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General Session - Week 6 Recap

Dear Friends and Neighbors,     

  

The past few weeks have flown by! As we near the end of another great session, I look back on all we have accomplished with pride and gratitude. During week six, we heard bills on many important topics, and I spent several hours considering the thoughts of my fellow legislators and constituents. I appreciate each of you and your commitment to reaching out and letting me know your thoughts.  

  

This week, we released updated revenue numbers and started to finalize the state budget. In Utah, we pride ourselves on always balancing our budget and making wise financial decisions that will positively impact generations to come. This year’s budget isn’t any different. We are making strategic investments, including funding education, investing in statewide infrastructure and water needs, allocating money to rainy day reserves and reducing taxes for Utahns.    

  

Below, you will find a description of a few bills and other events. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. If you would like to get in touch with me, contact my intern Parker at 801-903-7622. 

  

Best, 

Dan McCay

 
 

Fallen Firefighters 

No words can express the appreciation we feel for our fallen firefighters and their families. Paying tribute to them on the Senate floor this week was a great honor. We remember that the safety we enjoy comes with a significant price, and we offer our most heartfelt gratitude to the courageous men and women who selflessly sacrifice their all to keep Utah safe. 




 

How to Navigate the Legislative Website          

This week’s tutorial on how to stay involved in the legislative process explains how to find and read votes on bills.  

 

Legislation 

  

Securing Utah’s Energy Future 

Having reliable, affordable and sustainable energy sources is critical to maintaining Utah’s quality of life, which is why the Legislature is working to make Utah energy-independent. S.B. 224 Energy Independence Amendments is a monumental step toward a secure energy future.  

 

This legislation provides the Public Service Commission (PSC) with clear guidelines for deciding whether or not to approve an electrical utility’s proposal for new electrical capacity to ensure they best align with public interests. It also allows the PSC to sell excess energy to other states and makes the PSC accountable to the Legislature for its decisions. This bill helps ensure we continue to have the nation's second-lowest electricity rates, meet the state’s energy needs and keep the lights on.  

 

S.B. 224 passed the Senate and will go on to the House for consideration. Learn more about what the bill does here

   

Protecting Minors From the Harms of Social Media 

Utah is leading the nation with landmark legislation that helps safeguard kids and teens from the growing mental health crisis tied to the rise in social media addiction. In our state, 88% of parents believe social media has a detrimental impact on children and youth, and nearly half of teens nationwide, ages 13 to 17, said using social media makes them feel worse.  

 

S.B. 194 Social Media Regulation Amendments aims to protect minors from harmful product features of social media while empowering parents. This bill includes strict age-verification processes, default privacy settings and tools for parents to set time limits, view total and daily average use time and see connected accounts. It continues the efforts of Utah’s previous work to provide parents with enhanced tools and resources.  

  S.B. 194 passed the Senate this week and will now be considered by the House. Read more here 

  

State Boards and Commissions Revisions 

The Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel conducted a comprehensive study to identify all boards and commissions that do not currently require governor-appointed members to be confirmed by the Senate. Based on the study’s findings, S.B. 227 Boards and Commissions Revisions specifies that any new appointment, reappointment or filling of a vacancy made by the governor should undergo the Senate’s confirmation proceedings. Additionally, the bill requires that the Utah Association of Counties and the Utah League of Cities and Towns nominate an official within 30 days of a vacancy in local government, further streamlining the appointment process for improved governance. Read the bill here

  

Supporting Educators  

In our ongoing efforts to support our educators, the Legislature is exploring avenues to alleviate their burdens. One critical area of focus is school discipline. This week, we considered and passed S.B. 159 Public School Discipline and Conduct Plans Amendments. This pivotal legislation addresses the escalating challenges of behavior management in schools by introducing a pilot program statewide. Under this initiative, teachers can voluntarily enroll in specialized behavior strategy training sessions to understand the root causes of student behavior, implement appropriate consequences and rewards and foster accountability while also being sensitive to mental health and family dynamics. Teachers who complete each tier of training will receive compensation, culminating in a bonus upon program completion. 

  

Maintaining our schools’ safe, positive environments for kids and teachers is a top priority. Our teachers are the backbone of the education system, and we are deeply committed to ensuring they receive fair compensation, have a safe working environment and obtain proper training. 


 

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Day on the Hill 

Suicide is currently the 9th leading cause of death in Utah and the primary cause among individuals ages 10-24. This pressing mental health crisis demands our unwavering attention and immediate action.  

 

This week, we were honored to host the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) on Capitol Hill for vital discussions centered on suicide prevention. The AFSP is an organization dedicated to advancing suicide research, advocacy and prevention initiatives. While on the Hill, we heard countless stories from families who have lost a loved one to this epidemic or been impacted in some way. 

  

A central part of our discussion centered on the recently launched 988 suicide prevention hotline, which has been operational in Utah since July 2022. Offering confidential, 24/7 support and staffed by a compassionate mobile crisis outreach team, this hotline serves as a lifeline for those grappling with suicidal thoughts or experiencing mental health crises. This hotline includes all critical components of a crisis system: someone to call, someone to respond and somewhere to go. All who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings or are having a mental health crisis are encouraged to dial 988 and speak with a caring professional. 

  

We are grateful for AFSP and their steadfast commitment to safeguarding Utah’s vulnerable populations. For further insights on AFSP’s mission, click here, and for details on accessing the 988 hotline and speaking with a professional, click here


 

EAC Budget Recommendations  

Last Friday, the Executive Appropriations Committee (EAC) met to approve budget recommendations and will now be considered by the full Legislature this week. The total state budget will be over $28 billion and will continue to be refined over the next week. The Legislature will approve the final budget before the session adjourns on March 1. 

 

This year’s budget recommendations bolster Utah’s long-standing legacy of fiscal stewardship in appropriations. Our recommendations include strategic investments across vital sectors, including education, social services, infrastructure, energy and water, while providing Utahns with an income tax cut for the fourth consecutive year. These targeted investments serve as the bedrock for future economic expansion, catalyzing innovation and bolstering competitiveness on a global scale.

 

Read the full budget recommendations here.

 

Watch my Weekly Video Updates!


 

Until next time,

Senator Dan McCay

District 18

 
















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