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Week 1, 2018 Legislative Update

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Week One, 2018 Session.

Representative Brooks and the other legislators have been kept quite busy this week.  This year he is serving on the following committees:

  • Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Committee, Vice-Chair
  • House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee
  • House Transportation Committee
Representative Brooks is also part of several other caucus meetings that happen in the early morning or after hours. He is devoted to his duties during floor-time and makes a special effort to be on the Floor of the House to vote on every bill.  Representative Brooks is proud to represent the people of District 75, and shows it every day through his diligence, attention to detail and effort to stand for the residents of Southern Utah.
Interesting Bills
H.B. 43 Blood testing Amendments 
Rep. C. Hall

This bill pertains to an occurrence this past year that many of you may have heard off.  After an encounter with a nurse at the U of U hospital, this bill hopes to make it illegal for police to obtain a blood sample without personal approval or an e-warrant.

Vote: YES
Representative Brooks feels no one has the right to take our property without permission, especially our blood!  The 4th Amendment states The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. If a police officer feels it is necessary to get a blood sample, a warrant can be obtained.

Status:       House           Senate
                                  72-0                      in process
H.B 38 Fireworks Amendments
Rep. J. Dunnigan

This bill reduces the amount of days citizens can light fireworks and gives additional control to local authorities.

VOTE: YES

Like most Utahns, Rep. Brooks loves fireworks. This is response to many concerns that have been brought up regarding arial fireworks. There are fire concerns, animal concerns, and nuisance concerns. This bill reduces the amount of days you can light fireworks down to 4 days for the 4th of July and Pioneer day. New Years and Chinese New Year's is still permitted. It also gives more control to local officials to increase areas that fireworks are not permitted.

Status:       House           Senate
                                  69 - 3                      in process
H.B. 161 Auto Registration Requirements 
Rep. C. Watkins
-In Transportation Committee-

It will no longer be necessary to have your vehicle registration in your vehicle. 

Vote: YES

Representative Brooks serves on the Transportation Committee where this bill was heard. Why do we have to show our registration when we live in a time when all of our vehicle information is easily available to the officer before they approach the vehicle? 

Many of our laws still operate in a time when phone and computers didn't exist. Rep. Brooks feels this will help those nervous people who are frantically digging in the glove box searching for their registration. Our registration cards are duplicative, unnecessary and antiquated.
Rep Brooks appreciates the work our officers do each day and feels like this will help them as well.

Status:       House           Senate
                           In committee                                    
Another year and too many bills. But do all these bills mean more government and more regulation?
Rep. Brooks agrees that we have too many bill files open each year. This year there are over 1200 bill files that were opened by the House and Senate. There is only time for approx 500 bills to go through the process.  Many are for word changes, date changes or other efforts to make the law more clear. It's also important to remember that to remove or minimize a law or regulation also requires a bill. With my experience over this session and last is that there is little to no appetite to add to government. Rep. Brooks has stood against many bills in committee that would add regulation or add to government.

Here are a few example of bills that passed this week to this point.

H.B. 49 Repeal of Health Related Pilot Program - This is to remove a program out of the State Code because it has not been used or funded.
H.B. 50 Obscenity and Pornography Complaints Ombudsman - This bill repeals a program that is not in use or funded.
H.B. 51 Administrative Office of the Courts Amendments - This bill simply changes the title of certain position to create consistency in the code.
H.B. 52 Health and Human Services Report - requires this department to create a report so the legislative committee with over site have more transparency.

An important part of the legislature is to keep the laws clear and simple as possible.
I encourage you to contact your legislator. You can email me at walt@waltbrooks.com or wbrooks@le.utah.gov.

A helpful link is le.utah.gov  .  Here you can search a bill number, read it or click on the "status" tab and see who voted for or against and where it is in the process.
 
Here are a few visitors to the Capitol from St. George.
The Youth City Council from St. George visited Representative Brooks.  He was able to call for a personal privilege and recognize them during session.  A thanks to these youth for travelling and being involved as a part of their government!
George Washington Academy visited capitol hill and went on a tour of the facility with Representative Brooks on Friday.
This is the first week of the session so we're just getting into the bills. I will try to post interesting and controversial bills and how I voted. If you are interested in my position on a bill, please contact me and I will respond as quickly as possible. 
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Contact Information:
wbrooks@le.utah.gov
(385)441-0627

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