Legislative Bill Update

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Senate Bill 31: Area Health Education Center Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City.

Summary: The bill would give the U $1.3 million to establish five new regional, health education centers in rural areas of the state.

Status: Already passed by the Senate and the House Health and Human Services committee; the bill now awaits a full House vote.

SB 61: Enhancements to the State Systems of Public and Higher Education, sponsored by Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan.

Summary: The bill would provide the first year of funding for Gov. Michael O. Leavitt’s initiative to double the number of computer-science and engineering students in five years and triple the number in eight.

Higher education would receive $10.55 million for faculty and student recruitment, technology and new programs. Public education would receive $19 million in pay raises for math and science faculty who promise to stay in the state.

Status: The bill unanimously passed the Senate Education Committee and will now go before the full Senate.

SB210: Higher Education Tuition Disclosure, sponsored by Sen. Carlene Walker, R-Cottonwood Heights.

Summary: The bill would require presidents who are considering a college-specific increase to hold a student hearing, advertised in the local media, during which they would outline how they would use the additional tuition revenue.

The bill would require the state Board of Regents to conduct a similar process when it considers a statewide tuition increase.

Status: The Senate will vote on the bill today.

House Bill 64: Tuition Waivers for Wards of the State, sponsored by Rep. Richard Siddoway, R-Bountiful.

Summary: The bill would provide tuition waivers, paid for by the Division of Child and Family Services, to a person who has been in the custody of the state for at least two years.

Status: The bill passed the House and is now tabled on the Senate?s third reading calendar, one vote from the governor?s desk.

HB89: Rural Pharmacy Changes, sponsored by Rep. Lorraine Pace, R-Logan.

Summary: The bill would provide the Department of Health with $150,000 to establish a telepharmacy network managed by the U. The telepharmacy network would allow a U pharmacist to oversee the actions of a pharmacy technician in another part of the state via computers and video cameras.

Status: The Senate tabled the bill on its third reading calendar.

HB99: Reading Skills Development Center Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Karen Morgan, D-Salt Lake.

Summary: The bill would change the U’s Reading Skills Development Center into the Reading Clinic, shifting focus from school districts to teachers and parents. The clinic would help teachers and parents assess reading ability and train them in educational techniques.

Status: The bill passed the House and now awaits a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.

HB126: Amendments to Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Meals, sponsored by Rep. Afton Bradshaw, R-Salt Lake.

Summary: The bill would make the existing practice of providing tax-exempt meal plans for higher-education students law by changing the state tax code.

Status: Received legislative approval and now needs only the governor?s signature.

Compiled by Matt Canham

For daily updates on these or other legislative bills, log on to www.le.state.us.ut.