Week Three of the 2018 Utah Legislative Session
Time’s Up in Utah
This week, the third week of Utah’s 2018 Legislative Session, Rep. Norm Thurston (Provo) was removed as vice chair of the House Government Operations Committee by House Speaker Greg Hughes after he made “an inappropriate comment to a woman working at the Capitol.”
As the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements continue to shed light on the vast numbers of people effected by sexual harassment and sexual violence across the country, we thank Speaker Hughes for his swift action in removing Rep. Thurston from leadership here in the Utah Legislature. We also want to thank Rep. Angela Romero (Salt Lake City) for sponsoring many victim-focused bills over her years as a Representative. From bringing “Start by Believing” day to Utah in 2015 through H.C.R. 01 to her Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training bill this session (H.B. 228), she is a fierce ally for survivors and we appreciate the work she’s done.
And, we ask that other lawmakers do better. We are looking at you, Orrin Hatch, and your unwililngness to believe Rob Porter’s accusers.
Share Your Thoughts on H.B. 205
Rep. Lisonbee’s Down Syndrome Nondiscrimination Abortion Act has been in the Senate Rules Committee all week. It will likely be assigned to a Senate Committee early next week. In the meantime, you can submit your opinion on the abortion ban using this quick poll from UtahPolicy.com.
Medicaid Expansion in Utah
Rep. Ward’s H.B. 12 Family Planning Services Amendments aims to expand coverage of family planning services to low-income families through Medicaid. While this and several other bills call for Medicaid expansion, none are as comprehensive as we’d like to see. The legislature has refused to do the right thing and expand Medicaid for the last 5+ years and we are done asking.
We’ve teamed up with Utah Decides Healthcare to gather signatures on a Medicaid Expansion ballot initiative. RyLee Curtis from Utah Decides Healthcare has helped us build out a Birds and the Beehive Ambassador-specific incentive system–you can earn really cool prizes for checking out a packet and getting registered voters to sign it.
Click here to watch a recording of the tele-townhall Rylee held for us this week. It explains what Medicaid in Utah currently looks like, what the ballot initiative does and how to check out a packet. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Rylee (email@example.com) for more information or to get your own signature gathering packet!
Bonus! Some helpful links: