying a minor or elderly individual into these facilities, for individuals administering emergency medical assistance, etc. Requires institutions of higher education to provide restrooms and changing facilities that are sex-designated or unisex, establish use and discipline policies regarding these facilities for students and employees, and report to the Utah Board of Higher Education about compliance with these policies. Requires the Utah Board of Higher Education to make administrative rules to establish procedures to ensure compliance with this section. Authorizes the attorney general to bring a civil action for enforcement.

HB 261 – Equal Opportunity Initiatives (Rep. Katy Hall, Sen. Keith Grover) — Applies to the public education system, higher education, and governmental employers. Prohibits institutions from engaging in certain prohibited practices, including requiring certain submissions before, during, or after admission or employment and requiring individuals to attend certain training that promotes differential treatment. Prohibits institutions from operating offices named diversity, equity, and inclusion and prohibits institutions from establishing or maintaining an office, division, employment position, or other unit of an institution established to implement, develop, plan, or promote campus policies, procedures, practices, programs, or initiatives, regarding prohibited discriminatory practices. Makes exceptions for the need to comply with federal law, state law, and certain grant, athletics, and accreditation requirements. Requires institutions to ensure all students have access to programs that provide student success and support. Requires institutions to develop strategies to promote viewpoint diversity and establish policies and procedures to include opportunities for education and research on free speech and civic education. Requires institutions to annually train employees on the separation of personal and political advocacy from an institution’s business and employment activities. Requires the Board to contract with a third party to conduct a campus climate survey. Requires the Board of Higher Education to monitor and report on compliance.

HB 278 – Inmate Education Amendments (Rep. Melissa G. Ballard, Sen. Luz Escamilla) — Requires USHE institutions to consider an inmate a state resident for tuition purposes during the time the inmate is enrolled in coursework and for one year after the day on which the inmate is released from a correctional facility. Requires institutions of higher education providing education to inmates to provide relevant academic and career advising services that are substantially similar to services provided to students who are not incarcerated.

HB 286 – State Aid for Scholarships (Rep. Karen Peterson, Sen. Michael McKell) — Prohibits institutions from issuing alumni legacy nonresident tuition waivers (under 53B-8-103.5) after the 24-25 academic year.

HB 310 – Teacher Education Qualifications Amendments (Rep. Ken Ivory) — Assigns the Utah Board of Higher Education the statutory responsibility to establish and maintain pathways for students who earn undergraduate degrees from a non-accredited institution into USHE institution graduate programs.

HJR 3 – House Joint Resolution Regarding Higher Education Accreditation (Rep. Douglas Welton) — Calls on the federal government to return full oversight of the accreditation process for public higher education institutions to the states.

SB 78 – Higher Education for Incarcerated Youth Program Amendments (Rep. Kathleen Riebe) — Amends the Higher Education for Incarcerated Youth Program to include youth held in home detention or secure detention.

SB 115 – Higher Education Tuition Amendments (Sen. Ronald Winterton) — Makes children of military members eligible for in-state tuition if the student attended at least one year of 9th-12th grade at a Utah Local Education Agency (LEA).

Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director