It’s been another week in the 2017 legislative session. On Wednesday Logan had the privilege of sitting with Morgan County's 4-H Ambassador Heather McMillan as she shadowed him for the day. Friday was a Wilde day, as some of Logan’s family came to visit and toured the Capitol.
This week the House voted to remove the safety inspection requirement for privately owned vehicles via HB265. Thirty-four states have already done away with safety inspections. Numerous studies on vehicle safety inspections have been reviewed by the US Government Accountability Office in 2015. They found no evidence to indicate that safety inspection programs reduce mechanical failure related car accidents. A bill Logan is sponsoring also passed out of a Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee meeting. The bill, HB104, is designed to give counties more control over how funds collected from vehicle emission fees are spent. So far the bill has faced no opposition.
HB178 also passed out of the House. The purpose of the bill is to help convicted felons who have served their time find housing so that they can reintegrate into society. It relates to the Good Landlord program. Landlords must pay a yearly fee for each dwelling on their rental property. The fee covers the disproportionate cost for providing city services to apartments when compared to owner occupied housing. However, if the landlord participates in the cities Good Landlord program, the fee is reduced from the standard fee of over $80 per unit to under $10 per unit. Several cities such as Ogden, have made it a requirement under the program, that landlords not rent to convicted felons. Even in municipalities where the city doesn’t have this requirement, it can be hard for former convicts looking for a new start to find housing. When a city creates strong incentives not to rent to ex-convicts it’s much harder for them to get on their feet. Logan, believing that mercy and forgiveness are vital to rehabilitation, and also that cities should not be telling private property owners who they can rent to, did vote for this bill. He was dismayed at an amendment which was added exempting cities where half-way houses reside.
Logan also voted for HB211, a bill that would designate Spiral Jetty, an earthwork sculpture on the northeast shore of the Great Salt Lake, as the state work of art. The sculpture was created by Robert Smithson in 1970. Logan initially had concerns that the bill would put taxpayers on the hook to maintain the sculpture. Since this bill doesn’t appropriate any money, funding to the sculpture would require another bill.
The House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee voted for HB121 on Monday, a bill that would create a Local Food Advisory Counsel. It’s something that has been tried in North Carolina and Kansas with positive results. The Counsel would work with farmers to help promote local food as well as help to inform policy makers.
Once again thanks for reading and staying involved. As always don’t hesitate to contact Logan with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. He does read every email, we promise. You can contact him here:
350 North State, Suite 350 #16
A rancher, family man and Council Chair in Morgan County, I will fight for local control of education, land, and agriculture in the Utah State Legislature
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