Affordable Day Care & After School Programs

During the 2021 session, I was able to fulfill a commitment to my community to prioritize affordable access to childcare for working parents. HB277 – Childcare Eligibility Amendments restructured the childcare co-pay program administered through the Office of Childcare, and allowed families who made up to 85% of the state median income to be eligible for childcare assistance on a sliding scale. The sliding scale allows working class families to find some reprieve in childcare costs, and to gradually taper off of the program as their financial situation changes or until their child graduates off of the program. 

The other important portion of this bill stabilizes the very important childcare sector by requiring state pay families to be treated the same as private pay families, in that providers are paid according to enrollment and not attendance. This will help to keep our childcare facilities open to serve families. 

During the 2022 General Session, we ran HB 375 – Office of Childcare Amendments which creates a tool that will capture more comprehensive data similar to the tool used by the Federal and other state governments. The data in this tool is meant to help state policymakers, child care providers, and other stakeholders understand the needs associated with delivering childcare by collecting data on everything from child to staff ratios, salaries of providers, enrollment efficiency, both sunk and hidden costs, and more. The national Office of Child Care, under the Administration for Children and Families, recommends this approach as a more comprehensive alternative to a basic market rate study. This will help us to continue to work in the childcare sector and serve both families and providers in the most thoughtful and thorough way possible.

I also co-sponsored HB193 – Full Day Kindergarten, by Rep. Waldrip which will provide optional full day Kindergarten to DIstricts, Schools, and students.

Supporting children and our working parents will always be a priority of mine, and I am dedicated to continue working in this area to provide safe and healthy spaces for our children, and breathing room for our parents.

Infrastructure and Mobility on the West Side

During the 2022 General Session, I co-sponsored HB 322 – Transit Amendments with Rep. Christofferson which moved the construction aspect of UTA under the purview of UDOT. This will allow public transit access to be more seamlessly incorporated into future transportation projects.

Livable Wages

During the 2021 General Session I ran HB 361 – Minimum Wage Amendments. This bill would have provided regional minimum wage increases, which were calculated using a formula that took into consideration the cost of living and goods in each County, and compared it to the average non-managerial, non-agricultural wages for the area. This would have allowed for an increase that would have supported responsible growth in all areas without becoming detrimental to our smaller and more rural counties.

Environmental Stewardship

As a beekeeper myself, HB 224 – Pollinator Amendments was perhaps one of my most fun bills to run in the 2021 Session. This bill created a pilot program in partnership with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, SUU and USU. This bill created a 3-year pilot program that includes public education efforts via workshops & planting guides, and distribution of pollinator friendly native flowering plants and seeds to landowners. We hope to support the nearly 1,200 native species of pollinators in this state to support our agricultural economy.

I am proud to co-sponsor HB 121 – Water Conservation Amendments which was a bipartisan effort led by Rep. Spendlove that imposes requirements related to water conservation at state government facilities and state agencies, and also provides for incentives to replace lawn or turf with drought resistant landscaping.

Community Support

HB 353 – False Reporting Amendments was an issue brought to me by our local precinct. This bill closes a loophole that currently exists in statute. This bill clarifies that if someone were to make a false report through a proxy or third party, they will still be held liable for instigating the false report. We wanted to eliminate the gray area that exists when dealing with bad actors and hold those crying wolf accountable for wasting the time and resources for our officers.

HB 396 – Paid Professional Hours for Educators is an effort led by Rep Moss to give additional paid prep time to teachers, special education teachers, counselors, school administration, school specialists, student support, school psychologists, speech pathologists and audiologists.