There are only four days left in the session and they promise to offer a wild ride. Though we did well in the appropriations process, things happen between then and now and we are anxiously await final budget decisions. Executive Appropriations meets this afternoon, March 5 at 12:30 p.m. and we'll get a first look at what's being funded thus far. We are hearing from Senator Vickers that Higher Education was treated well. Specifics should be addressed in this afternoon's meeting that you can listen to at le.utah.gov. As of now, we don't know how or if the Utah Summer Games request or the Child & Family Development Center will be funded. Those items were not on a draft document circulated at caucus meetings last Friday. I'll be making some meetings, doing some pacing, calling on all our friends for support. It's not over til it's over, which is at 12 midnight Thursday, March 8.
Today is the last day of committee meetings. It's also the last day that legislators will be hearing and voting on bills that originated in their body. After today, the Senate will only hear House bills and vice versa. Floor time today will be from 2-4 p.m. and again from 5:30 p.m. until, well, however long they decide they need to go tonight. The bills on the third reading calendar are in the final stages of the process. Each bill has to be read three times before it is passed to the other chamber. If you choose to listen in today, or any time the rest of the week, you will hear a request for suspension of this rule. This helps speed things along in these final days. There is a definite sense of urgency and nervousness here in the marble halls.
Experiential education=Making it Real
One of our interns, MacKenzie Manness, participated in the Utah Intercollegiate Legislature last spring. Through that mock-legislative experience, she developed a bill regarding the protection of dark skies. Since that time, she worked closely with Senator Vickers to make that a real piece of legislation. Her effort has resulted in Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 sponsored by Vickers. It passed the Senate, passed the House and now awaits the Governor's signature.Students can learn more about the Utah Intercollegiate Legislature by visiting the Micheal O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service.