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2021 Utah Legislative Session Week Three


Thank you for the opportunity to serve our community and for your input.  I appreciate those that have reached out with their concerns and input via email, txt, and phone calls.  Your voices help make me a better representative.

We are already halfway through the session. This was a busy week filled with a lot of bill presentations in both committees and on the House floor. I am happy to report that all of the bills I presented this week received strong support and progressed through the Legislature.  Details on each of the bills are below.
 
There is still a lot of work to do, but I love representing District 32 in the People's House.

This week I enjoyed talking with the members of the Sandy Rotary Club! I appreciate the important work that they do in our community.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me about issues or bills that matter to you. The fastest way to connect is via can text me at 801-999-8047 or email at sharrison@le.utah.gov

Sincerely,
Suzanne

Join us tomorrow for a Virtual Joint Town Hall with Representatives and Senators who represent Sandy City. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you to Sandy City for hosting. 

Saturday, February 6th from 9-11am

Link for the meeting:
Click for Zoom Link
Thanks to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for your support of HB99.  This bill will help save taxpayers and our state money by allowing the Public Employees Health Plan to negotiate for better prices on expensive medications. Sen. Mike Kennedy sponsoring this bill in the Senate and I appreciate his support on this important issue..
Click for HB99 Bill Link
A snapshot me presenting HB99 in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
This week we presented our bill, HB194 Diabetes Prevention Program, in front of the Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee to request funding. I couldn't have done it without the help of Sarah Woolsey and Sarah Hodson from Get Healthy Utah.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

The Utah Legislature has been doing important work to help patients with diabetes. Last year I co-sponsored legislation to make insulin more affordable for Utah patients. This year, I’m working on legislation to help more Utahns avoid developing type 2 diabetes in the first place.

One out of three Utahns has elevated blood sugar levels which puts them at significant risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Around 90% of them don’t know they have a diagnosis of prediabetes. Nutrition, lifestyle changes, and education can help prevent the onset of this terrible disease.

Preventing patients from developing diabetes helps improve quality of life and reduce healthcare costs.
 
HB 194 creates a pilot program that will offer the National Diabetes Prevention Program to eligible Medicaid patients.

The National DPP is an evidence-based, cost-effective, high return on investment lifestyle change program that can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, improve health outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs.


This bill is progressing through the Legislature with strong support! I will present HB194 before the Senate Health and Human Services committee later today which will determine whether or not it goes to the Senate for a vote. 
Click for HB194 Link
I presented HB206 on the floor of the House of Representatives this week and received strong support! Thanks to the Utah House for unanimously supporting HB206 which will help patients purchase life-saving medication like epi-pens for a discounted price.
Click for HB206 Bill Link
Me presenting HB206 on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Do you recognize any of these amazing interns?

These students are all serving as legislative interns this year. Interns are critical to the success of each legislative session.

Katie, on the right, is my intern from BYU. Tavin and Kenna are #TeamHD32 residents and U of U students.

I first met Tavin and Kenna through Alta High School’s AP US Government class years ago. Master teacher, Mr. Ochoa, required each student to volunteer some time on one or more political campaigns of their choice to learn how local government works.

I was lucky enough to have Tavin and Kenna (pictured on the left) volunteer with our team in 2018. They were critical to our win and both returned in 2020 in campaign leadership roles. Having grown up in our community, they were phenomenal at connecting with voters.

I was thrilled to hear that they both applied to serve and learn as Legislative Interns this session. I am so proud of them, and I can’t wait to cheer them on in their next endeavors. Way to go, Tavin and Kenna!

None of this would have happened without amazing teachers like Mr. Ochoa. Thank you to all the educators who foster curiosity and a desire to make the world a better place!🙏❤️
Thanks to Representative Ray Ward (R-Bountiful), for co-authoring an op Ed with me on why electric vehicles are important for transportation, climate, air quality, and our health.

HB209 will skyrocket fees for clean vehicles to the highest in the nation. This bill is the wrong direction for Utah and will discourage the adoption of this clean air technology.

“Imposing the high fees envisioned in HB209 discourages the purchase of clean vehicles and disregards the state’s investments in electric vehicle infrastructure. Legislation of this nature should only be pursued at the same time as arriving at a more comprehensive solution to our transportation infrastructure funding problems, and only when electric vehicles have become an established transportation option. HB209 is a step in the wrong direction for Utah. Discussions on this bill must continue so that we find alternative solutions that prioritize our health, clean air and smart infrastructure solutions.”

Thanks to the Deseret News for publishing this piece. To read the article, click the link below. 
Click for Article

I presented HB96 on the floor of the House of Representatives and it passed the vote! This bill will help Utah with emergency preparedness and response by designating emergency managers in municipalities along with an emergency plan. It will now move onto the Senate for further consideration. 

I presented HB96 on the floor of the House of Representatives and it passed 57-9. This bill will help Utah with emergency preparedness and response by designating emergency managers in municipalities along with an emergency plan. It will now move onto the Senate for further consideration. 

Click for HB96 Bill Link
Intern Corner

Our interns are such a crucial part of our legislative session and Katie has been doing such a phenomenal job helping me this session. We couldn't do all of this without her smarts and hard work.

I can't believe we are already almost halfway through the session! Time is just flying and this week has been a whirlwind (shoutout to Dr. Pepper for getting me through). I feel like I finally know my way around the Capitol and have a grasp of this whole intern deal! 

This week we started having 2-floor times a day which is rather exciting to observe.
 
I have loved watching Representative Harrison present her bills this week. She is a masterful public speaker and presenter. I enjoy the committee debates on other bills as well. The committees have a lot of power on determining if a bill makes it to the floor or not which means that the debates in committee play a big role in the fate of a bill.  

Due to the increased floor time, I have become good friends with the interns who sit near me in the gallery. As a result, a few of us have created the "Chick Flick Caucus" where we discuss our favorite chick flicks in the little free time we have before and after floor time. This week we debated the trending Netflix teen romance “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” The caucus was split on their vote. We have now expanded our movie categories beyond just chick flicks, so if you have any recommendations of good movies send them our way!
kwhitehead@le.utah.gov

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