Grass Roots
Committed to Promoting the Principles of Limited Government, Constitution, Representative Government,
Participatory Republic, Free Market Economy, Family and Separation of Powers

Legislative Updates - 7 February 2022

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Dear Friends:

This is GrassRoots’ 3rd legislative update of this year’s General Session of the Utah State Legislature. At this time (3 weeks into the session), there are about 550 numbered bills for this session on the Utah Legislature website. Here are some bills that we consider to be noteworthy.

Bills catching our attention this week:

*HB32Substitute, “Health Care Worker Protection Amendments”, sponsored by Representative Spendlove and Senator Ipson, would

  • enact enhanced penalties for assault or threat of violence against an owner, employee, or contractor of a health facility; and
  • create an automatic sunset date for the provisions in this bill.

HB32Substitute passed the House 56-16 on Feb 1st, and awaits consideration by the Senate Business and Labor Committee.

We believe existing Utah Code already outlaws assault and threats of violence against another person, and there are already enhanced penalties for premeditation to hurt another person. We believe this is as it should be.

But HB32Substitute appears to create another special class of people, and a criminal is said to deserve extra punishment for assaulting or threatening this special class of people. This is contrary to the principle of Equal Treatment Under The Law.

GrassRoots favors a “no” vote on HB32Substitute.

*SB49, “State Film Production Incentives Amendments”, sponsored by Senator Winterton and Representative Handy, would exempt certain rural film productions from limits on the total amount of refundable motion picture tax credit incentives the Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity may issue each fiscal year. According to the Fiscal Note for SB49, “Enactment of this legislation could decrease revenues to the Education Fund by $12,000,000 ongoing beginning in FY 2023.”

SB49 awaits consideration by Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee.

We are definitely not opposed to $12 million in tax cuts, but this looks like Unequal Treatment Under The Law at best, and a crony capitalist giveaway to filmmakers at worst. If state government can live without these $12 million per year ongoing (and we think it can), then a broadbased tax-rate reduction (such as, for example, in SB59, SB62, or HB105 as discussed in last week’s update) would be the appropriate means of tax relief. GrassRoots favors a “no” vote on SB49.

*SB105, “Family Planning Services Amendments”, sponsored by Senator Kitchen, would require the Medicaid program to apply for a waiver or a state plan amendment to extend family planning services to certain low-income individuals (see lines 45-48). The fiscal note for SB105 indicates that, in Fiscal Year 2023, there would be additional expenditures of $568K from the State and $2.8 million of Federal Funds.

SB105 awaits consideration by Senate Business and Labor Committee.

Family planning services are not a proper role of government to be paid for with tax dollars taken by force from the citizenry. And they are definitely not part of the constitutionally-enumerated powers of the national government. If government has money for this kind of government expansion, then we need a tax cut (or a larger tax cut). GrassRoots favors a “no” vote on SB105.

*SB129, “State Prevailing Wage Requirements”, sponsored by Senator Kitchen, would:

  • require workers on a state construction project to be paid a prevailing wage;
  • provide for the determination of a prevailing wage;
  • authorize the Labor Commission to investigate an alleged violation of the prevailing wage provisions;
  • create a criminal penalty and provide for a civil action for a violation of the prevailing wage requirements; and
  • require a bid issued by a procurement unit and a contract resulting from a bid to comply with the prevailing wage requirements.

SB129 awaits consideration by Senate Business and Labor Committee.

Is enactment of a minimum wage or prevailing wage warranted for contractors working on state construction projects? Normally we would think the best course would be to leave determination of wages to the Free Market. Any effort to artificially drive up wages on a state construction project is likely to add costs to the taxpayer and may pose other unintended consequences.

Also, under SB129, who determines the “prevailing wage”? SB129 prescribes: “Using the most recent United States Department of Labor wage determinations, the [Labor Commission] shall annually determine the prevailing wage within the state for all occupations, crafts, and types of work expected to be required for construction projects” (see lines 108-110, see also lines 53-58). Considering that contractors violating the “prevailing wage” requirements of SB129 would be subject to a variety of criminal and civil penalties, the setting of the prevailing wage would be a legislative matter, and SB129 proposes to give such powers to executive branch bureaucrats in our state government and in the federal government. This is a dangerous violation of Separation of Legislative and Executive Powers. (See the discussion of Separation of Powers in last week’s GrassRoots update (of January 31st) under the heading “The Administrative State and its annual renewal”.)

GrassRoots favors a “no” vote on SB129.

If you have any questions about these bills, GrassRoots’ position on these bills, or related matters, please contact either of us or any other member of the Board of Utah GrassRoots.


Steve Stromness
Vice-Chairman, Bill Review Coordinator, Utah GrassRoots

Don Guymon
Chairman, Utah GrassRoots

PS Do you want to contact a legislator? Go to and click on “Legislators”.

Do you want to read and follow legislation yourself? Go to and click on “2020 General Session Page” then click on “2020 Bills”.

Do you have other questions about how to effectively participate in the political process? Please contact us, and we will try to help as appropriate.

Do you have friends that would appreciate this legislative update? Please feel free to forward it to them.

Would you like to help us with review of legislation in a small or large way? Consider taking a special look at bills sponsored by your own representative or senator. Please contact us with your findings and/or with any questions we might be able to help you with.

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