By Rep. John Westwood
The last full week has passed us by. Next week is the end and it is going to be a busy one. Almost all committees have finished and it’s going to be a lot of floor time. It’s strange to think it’s all going to be over soon, it’s all happened so quickly.
There were some great things happening in the House.
I am happy to report that we are very close to passing HB 57 Utah Intergenerational Poverty Work and Self-sufficiency Tax Credit. Senator Vickers presented the bill in the Senate and it is now waiting to have the funds approved and to be read in the Senate For the final time.
The Utah Legislature is considering a bill, H.B.399, Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment
Amendments, that would require a warning label and informational pamphlet to be distributed when an opiate is prescribed.
H.B 399 requires pharmacies to better educate the public on opioids. It would require warning labels to be affixed by the pharmacy that contain the following, “Caution: Opioid. Risk of overdose and addiction,” as well as additional language approved by the Department of Health.
Drug addiction is an incredible problem across the problem and it is best to stop the addiction before it starts. 80 percent of people who are addicted to heroin nationwide first became hooked on a prescription drug. There would be a pamphlet giving sign and resources for the patient or family if they believe the patient has a substance abuse disorder.
HB 399 unanimously passed the House Health and Human Services Standing Committee on February 26.
Congresswoman Mia Love
On February 22, Congresswoman Mia Love visited the House to speak to legislators about what is happening in Washington D.C. She spoke of the success of the Trump administration’s tax reform and the positive impact it is having on businesses, individuals and America. She also encouraged Utah lawmakers to follow suit with the state revenue surplus this year by offering Utahns much-needed tax relief.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney visited the House on February 27. During the majority caucus meeting, he discussed his positions on a variety of topics.
The former governor called for more trade and innovation, saying it would be a win for Utah and the United States. He discussed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and some of its negative effects, especially in towns that lost major manufacturers as a result. He believes we need to renegotiate NAFTA and other trade agreements in ways that benefit the U.S.
Arts Day Museum Day on the Hill
Museums of all kinds came to the Capitol on February 27 to provide hands-on learning experiences. Some booths had live lizards and snakes, a variety of artifacts of art and one commemorated WWI.
The High School Art Show Capitol Day
High school students from across Utah showcased their art in the Gold Room at the Capitol. Utah is a proud promoter of the arts, and it was a day for students and teachers to show their support and appreciation of school art programs.
Thank you all for your support.