Have you ever heard that “Utah is one of the only States with a AAA Credit Rating”? Legislators will often use this as an excuse for the spending, and to demonstrate that “all is well, no need to worry”.
Well, here is what we know about the ratings:
o AAA – 14 States (Utah is one) – Wiki says 15
o AAA is the highest possible rating that may be assigned to an issuer's bonds by any of the major credit rating agencies. AAA-rated bonds have a high degree of creditworthiness because their issuers are easily able to meet financial commitments and have the lowest risk of default.
o AA+ - 14 States
o AA – 13 States
o AA: An obligor rated 'AA' has very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. It differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree.
State of Utah Debt at $7.479 BILLION in 2015
Knock yourself out with this fun:
o Spending of the State – 65.9% on 4 areas…
o K-12 Educations: 25.3%
o Higher Education: 12.7%
o Medicaid: 19%
o Transportation: 8.9%
o “OTHER”: 30.7%
Committee Bill Focus:
H.B. 390 Amendments to Asset Forfeiture – Was HELD after being substituted.
We heard 34 Bills in the House today. Well, 7 of them were “circled”.
12 opposed, with 7 over 10 votes in opposition, and THREE FAILED.
o HB252 - Health Insurance Athletic Trainer Services Modifications (21-44-10)
o Long Discussion - Licensed in 2006, not as a "healthcare provider" and do not have the protection. Emails that Trainers are not as qualified.
o SB67 - Disposition of Fetal Remains (49-20-6)
o Amend on floor was unconstitutional, change to 72 hours if woman :"does nothing" then by default the hospital would dispose of the remains.
o HB189 - Jury Duty Amendments (30-40-5)
or older, can opt out of Jury Duty (31 other states have this)
o HJR20 – JR Encouraging Local Health Departments to Set Licensing Rules (29-42-4)
health have limited opportunity to control where tobacco is sold. No Discussion.
o HB431 - Energy Rebate Programs Amendments (48-23-4)
o Promotes electric energy conservation, Heat Pump in, New Home construction gets additoinal year to seek credit rebate. Why give the year? Req buiiders to build to new standards that are released every 6 yrs
o HB357 - Public Education Funding Stabilization (62-10-3)
o Volitile Income txes (scary 2008-10), Rev growth with Weighted Pupil Unit, Provides "floor" for funding, not ceiling. Creates ongoing Pub Ed Account (will be funded to have 2yrs of funds). "We tried it our way, and we should have done this from the start and let the voters decide."
o HB232 - School Mental Health Funding Amendments (44-28-3)
o Parental Consent needed to "OPT-IN" not just opt-out. At a participating LEA you must OPT-IN to participate in the mental health screening. Already doing? Yes, all are doing something different, one doing something weird
- 12 NEW numbered bills
- 0 NEW requested bills – Seems like this is broken, and reporting not working correctly.
S.B. 251 Seizure-related Student Accommodations Amendments – T Weiller
15 ▸ creates requirements for a seizure action plan that may be submitted to a school by
16 the parent of a student with epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
17 ▸ allows a school employee to volunteer to be trained to administer seizure-related
18 services for a student with a seizure action plan; and
19 ▸ requires the Department of Health to develop a program to train school employees
20 who volunteer to be trained to deliver the seizure-related services specified in a
21 student's seizure action plan.
Total Bill Count
- House 492
- Senate 252
- House Concurrent Resolutions (HCR) 29
- House Joint Resolution (HJR) 23
- House Resolutions (HR) 4
- Senate Concurrent Resolutions (SCR) 14
- Senate Joint Resolutions (SJR) 15
- Senate Resolutions (SR) 1