Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 Session -- Week Three

With Valentine’s Day upon us, it was only appropriate that Sen. Valentine visited extensively with ULCT Policy Makers in week 3 on alcohol reform measures. While we are all still waiting on the final draft of the bill, Sen. Valentine went over his bill in extensive detail, outlining the key components and dispelling many of the rumors regarding the “monetization” of the licensure process. The key components of the bill have been covered extensively and include the conversion of existing tavern licenses to full-service restaurant licenses; modification to the current DABC application process to statutorily codify many of the current practices of the DABC, and also codify, what he describe as, the current process of allowing an incoming restaurateur to acquire an existing business and the associated license (monetization). Sen. Valentine had a very different take on what monetization would look like and assured us that it is simply a codification of the current practice and not a new concept for the DABC or this area of the law. Because we still haven’t seen the actual draft there are still some anxious folks, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Sen. Valentine “showed us the love” and committed to working with the ULCT to ensure that our concerns are addressed and also committed to delay the effective date of any DABC practices amendments to ensure that there are no unintended consequences.
In addition to alcohol reform, this week marked major changes in the immigration discussion as HB70 was significantly modified to remove the requirement to inquire on immigration status when police officers confront someone on routine traffic stops (Class B and C misdemeanors). It would only require and immigration inquiry on Class A’s and Felonies. With this change, there should be a significant reduction in the cost associated with the enforcement of this law. The bill included several other changes as well to include changes in the detention and booking requirements, as well as changes in who has standing to challenge the enforcement of the law. Because of the major changes, we have just included a link to the new bill for reference

Web Link: http://le.utah.gov/~2011/htmdoc/hbillhtm/hb0070.htm

City/County Issues:
On another note, this week was also a big week on the dealings between SL County and the cities in SL County, with the hallmark of this discussion being the request the county is making to be able to impose the energy tax. It appears that much of the energy is being let out of that request and questions on whether or not the legislature should continue to allow the county to impose the police fee are resurfacing. We will continue to negotiate with the county on how we accomplish our goal of wall-to-wall cities through effective utilization of the current tax structure and ensuring that county-wide services are paid for by county-wide taxes and unincorporated services are exclusively paid for with the county unincorporated “municipal” tax. This discussion will likely continue well into the week 4 and 5 of the session.

RDA Issues:
Finally, our large RDA rewrite is now published and out for review, so please take a look and let us know if you have any questions regarding this bill. It is fairly technical in nature so please have your redevelopment experts review the bill as well.

Web Link: http://le.utah.gov/~2011/htmdoc/sbillhtm/sb0070.htm

We hope this update finds you well and look forward to seeing many of you on the hill during week 4.