Committed to Promoting the Principles of Limited Government, Constitution, Representative Government,
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Annual Report Card on Utah Legislature
PDF version (Contains ratings charts and rankings)
How Did Your Representatives Represent You in 2023?
It’s All Taxpayer Dollars
Watch the Legislature long enough, and you will undoubtedly hear the costs to Utah taxpayers will be minimal or zero.
One important fact is left off while the cost to the state will be minimal, these bills rely upon federal dollars.
These bills generally involve Medicaid funding.
This year was no exception. This year, bills that made these promises included H.B. 252, S.B. 19, S.B. 133, and S.B. 192.
These bills require millions of dollars from a federal government over $30 trillion in debt and weaken Utah's sovereignty.
In addition to increasing the federal deficit, lawmakers passed several bills (H.B. 477, S.B. 240, and S.B. 288), increasing government spending and exceeding the government's proper role.
We are grateful to lawmakers for passing broad-based tax reductions. Still, when the government extends beyond its proper role and raises spending by millions of dollars, it demonstrates that the Legislature could have cut taxes by much more than it did.
Other good bills passed protected the right to life, and second amendment rights, protected children and strengthened parental rights.
Overall a better session of the Legislature but one that spent too much money.
Lyman and Petersen Receive Top Scores. Kennedy Tops Senate.
House Summary: Phil Lyman (R-SJ) and Mike Petersen (R-CA) received top scores of all legislators on this year's GrassRoot report. Rounding out the top 10% were Mark Strong (R-SL), Brady Brammer (R-UT), Ryan Wilcox (R-WB), Kera Birkeland (R-MG), Trevor Lee (R-DA), and Rex Shipp (R-IR).
Senate Summary: Mike Kennedy (R-UT) received the top score in the Senate. Rounding out the top 10% were John Johnson (R-WB) and Lincoln Fillmore (R-UT)
Governor: Governor Cox received a 63%
Averages: The House received an average score of 60% compared to the lifetime score of 45%. The Senate averaged a 48% which is below the lifetime average of 50%.
Analysis of Bills for 2023
Yeas, Nays list the tally on bills from each House and those Absent or Not Voting. Bills are listed by number, with house bills listed first. The sponsor(s) of the bill is in parentheses, with the primary sponsor listed first. Text of all bills can be found at http://le.utah.gov.
A) H.B. 54 (S. Eliason, D. McCay) Reduces taxes by an estimated $962 million over the next three fiscal years by reducing individual and corporate income tax rates from 4.85% to 4.65%. Broad-based income tax reduction is essential to appropriately limiting the size and reach of government.GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (50-11-14), Senate (22-6-1), and was signed by the Governor.
B) H.B. 107 (K. Lisonbee, J. Johnson) Waives the fee for a school employee to obtain a concealed weapons permit in certain circumstances. While we prefer a permit not to be required, this bill reduces government fees and makes it easier for individuals to exercise their God-given rights. GrassRoots approves of YES vote. Passed the House (57-12-6), Senate (22-6-1), and was signed by the Governor.
C) H.B. 131 (W. Brooks, M. Kennedy) Protects an individual's right to control their bodies by prohibiting places of public accommodation, governmental entities, and employers from discriminating against individuals based on vaccination status. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (60-13-2), Senate (21-5-3) and was signed by the Governor.
D) H.B. 219 (K. Lisonbee, E. Vickers) Makes Utah a "Sanctuary State" for the second amendment by declaring that the state and its political subdivisions will not enforce federal regulations that purport to restrict or ban certain firearms, ammunition, or firearms accessories. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (60-13-2), Senate (20-6-3) and was signed by the Governor.
E) H.B 229 (M. Ballard) Creates an unfunded mandate on local education agencies by requiring LEAs to provide employees paid parental and postpartum recovery leave. These decisions should be made by local school boards, which have to bear the burden of the increased costs. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Failed in the House (30-39-6).
F) H.B. 239 (R. Ward) The bill requires certain hospital systems to collectively select a method that allows a health care provider to access patient information for the patient the health care provider is treating. Bill is unwarranted government interference in the marketplace and appears to invade patients' privacy without their permission and without Probable Cause. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Failed in the House (28-41-6).
G) H.B. 252 (J. Dailey-Provost, C. Bramble) Increases government spending by $1.4 million over the next two fiscal years by requiring ] Utah's Department of Health and Human Services to apply for a Medicaid waiver or state plan amendment to provide wraparound services to qualified individuals with a disability. These types of services are best performed through private charity and are not the proper role of government. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Failed in the House (36-36-3).
H) H.B. 281 (C. Acton, M. McKell) Protects citizens and upholds the principle of Equal Treatment Under The Law by prohibiting the government from using, supporting, or otherwise participating in a social credit scoring system. Countries such as China use a social credit system to infringe God-given rights. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (60-14-1), Senate (18-5-6) and was signed into law by the Governor.
I) H.B. 294 (N. Abbot, K. Grover) Requires certain state and local government entities to disclose certain budget and population growth information. Transparency in government spending empowers taxpayers and improves government spending. In an era of sometimes-relentless growth of government, taxpayers and their representatives should be better informed about any proposed spending growth. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (49-26-0) but did not come up for a floor vote in the Senate.
J) H.B. 311 (J. Tuescher, K. Cullimore) ] Grants the Division of Consumer Protection the power to audit the records of social media companies, thus enabling searches without a Probable Cause requirement. Specifies that monies from certain fines and civil penalties will be sent to the Consumer Protection Education and Training Fund, thus reducing legislative control and likely influencing law enforcement priorities. In certain suits against a social media company, the bill creates a "rebuttable presumption" that harm was caused as a consequence of using or having an account on the social media company's social media platform, thus eroding our traditional presumption of innocence. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Passed the House (71-0-4), Senate (25-2-2) and was signed by the Governor.
K) H.B. 393 (J. Teuscher, K. Cullimore) Allows a political party to avoid a primary election if a candidate receives 70% of the vote in the party's nominating convention. While GrassRoots favors the total repeal of S.B. 54 (2014), which attacked freedom of association and political parties' ability to self-govern, this is an improvement. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (43-26-6) but did not come up for a vote in the Senate.
L) H.B. 425 (K. Ivory, D Owens) Requires a qualified utility to inform the Office of the Attorney General when a proposed federal regulation would result in the early retirement of an electrical generation facility. Authorizes the Attorney General to take action to defend the state's interests (including reliable energy supply) and sovereignty against over-reaching federal regulations and usurped powers. GrassRoots approves of YES vote. Passed the House (57- 15-3), Senate (19-7-3) and was signed into law by the Governor.
M) H.B 427 (T. Jimenez, M. Kennedy) Ensures that all instructional materials and classroom instruction are consistent with the principles of inalienable rights, equal opportunity, and individual merit. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (53- 18-4), Senate (18-6-5) and was signed into law by the Governor.
N) H.B. 465 (D. Welston, K. Grover) Protects parental rights by requiring local education agencies that provide school libraries to provide an online platform that allows a parent to view information regarding materials the parent's child borrows from the school library. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (62-10-3), Senate (19-6-4) and was signed into law by the Governor.
O) H.B. 467 (K. Lisonbee, D. McCay) Protects the right to life by prohibiting the licensing of abortion clinics after May 2, 2023, unless the clinic meets specific standards. It also prohibits all abortions in the state after 18 months. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (56-14-5), Senate (22-6-1) and was signed into law by the Governor.
P) H.B. 477 (R. Spendlove, K. Cullimore) Increases state spending by over $60 million yearly by implementing full-day kindergarten should the local education agency choose to implement it. Trusting parents to look after the needs of their children, along with additional tax cuts, would be preferable to this growth of government. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Passed the House (51-14-10), Senate (24-3-2) and was signed into law by the Governor.
Q) S.B. 16 (M. Kennedy, K. Hall) Protects children's rights by prohibiting the performing sex characteristic surgical procedures on a minor to effectuate a sex change. Also, enables an individual to bring medical malpractice action related to specific medical treatments and procedures received as a minor. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (58-14-2), Senate (20-8-1) and was signed into law by the Governor.
R) S.B. 19 (E. Vickers, S. Eliason) Increases government spending by $42.5 million in Fiscal Year 2025 by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to request authorization to provide dental services to Medicaid-eligible adults for dental services. While this money primarily comes from the federal government, these are still taxpayer dollars, and an improver use of government force. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Passed the House (51-15-9), Senate (19-0-10) and was signed into law by the Governor.
S) S.B. 55 (L. Fillmore, M. Ballard) Empowers parents by requiringLocal Education Agencies to establish an open process involving educators and parents of students to review and recommend instructional materials for board approval. Requires the material to beposted online for public review. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (56-14-5), Senate (21-0-8) and was signedinto law by the Governor.
T) S.B. 100 (T. Weiler, S. Gricuis) Requires each school and each local governing board to ensure a parent's right to access the education record of the parent's child. Parents are responsible for raising their children, so they should have access to their child's educational records. GrassRoots approves of a YES vote. Passed the House (59-6-10), Senate (22-6-1) and was signed into law by the Governor.
U) S.B 105 (J. Stevenson, B. Garner) Creates a program to use cameras to catch speeders, , thus expanding our Surveillance State. Also allocates the revenues from certain fines collected to the prosecuting government entity and to the Zero Fatalities initiative in the Department of Transportation, thus creating conflicts of interest and potentially distorting law enforcement priorities. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Passed the Senate (15-13-1) but did not come up for a vote in the House.
V) S.B. 133 (W. Harper, C. Acton) Another Medicaid expansion. Directs state Medicaid program to pursue extended postpartum coverage for certain women and expanded eligibility for certain family planning services. Increases government spending by $6.5 million in 2024 and $11 million in 2025. GrassRoots approves of NO vote. Passed the House (43-29-3), Senate (24-0-5) and was signed into law by the Governor.
W) S.B. 152 (M. McKell, J. Teuscher) Requires a social media company to verify the age of a Utah resident seeking to open or maintain a social media account, raising privacy concerns. Directs the Division of Consumer Protection to impose administrative fines and that those fines be deposited into the Consumer Protection Education and Training Fund (rather than the General Fund), potentially distorting law enforcement priorities and violating the proper Separation of Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Powers GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Passed the House (60-11-4), Senate (22-4-3), and was signed by the Governor.
X) S.B. 192 (L. Escamilla, R. Lesser). Another Medicaid expansion. Seeks to have the Medicaid program cover doula services. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Passed the Senate (25-0-4) but failed in the House (18-51-6).
Y) S.B. 195 (N. Blouin) Enlarges the government by creating the Medical Debt Relief Restricted Account and requiring the Department of Workforce Services to contract with medical debt relief entities to acquire and relieve medical debt. This is an improper use of government force. GrassRoots recommends a NO vote. Failed in the Senate (9-13-7).
Z) S.B. 240 (S. Adams, S. Whyte) Creates the First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program and allocates $50 million. Using taxpayer dollars to pay for private homes is the government stepping outside of its proper role and will negatively impact home prices in the state. Instead of allowing the free market to determine the cost of housing, the prices of homes will be artificially inflated. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Passed the House (60-8-7), Senate (28-1-0) and was signed by the Governor.
AA) S.B. 288 (D. Ipson, R. Spendlove) Creates the Utility Bill Assistance Program. Appropriates $24 million. Government is not charity. Programs such as this cost taxpayer dollars and drive up utility costs. GrassRoots approves of a NO vote. Passed the House (50-24-1), Senate (27-0-2), and was signed by the Governor.
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