It’s week 4 of the 2022 Legislative session, and that means we are now officially past the halfway point of the session!
Before we get into the legislative updates, we want to tell you about a new effort to protect and preserve safe, accessible voting in Utah.
Utah has a history of making our voting system easy, secure, and inexpensive, from voting by mail to offering opportunities for Utahns to cast their ballots early. Our state continues to increase voter turnout because of the convenience and flexibility of voting by mail and same-day registration, and our trusted election officials know how to make this process secure.
Despite this fact, a small group of political meddlers want to add barriers to voting and take Utah backwards. Now is the time for us to raise our voices and let our legislators know that we will not accept any restrictions on voting by mail, early voting, voter registration drives, or any other aspect of our accessible democracy!
SIGN THE PETITION AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY
Now buckle up, here’s your update on some of the bills we are following:
HB 77 – Medication for Inmates
Chief Sponsor: Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost; Senate Sponsor: Sen. Luz Escamilla
HB 77, previously known as Contraception for Inmates, got a new name and passed the House! It is now in the Senate Rules committee awaiting assignment to a standing committee. This bill removes the sunset period so that inmates in Utah’s jails can continue to receive contraception while incarcerated. Check out our fact sheet to learn more.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your Senator and ask them to VOTE YES on HB 77 – Medication for Inmates.
HB 220 – Pregnancy and Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Amendments
Chief Sponsor: Rep. Rosemary Lesser
Last week we told you about how this bill would expand the Medicaid program for postpartum women up to 200% of the federal poverty level for 1 year after giving birth. Investing in maternal health is an investment in Utah’s future. This bill would mean better access to health care for new mothers during the time when they are most at risk. Unfortunately, HB 220 is not being prioritized in the budget and has not even been scheduled for a committee hearing yet.
Learn more about this bill and the issues at stake on this fact sheet from Utah Health Policy Project.
TAKE ACTION: Contact members of the House Business and Labor Committee and ask them to support Utah moms and families by VOTING YES to HB 220 – Pregnancy and Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Amendments.
SB 117 – Utah Antidiscrimination Act Amendments
Sponsor: Sen. Derek Kitchen
This bill, also known as “The Crown Act”, amends the Utah Antidiscrimination Act to provide protection for traits historically associated with race, including protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, afros, curls, and twists.
TAKE ACTION: Contact the Senate Business and Labor Committee and ask them VOTE YES on SB 117 – Utah Antidiscrimination Act Amendments
HB 162 – Period Products for Schools
Sponsor: Rep. Karianne Lisonbee; Floor Sponsor: Sen. Ann Millner
This bill requires all Utah school boards to provide period products in school facilities. This week it passed the Senate Education Committee and the full Senate! Once the funding is secured in appropriations, this bill will be voted on one more time and then head to the Governor. You can learn more about this bill on the Policy Project website.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your senator and thank them for voting YES on HB 162 – Period Products for Schools.
HB 127 – Medical Practice Amendments
Sponsor: Rep. Rex Shipp
This unconstitutional anti-trans bill makes it unprofessional conduct for a health care professional to provide gender-affirming health care for a minor. A proposed substitute version of the bill is now public, and we expect this bill to have a committee hearing early next week. Check out Equality Utah’s fact sheet and reach out to the committee members ASAP!
TAKE ACTION: Contact the House Health and Human Services Committee and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 127 – Medical Practice Amendments.
Thank you for taking action this week and staying engaged in the legislative process! Be sure to check out all the bills we are following this year on our bill tracker.