Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day 44 -- Now the Fun Begins

It was a fairy slow day in committee on Tuesday as most of the bills affecting local governments were pulled from the agenda to allow for futher discussion.

Rep. Shurtliff's annexation bill (HB124) that extends some of Salt Lake County's requirements to counties of the second class was pulled so that the Counties and Cities could see if there were some alternatives to her original language. It is safe to say that no one is looking at SL County's annexation laws as the poster child for how things should be. We will keep you posted as this continues to be discussed

Rep. Frank pulled his privatization policy board bill HB75 to allow the League an opportunity to provide some alternatives to the constitutional hang-ups with his legislation, which essentially allows an appointed board to override a city council in determining the proper role of government. We provided those alternatives late afternoon, and we was going to "sleep on them" to see where he wants to go with his legislation

Sen. Greiner also pulled his bill (SB127) that would require local government to locate all private and public underground sewer facilities. Since this would cost about $300-$500 per home, everyone is trying to figure out some alternatives to locating sewer laterals that are not owned by government, but rather the home owner.

So while bills before committee were largely held for further discussion, the Senate was moving quickly on bills already on the floor, and have passed two big retirement bills to the third reading calendar for final discussion. Those bills SB18 and SB19 provide greater benefits to police officers by offering a death benefit to surviving spouses (SB18) and allowing for greater Cost of Living Adjustments for retired peace officers (SB19). While the League has endorsed SB19 since it is optional for local government, our position is still pending on SB18. We will be solidifying our position at our next policy meeting.

Well that about does it for Tuesday.

Until next time ... Enjoy!