2023 Legislative Update: Week 4

Utah State Capitol building

February 6-10, 2023

Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee 

The Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee (HEAS) wrapped up its meetings on Wednesday, Feb. 8 and submitted its list of priority budget requests (page 3) to the Executive Appropriations Committee on Friday, Feb. 10. Each systemwide budget priority of the Utah Board of Higher Education (approved in Sept. 2022) was forwarded to the Executive Appropriations Committee as a combined request with the number one ranking in priority.

The subcommittee heard updates from the Commissioner and his staff in its final meetings on Higher Education in Corrections Facilities, the NCHEMS Community College Study, and a request for funding to expand Utah’s College Access Advising program to rural parts of the state.

To view all HEAS agenda items and presentations from this session, see: https://le.utah.gov/committee/committee.jsp?year=2023&com=APPHED

Infrastructure and General Government Appropriation Subcommittee 

The Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee meetings also finished on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The subcommittee voted and ranked the USHE capital development priorities alongside other capital requests; the rankings are available here. IGG presented its priorities to the Executive Appropriations Committee on Thursday, Feb. 9. The Executive Appropriations Committee will work to finalize the state budget based on the submitted priorities from all seven appropriations subcommittees in the coming days.

Legislation of Interest

SB 110 – Background Check Modifications by Sen. Grover — Requires an employee, independent contractor, or volunteer who has direct contact with a child to obtain a background check every 60 months, unless otherwise required by state or federal law; requires a person to obtain a background check for an individual before deciding whether to engage that individual in a position where the individual will have direct contact with children; classifies certain background check information as a protected record under the Government Records Access and Management Act; limits the sharing and use of certain background check information; and makes it a class C misdemeanor for a person who fails to obtain or maintain a background check for an employee, contractor, or volunteer who has direct contact with children.
SB 180 – Private Postsecondary Education Modifications by Sen. Bramble — Repeals the Utah Postsecondary School State Authorization Act; repeals, reenacts, and modifies the Utah Postsecondary Proprietary School Act as the Utah Postsecondary School and State Authorization Act; requires a postsecondary school operating in the state to file a registration statement and obtain certain certificates from the Division of Consumer Protection (division); establishes qualifications for a procedure by which a postsecondary school may obtain a registration certificate and state authorization certificate from the division; provides that, under certain circumstances, the division may deny, suspend, or revoke a registration statement, registration certificate, or state authorization certificate; provides procedures to enforce compliance with the provisions of this bill; permits the division to enter into an interstate reciprocity agreement; authorizes the Utah Board of Higher Education to make rules to implement an interstate reciprocity agreement if the agreement includes institutions of higher education; grants the division rulemaking authority.
SB 194 – Higher Education Funding Amendments by Sen. Vickers — Authorizes certain public and private entities to provide money to the Higher Education Student Success Endowment; creates the Utah Higher Education Savings Board of Trustees to act as fiduciary for the Utah Education Savings Plan; allows the board to hold a closed meeting to discuss certain fiduciary or commercial information.
HB 346 – State Employee Wage Discrimination Amendments by Rep. Bennion — Prohibits wage discrimination for state employees on the basis of sex; prohibits a state employer from seeking wage history or relying on wage history in determining wage rates; prohibits a state employer from retaliating against a state employee or prospective state employee for certain actions, including: failing to disclose wage history; invoking provisions related to wage discrimination; or assisting in the enforcement of provisions prohibiting wage discrimination; provides a private right of action for aggrieved state employees with a one-year statute of limitations.
HB 386 – Clinical Health Care Provider Grant Amendments by Rep. Maloy — Creates a grant program, administered by UMEC, to establish new clinical experience opportunities for healthcare students in a private or public institute of higher education.

HB 394 – Grant Funding for Supplemental Educational Opportunities by Rep. Peterson — Establishes and provides funding for the Boost Up Supplemental Grant Program (program); provides requirements for program eligibility and the use of program funds; requires the State Board of Education (state board) to: administer the program, including facilitating payment to program service providers; create an online platform to facilitate program services; and annually report to the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee regarding the program. The board may appoint an institution of higher education as a service provider.

HB 426 – Statewide Energy Policy Amendments by Rep. Moss — Requires the Office of Energy Development to prepare a strategic energy plan; creates the Utah Energy Research Grant Program and gives the Office of Energy Development the authority to administer the grant program; and creates the Utah Energy Research Fund. The strategic plan shall include private and public institutions of higher education within the state conducting energy-related research.
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.
HB 230 – Center for Medical Cannabis Research by Rep. Dailey-Provost — Creates the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (center) within the University of Utah.
HB 319 – Uintah Basin Air Quality Research Project Amendments by Rep. Chew — This bill appropriates in fiscal year 2024: to Utah State University – Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center – Uintah Basin Air Quality Research Project as an ongoing appropriation: from the General Fund Restricted — Infrastructure and Economic Diversification Investment Account, $150,000.
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 Amendmentsby 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 302 – Cultural and Community Engagement Amendments by Rep. Spendlove — A political subdivision or state institution of higher education may submit to the division a digital copy of any information the political subdivision or state institution of higher education makes available to the public. With respect to information submitted to the division by political subdivisions and state institutions of higher education, the division may select the information the division considers appropriate for permanent public access in the digital library.
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.
HB 131 – Vaccine Passport Prohibition by Rep. Brooks — Makes it unlawful for a place of public accommodation to discriminate against an individual based on the individual’s immunity status; with certain exceptions, prohibits a governmental entity from requiring proof of immunity status; with certain exceptions, makes it unlawful discrimination for an employer to require proof of immunity status; and prohibits a governmental entity or employer from requiring an individual to receive a vaccine.
HB 241 – Labor Union Amendments by Rep. Teuscher — Prohibits a public employer from deducting union dues from a public employee’s wages, except in certain circumstances; prohibits using public money or public property to assist, promote, or deter union organizing or administration; prohibits a public employer from compensating a public employee for union activities; requires a labor organization to provide the number of members in the labor organization upon request of a public employer.
HB 294 – Governmental Entity Budget Transparency by Rep. Abbott — For each agency, the budget officer shall include in the tentative budget with the following information for each fund for which a budget is required: (A) the total budget amount for the current fiscal year ending June 30; (B) the total proposed budget amount for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning July 1; and (C) the percentage difference between the amount described in Subsection (2)(b)(xii)(A) and the amount described in Subsection (2)(b)(xii)(B).
SB 96 – Fiduciary Duty Modifications by Sen. Wilson — Requires a person who manages or invests funds on behalf of a governmental entity or votes on an ownership share in a governmental entity to consider only certain factors; creates a rebuttable presumption that a person did not comply with the requirement to consider only certain factors under certain circumstances; addresses proxy voting requirements within a governmental entity; and requires a governmental entity to compile and publicly provide proxy voting reports.
SB 97 – Public Contract Requirements by Sen. Wilson — Subject to exceptions, prohibits a public entity from entering into a contract with a company that engages in certain environmental boycott actions.
HB 19 – Rape Crisis Modifications by Rep. Romero — Amends definitions relating to rape crisis centers and sexual assault counselors. Edited, in part, to state that “Rape crisis and services center does not include a qualified institutional victim services provider as defined in Section 53B-28-201.”
HB 42 – Technology Commercialization Amendments by Rep. Stenquist — Establishes the Utah Innovation Lab (innovation lab). Qualified business means, in part, a business entity that is established to commercialize a technology, product, or service developed through a technology commercialization program at an institution of higher education described in Section 53B-1-102. The Utah innovation fund shall, subject to board approval, make qualified investments. The board of directors will include, in part, one individual who represents technology commercialization initiatives within the Utah System of Higher Education, appointed by the Commissioner of Higher Education, or the individual’s designee.
HB 87 – Youth Sport Safety Amendments by Rep. Ballard — Requires an amateur sports organization (this includes public or private sports camps) to hold an informational meeting regarding warning signs of cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac arrest before the beginning of an athletic season; requires a participant in an athletic activity and the participant’s parent to sign an acknowledgment of receipt of information on the warning signs of cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac arrest. A coach, athletic director, or athletic trainer acting in good faith under this section is not liable for any action or inaction unless the coach, athletic director, or athletic trainer acts in a grossly negligent or reckless manner. 
HB 318 – Prime Pilot Programs Amendment by Rep. Petersen — Changes the PRIME Pilot Program to an ongoing program; clarifies the types of courses required for a student to earn the LAUNCH certificate, DISCOVER breadth certificate, or TRANSFORM general education certificate; requires the Utah Board of Higher Education to award a scholarship to a student who earns the TRANSFORM general education certificate; requires the state board to create a funding formula for LEAs that participate in the program.
HB 329 – Adult Event Permit Amendments by Rep. Jack — Requires a public entity to provide public notice under certain conditions for a permitted event with an adult theme.
HB 335 – Alternative Concurrent Enrollment Options for Capacity Flexibility by Rep. Wilcox — Provides that a local education agency (LEA) may contract with a non-designated institution of higher education to provide concurrent enrollment courses under certain circumstances.
HB 343 – Records Modifications by Rep. Moss — In part, modifies the duties and training of a records officer; requires the appointment of one or more privacy officers for an executive branch agency to fulfill certain duties relating to the agency’s records; requires the appointment of one or more security officers for an executive branch agency to assess, coordinate, and manage cybersecurity for the agency; modifies individual rights with respect to records that may be classified as private or controlled or that may contain personal identifying information; changes the title of the “government operations privacy officer” to the “chief privacy officer.”
HB 344 – Local Policies for Public Education Curriculum Transparency by Rep. Teuscher — Requires each local education agency (LEA) governing board to establish a course content transparency policy that includes certain determinations; requires each LEA to: make the LEA’s course content transparency policy publicly available on the LEA’s website; and annually report on the LEA’s policy and determinations to the State Board of Education (state board); requires the state board to establish an annual deadline for the LEA report; and makes technical and conforming changes.
HB 355 – Utah Data Research Center Amendments by Rep. Petersen — Adds the Department of Commerce to the Utah Data Research Advisory Board as a participating entity and advisory board member.
HB 373 – Law Enforcement Training and Recruitment by Rep. Welton — Creates the Law Enforcement Investment Reimbursement Program to reimburse new law enforcement officers for certain education costs. Requires the board to run the grant program.
SB 55 – Public School Instructional Materials by Sen. Fillmore — Requires a process for a local school board or charter school governing board to follow if the board chooses to adopt or approve instructional materials for classroom use across the school district or charter school; requires local school boards and charter school governing boards to adopt policies to provide guidance to educators on the use of certain learning materials that have not been adopted or approved under the open process; requires that contracts for online or digital learning materials include a requirement for notice if the provider changes the content of the materials.
SB 127 – Cybersecurity Amendments by Sen. Harper — A governmental entity shall contact the Utah Cyber Center as soon as practicable when the governmental entity becomes aware of a breach of system security. The Utah Cyber Center shall provide the governmental entity with assistance in responding to the breach of system security.
SB 145 – Higher Education for Incarcerated Youth Program Amendments by Sen. Riebe — Amends the Incarcerated Youth Program to include youth held in detention and makes technical and conforming changes.
SB 168 – State Agency Capital Development Fund by Sen. Buxton — An institution may not submit plans or specifications to the Division of Facilities Construction and Management for the construction or alteration of buildings, structures, or facilities or for the purchases of equipment or fixtures for the structure without the authorization of the board.

Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director