Legislative Weekly Update Reports

The Utah State Legislative Session begins on Monday, January 27, 2020 and will run through Thursday, March 12, 2020. We hope you continue to check this site for updates and SLCC activities happening throughout the session. Check out links to weekly updates, useful information and resources.

Legislative Update Reports

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Budget Update

The 2020 Legislative Session got underway on Monday, January 27. On Tuesday, the Legislature repealed HB 185, the tax reform package it passed in December's special legislative session. This action will impact this year's budget in ways that are still unclear. We expect additional budget information, including FY21 budget revenue projections, in the coming week so legislative leaders can start building next year’s budget.

Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

The Higher Education Appropriation Subcommittee (HEAS) held an introductory meeting with a presentation by Chair Harris Simmons and Interim Commissioner Dave Woolstenhulme reviewing the Board of Regents’ strategic priorities and current budget priorities. The Commissioner also introduced new budget summaries of the USHE institutions to aid the committee in understanding higher education finance.

There was a brief discussion at the end of Wednesday’s HEAS about expected legislation related to the governance of higher education in Utah and the consultant’s report presented to the Higher Education Strategic Planning Commission in November 2019. Legislation is expected to be released early next week.

SLCC will present at upcoming HEAS hearing on February 4. President Huftalin’s presentation will be available to listen to live on the morning of Feb. 4th or as a recording on the subcommittee’swebsite.

Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee

President Huftalin has been asked by the Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee to give a presentation about the needed funding for the proposed SLCC/U of U building in Herriman on Feb. 7 morning. The presentation will be available to listen to live on Feb 7 in the morning or as a recording on the subcommittee’swebsite.

Legislation of Interest

HB 45, Veterans Education Amendments by Rep. Paul Ray eliminates inequities institutions face in awarding in-state tuition to only those discharged under Chapters 30 and 33 of the GI bill and eliminated the five-year limit since discharge for in-state tuition eligibility of immediate family members who use GI bill benefits. The bill also allows veterans using the Veterans Tuition Gap Program administered by the Board of Regents to receive funds for fees and books, along with tuition. This item is designed to help spend surplus funds appropriated for the program. The bill received unanimous support in the House and awaits Senate consideration. SLCC Veterans Affairs staff spoke in favor of the legislation.

HB 103, Utah Promise Scholarship Program Amendments by Rep. Derrin Owen makes technical changes to the Utah Promise Scholarship based on feedback from financial aid directors.This corrects an unintended error in ensuring all other state aid be exhausted before tapping funds appropriated to this program, including waivers. The change puts needed flexibility in the use of waiver, with some controls, before state dollars are tapped under this scholarship. The bill is scheduled in the House Education Committee on Monday afternoon.

HB 132, Higher Education Student Speech Rights by Rep. Kim Coleman establishes a specific threshold that determines when student-on-student speech becomes harassment as opposed to protected speech. It may put schools in conflict with existing federal guidance and definitions of harassment. The bill is assigned to the House Education Committee.

Institution Presentations to Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

SLCC presented to the Higher Education Appropriation Subcommittee (HEAS) this week:

Salt Lake Community College

Capital Development

President Huftalin presented to the Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee about the proposed building at the Herriman campus.

Legislative Requests for Appropriations

There’s also a growing list of appropriations requests sponsored by legislators involving USHE. SLCC is included in one of the several requests. The Board of Regents is meeting next Friday, February 14 to learn more about these proposals:

Area Health Education Centers - SLCC

Legislation of Interest

HB 45, Veterans Education Amendments by Rep. Paul Ray eliminates inequities institutions face in awarding in-state tuition to only those discharged under Chapters 30 and 33 of the GI bill and eliminates the five-year limit since discharge for in-state tuition eligibility of immediate family members who use GI bill benefits. The bill also allows veterans using the Veterans Tuition Gap Program administered by the Board of Regents to receive funds for fees and books, along with tuition. This item is designed to help spend surplus funds appropriated for the program. The bill received unanimous support in the House and awaits Senate consideration.

HB 103, Utah Promise Scholarship Program Amendments by Rep. Derrin Owens makes

technical changes to the Utah Promise Scholarship based on feedback from financial aid directors. This corrects an unintended error in ensuring all other state aid be exhausted before tapping funds appropriated to this program, including waivers. The change puts needed flexibility in the use of waiver, with some controls, before state dollars are tapped under this scholarship. The bill was heard in the House Education Committee on Tuesday, February 4th, and passed with a unanimous favorable recommendation. The bill currently awaits house consideration.

HB 132, Higher Education Student Speech Rights by Rep. Kim Coleman establishes a specific threshold that determines when student-on-student speech becomes harassment as opposed to protected speech. It may put schools in conflict with existing federal guidance and definitions of harassment. The bill is assigned to the House Education Committee.

HB 256, Student Aid Amendments by Rep. Karen Kwan requires the free application of Federal Student Aid to be eligible for certain financial aid for higher education. This modifies the application process, clarifies the qualifications for student financial aid provided by scholarship or through the state, as well as determines where the financial aid may be applied with schools recognized by the USBE, USHE, and UTECH. This bill has been introduced and is being reviewed by the House Rules Committee.

SB 80, Campus Safety Amendments by Sen. Jani Iwamoto requires the Board of Regents to study and make recommendations for providing public safety services on college and university campuses. This includes determining the relationship between public and campus law enforcement, the process of reporting, disciplinary actions and the potential for additional training. The study will take place during the interim and will require the Board of Regents to present a final report of the study with recommendations to the Education Interim Committee and the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee. This bill was discussed in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, February 4th and passed with favorable recommendation, and is now awaiting discussion in the house.

SB 96, Emerging Technology Talent Initiative by Senator Ann Millner creates an initiative that awards proposals submitted to an advisory board under direction of the Board of Regents that expand programs in deep technology (e.g. artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, advanced materials, robotics, secure computing). The bill has been assigned the Senate Education Committee.

Legislative Requests for Appropriations

The Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee (HEAS)has been assigned an unusually large number of requests for appropriations. There are over two dozen requests exceeding $90 million, above and beyond the priorities of the USHE Board of Regents. The Board of Regents met Friday, February 14, and discussed several requests.

USHE Presentations to Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

Legislation of Interest

HB 45, Veterans Education Amendments by Rep. Paul Ray eliminates inequities institutions face in awarding in-state tuition to only those discharged under Chapters 30 and 33 of the GI bill and eliminated the five-year limit since discharge for in-state tuition eligibility of immediate family members who use GI bill benefits. The bill also allows veterans using the Veterans Tuition Gap Program administered by the USHE Board of Regents to receive funds for fees and books, along with tuition. This item is designed to help spend surplus funds appropriated for the program. The bill received unanimous support in the House and is scheduled for Senate Committee consideration next week.

HB 103, Utah Promise Scholarship Program Amendments by Rep. Derrin Owens makes technical changes to the Utah Promise Scholarship based on feedback from financial aid directors. This corrects an unintended error in ensuring all other state aid be exhausted before tapping funds appropriated to this program, including waivers. The change puts needed flexibility in the use of waiver, with some controls, before state dollars are tapped under this scholarship. The bill passed the House unanimously and awaits further consideration by the Senate.

HB 132, Higher Education Student Speech Rights by Rep. Kim Coleman establishes a specific threshold

that determines when student-on-student speech becomes harassment as opposed to protected speech. It may put schools in conflict with existing federal guidance and definitions of harassment. The bill was assigned the House Education Committee but was abruptly reassigned to the House Judiciary Committee, where it awaits consideration.

HB 256, Student Aid Amendments by Rep. Karen Kawn requires student applicants to complete the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for certain financial aid for higher education. This modifies the application process, clarifies the qualifications for student financial aid provided by scholarship or through the state, as well as determines where the financial aid may be applied with schools recognized by USBE, USHE, and UTECH. This bill was heard in the House Education Committee, but a quorum was lost during discussion so the bill is being held for a future hearing.

SB 80, Campus Safety Amendments by Sen. Jani Iwamoto requires the USHE Board of Regents to study and make recommendations for providing public safety services on college and university campuses. This includes determining the relationship between public and campus law enforcement, the process of reporting, disciplinary actions, and the potential for additional training. The study will take place during the interim and will require the USHE Board of Regents to present a final report of the study with recommendations to the Education Interim Committee and the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee. The bill awaits final passage in the Senate after an initial 23-2 vote.

SB 96, Emerging Technology Talent Initiative by Sen. Ann Millner creates an initiative that awards proposals submitted to an advisory board under direction of the USHE Board of Regents that expand programs in deep technology (e.g. artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, advanced materials, robotics, secure computing). The bill passed the Senate Education Committee and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

SB 111, Higher Education Amendments by Sen. Ann Millner is the epochal legislation that revamps the governance structure of higher education in Utah. The bill’s primary components include:

  • Merge the two current systems of higher education into a single system.
  • Establishes a single governing board, its initial composition and process for appointing future members.
  • Defines the new board’s duties (selection of institution presidents, requirements related to an institution’s authority to establish new programs, etc.).
  • Mandates certain transition-related actions of the USHE Board of Regents and the Utah System of Technical Colleges Board of Trustees.
  • Extends the term of the Higher Education Strategic Planning Commission by one year.

A press conference of the bill’s introduction was held on February 11. Here is a summary of the legislation. The bill received unanimous approval in the Senate Education Committee and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

SB 117, Higher Education Financial Aid Amendments by Sen. Daniel Hemmert allows for the Regents’ Scholarship to be used at private, nonprofit colleges or universities within the state (BYU, LDS Business College, Western Governors University, Westminster College). It also limits the amount of scholarship funding available to those kinds of colleges. The bill awaits a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.

Budget

With Appropriations Subcommittees wrapped up, Senate and House leadership have spent the week preparing to compile the full budget. Legislative budgets are expected in the coming week. The Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee has put a high priority on the USHE unified budget request, which includes: compensation increases commensurate with state employees, performance funding, ongoing funding to expand the Utah College Access Advisors program, funding to cover enrollment growth, and increased funding for technical education.

Legislation of Interest

HB 132, Higher Education Student Speech Rights by Rep. Kim Coleman establishes a specific threshold that determines when student-on-student speech becomes harassment as opposed to protected speech. USHE institutions are concerned the legislation would increase litigation costs to the state and potentially have a chilling effect on free speech on campus. It may put schools in conflict with existing federal guidance and definitions of harassment. The bill passed the House, 39-31, and awaits consideration by the Senate.

HB 256, Student Aid Amendments by Rep. Karen Kwan requires student applicants to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for certain financial aid for higher education. This modifies the application process, clarifies the qualifications for student financial aid, provided by scholarship or through the state, as well as determines where the financial aid may be applied with schools recognized by USBE, USHE, and UTECH. This bill passed the House, 48-26, and awaits further consideration by the Senate.

HB 336, Concurrent Enrollment Certificate Pilot Program by Rep. Val Peterson creates the PRIME pilot program to expand access to concurrent enrollment and technical education in K-12. The legislation creates a three-tiered program that includes the LAUNCH certificate, DISCOVER breadth certificate, and TRANSFORM general education/technical certificate. The bill was passed by the the House Education Committee and awaits consideration by the full House.

HB 386, Online Education Program Amendments by Rep. Kim Coleman allows a student who is enrolled in a course through the statewide online education program administered by USBE to be eligible for Concurrent Enrollment. The bill awaits a House committee assignment.

HB 409, Concurrent Enrollment Amendments by Rep. Eric Hutchings requires the USHE Board of Regents to annually approve a prioritized list of upper division Concurrent Enrollment courses and amends the formula for increasing funding for Concurrent Enrollment. The bill awaits a House committee assignment.

SB 80 (1st Sub.), Campus Safety Amendments by Sen. Jani Iwamoto requires the USHE Board of Regents to study and make recommendations for providing public safety services on college and university campuses. This includes determining the relationship between public and campus law enforcement, the process of reporting, disciplinary actions and the potential for additional training. The study will take place during the interim and will require the USHE Board of Regents to present a final report of the study with recommendations to the Education Interim Committee and the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee. The bill received unanimous support in both the Senate and House and awaits the Governor’s signature.

SB 96, Emerging Technology Talent Initiative by Sen. Ann Millner creates an initiative that awards proposals submitted to an advisory board under the direction of the USHE Board of Regents that expands programs in deep technology (e.g. artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, advanced materials, robotics, secure computing). The bill unanimously passed the House Public Utilities and Technology Committee and awaits consideration by the House.

SB 111 (1st Sub.), Higher Education Amendments, by Sen. Ann Millner is the epochal legislation that revamps the governance structure of higher education in Utah. The bill’s primary components include:

  • Merges the two current systems of higher education into a single
  • Establishes a single governing board, its initial composition and process for appointing future
  • Defines the new board’s duties (selection of institutions presidents, requirements related to an institution’s authority to establish new programs, etc).
  • Mandates certain transition-related actions of the USHE Board of Regents and the Utah System of Technical Colleges Board of Trustees
  • Extends the term of the Higher Education Strategic Planning Commission by one year. A press conference of the bill’s introduction was held on February 11. Here is a summary of the legislation. The bill the full Senate and awaits consideration by the House Education Committee on Monday, March

SB 117, Higher Education Financial Aid Amendments by Sen. Daniel Hemmert allows for the Regents’ Scholarship to be used at private, nonprofit colleges or universities within the state (BYU, LDS Business College, Western Governors University, Westminster College). It also limits the amount of scholarship funding available to those specific kinds of colleges. The bill received unanimous support by the House Education Committee and awaits consideration by the House.

Budget

The Executive Appropriations Committee met late Friday to adopt the state’s FY 21 budget totalling approximately $20 billion. Legislative leaders substantially supported the major priorities advanced by the USHE Board of Regents:

  • Performance Funding ($29.5 million)
  • College Access Advisors ($1 million)
  • Enrollment Growth ($5 million)
  • ¾ of a 2.5% employee compensation increase, in parity with state agency employees

The Committee also funded four USHE institution building/land projects:

  • Southern Utah University: Academic Classroom Building
  • University of Utah: Applied Science Building
  • Utah State University: Heravi Global Teaching & Learning Center
  • Salt Lake Community College: Herriman Campus Gen. Education Building
  • Dixie State University: SITLA Land Acquisition

Other funding increases include:

  • $5 million increase to the Regents’ Scholarship in connection with SB 117
  • $5.1 million for a new grant initiative to foster expertise in emerging technologies
  • $2.5 million (one-time) to examine potential large scale opportunities to share major services across USHE

While there may be a few budget adjustments in the closing days of the legislative session next week, the major components will largely stay intact. The House and Senate are expected to formally adopt the budget in the coming days.

Legislation of Interest

HB 132 (1st Sub.), Higher Education Student Speech Rights by Rep. Kim Coleman establishes a specific threshold that determines when student-on-student speech becomes harassment. After several years of opposing this legislation, USHE was able to work with the sponsor on substitute language that satisfies USHE institutions’ biggest concerns. The Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee bill unanimously passed the bill, and it awaits consideration by the full Senate.

HB 256, Student Aid Amendments by Rep. Karen Kwan requires student applicants to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for certain financial aid for higher education. This modifies the application process, clarifies the qualifications for student financial aid, provided by scholarship or through the state, as well as determines where the financial aid may be applied with schools recognized by USBE, USHE, and UTECH. The Senate Education Committee unanimously passed the bill and awaits further consideration by the full Senate. 

HB 336, Concurrent Enrollment Certificate Pilot Program by Rep. Val Peterson creates the PRIME pilot program to expand access to concurrent enrollment and technical education in K-12. The legislation creates a three-tiered program that includes the LAUNCH certificate, DISCOVER breadth certificate, and TRANSFORM general education/technical certificate. The bill passed the House and is currently awaiting a second reading in the Senate.

HB 409, Concurrent Enrollment Amendments by Rep. Eric Hutchings requires the USHE Board of Regents to annually approve a prioritized list of upper division Concurrent Enrollment courses and amends the formula for increasing funding for Concurrent Enrollment. The House Education Committee passed the bill and it awaits consideration by the House.

SB 96, Emerging Technology Talent Initiative by Sen. Ann Millner creates an initiative that awards proposals submitted to an advisory board under the direction of the USHE Board of Regents that expands programs in deep technology (e.g. artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, advanced materials, robotics, secure computing). The House Public Utilities and Technology Committee unanimously passed the bill, and it awaits consideration by the House.

SB 111 (1st Sub.), Higher Education Amendments by Sen. Ann Millner is legislation that significantly revamps the governance structure of higher education in Utah. The bill’s primary components include:

  • Merges the two current systems of higher education into a single system
  • Establishes a single governing board, its initial composition and process for appointing future members
  • Defines the new board’s duties (selection of institutions presidents, requirements related to an institution’s authority to establish new programs, etc.)
  • Mandates certain transition-related actions of the USHE Board of Regents and the Utah System of Technical Colleges Board of Trustees
  • Extends the term of the Higher Education Strategic Planning Commission by one year

A press conference of the bill’s introduction was held on February 11. Here is a summary of the legislation . The bill passed the both chambers and awaits the Governor’s signature for enrolling. Transition plans are in the works and immediate action is expected by both governing boards soon after the legislative session. 

SB 117, Higher Education Financial Aid Amendments by Sen. Daniel Hemmert allows the Regents’ Scholarship to be used at private, nonprofit colleges or universities within the state (BYU, LDS Business College, Western Governors University, Westminster College). It also limits the amount of scholarship funding available to those specific kinds of colleges. The bill received unanimous support by the House Education Committee and awaits consideration by the House.

SLCC Legislative Presentations