2020 Legislative Session Wrap Up

2020 Legislative Session Wrap Up

It’s been a crazy week since the 2020 legislative session wrapped up last Thursday, and an even crazier last 24 hours here in Utah. We put together a list of resources for help and information during these uncertain times – find them on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.To give yourself a break from the overwhelming news cycle, catch up on what happened during the 2020 legislative session right here in this email!

Our efforts this year were continually met with the response “there’s no money for that,” but we still saw good bills pass and bad bills fail.

This was all able to happen because of our supporters – you! – who raised their voice in support and in opposition to bills. In the last 45 days, we had over 20 citizens come up and lobby their legislators and over 850 emails sent to Representatives, Senators, and the Governor by supporters.

In other news, HEAL, like many other organizations, have decided to cancel our recently announced Capitol Brunch. Every year we host a spring fundraiser that gathers a few hundred of our supporters together for a meal and a special speaker. In light of recent events, we believe it best to cancel such a gathering.

We know things are overwhelming right now, so we featured some special guests in the final 2020 Capitol Report video that our staff filmed from home (watch by clicking the video below)!

Click above to watch our 2020 Capitol Report video

Radioactive Waste

  • HB0233 | Natural Resources Legacy Funding Amendments | Rep. Casey Snider
    • Creates a new board focused on open spaces, habitat, and species. Originally this bill funded this board through a tax on depleted uranium so we opposed it, but thanks to your outcry, the sponsor took out all of the depleted uranium language and the board is now funded by appropriations and grants!

Clean Air

  • SB0150 | Transportation Governance Amendments | Sen. Wayne Harper | Support
    • Expands the Utah Transit Authority’s ability to enter into joint ventures with communities to develop around existing transit hubs, opening up smart growth strategies that can help improve air quality by giving people the ability to live, work, and play near transit
  • HB0259 | Electric Vehicle Charging Network | Rep. Robert Spendlove | Support
    • Requires the Department of Transportation to lead in the creation of a statewide electric vehicle charging network plan
  • HB0059 | Tax Credit for Alternative Fuel Heavy Duty Vehicles | Rep. Andrew Stoddard | Support
    • Extends the income tax credit to 2029 for to certain alternative fuel heavy-duty vehicles, including electric
  • HB0396 | Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure | Rep. Lowry Snow | Support
    • Requires the Public Service Commission to authorize a large-scale utility to establish an electric vehicle charging infrastructure program, specifically focused on Rocky Mountain Power’s $50 million investment
  • HB0180 | Emission Inspection Revisions | Rep. Cory Maloy | Support
    • Creates an exemption for electric vehicles from emissions compliance fees.

Energy and Climate

  • HB0235 | Voluntary Home Energy Information Pilot Program | Rep. Patrice Arent | Support
    • Creates a committee to create rules and guidelines for a Voluntary Home Energy Information Pilot Program that will educate homeowners and sellers on home energy use
    • Includes $50,000 in one-time funding
  • SB0050 | Clean Energy Act Amendments | Sen. Jake Anderegg | Support
    • Clarifies and makes technical changes to definitions in the state’s pre-existing commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) program.
  • HB0283 | Outdoor Adventure Commission Amendments | Rep. Jeffrey Stenquist | Support
    • Creates the Outdoor Adventure Commission which will lead strategic planning and recommendations on the state’s outdoor recreation opportunitie
  • SB0154 | Taxed Interlocal Entity Amendments | Sen. David Hinkins | Oppose
    • Allows interlocal industries to apply for hydrogen, hydrogen energy storage, and nuclear projects to apply for and be funded by federal grants
  • SB0131 | Small Mining Operations | Rep. David Hinkins | Oppose
    • Changes the definition of small mining operations to allow larger operations to be reclassified as “small,” potentially allowing some larger operations to avoid reporting requirements and impact and mitigation assessments
  • SB0148 | Oil and Gas Modifications | Rep. Ralph Okerlund | Neutral; Concern that this bill doesn’t go far enough to address violations
    • Creates an account to collect penalties from oil and gas industry violations and uses money from the account to address related remediations.
This year, the legislature appropriated almost $10 million to air quality programs.

The name of the game this year was electric vehicles, with multiple pieces of funding for our state’s EV infrastructure, including a private investment from Rocky Mountain Power allowed through Representative Snow’s HB0396 Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure for electric vehicle infrastructure to the tune of $50 million.

So, with Rocky Mountain Power’s investment, it brings the total investment to air quality programs this year up to almost $60 million!

Some of the fully funded programs:

  • Voluntary Home Energy Information Pilot Program | Rep. Patrice Arent | $50,000 one-time funding
    • Creates a committee to develop rules for a Voluntary Home Energy Information Pilot Program, which would educate homeowners and sellers on home energy use
  • Rural Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure | Rep. Carl Albrecht | $2 million one-time funding
    • Provides matching grants for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in rural Utah along highways, national and state parks, and other rural areas of the state
  • USU Electric Vehicle Research Grant Match | Rep. Buxton | $3 million one-time funding
    • Leverages external support to develop technologies related to electrified transportation at the Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center at Utah State University
  • Uinta Basin Ozone Research | Rep. Chew | $200,000 one-time funding
    • Funds scientific research performed by Utah State University to understand the formation of ozone
  • Enhanced Mass Transit Strategic Business Plan | Rep. Mike Shultz | $1.6 million one-time funding
    • Provides funding to develop a strategic business plan to optimize investment in FrontRunner to expand and increase service

Clean Air

  • HB0176 | Vehicle Emissions Reduction Program | Rep. Jeffrey Stenquist | Support
    • Summary: Provides incentives to help Utahns replace certain vehicles that fail emissions tests.
    • Ended in: House Rules Committee
  • SB0092 | Statewide Comprehensive Rail Plan | Sen. Jake Anderreg | Support
    • Summary: Requires the Department of Transportation to lead in the development of an updated statewide comprehensive rail plan.
    • Ended in: Passed out of the Senate; House Rules Committee
  • HB0281 | Tax Credit for Alternative Fuel Vehicles | Rep. Suzanne Harrison | Support
    • Summary: Creates a 3-year nonrefundable corporate and individual income tax credit for certain alternative fuel vehicles
    • Ended in: House Rules Committee
  • SB0105 | Surgical Smoke Evacuation System Requirements | Sen. Kathleen Riebe | Support
    • Summary: A “micro-clean air bill” that requires surgical facilities to develop policies to evacuate surgical smoke.
    • Ended in: Held in Committee; Moved to be studied during Interim Session
  •  HB0317 | Nonroad Engine Study | Rep. Stephen Handy | Support
    • Summary: Directs the Division of Air Quality to conduct a study into the number and type of nonroad engines in nonattainment areas of Utah, and asks for a $50,000 one-time appropriation for the study.
    • Ended in: House 3rd Reading Calendar
  •  HB0133 | Trails Improvement Amendments | Rep. Mike Winder | Support
    • Summary: Allows eminent domain to be used to establish trails for alternative transportation.
    • Ended in: House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee
  • HB0415 | Construction Code Amendments | Rep. Val Potter | Oppose
    • Summary: Amends current nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission limits for natural gas-fired water heaters by permitting the use of water heaters that exceed emission limits
    • Ended in: House Political Subdivisions Committee

Energy and Climate

  • SCR012 | Concurrent Resolution Concerning Climate Action | Sen. Kirk Cullimore | Support
    • Summary: Supports federal action to address climate change through solutions like a carbon dividend
    • Ended in: Senate Business and Labor Committee
  • HCR011 | Concurrent Resolution Supporting the Utah Roadmap for Positive Solutions and Leadership on Climate and Air Quality | Rep. Joel Briscoe | Support
    • Summary: Resolution for state support for the Utah Roadmap recommendations in order to encourage solutions for improving air quality and reducing emissions
    • Ended in: House Rules Committee
  • SB0077 | Electric Energy Storage Tax Credit | Sen. Derek Kitchen | Support
    • Summary: Creates an income tax incentives for utility and residential energy storage technologies.
    • Ended in: Passed out of the Senate; House Rules Committee
  • SB0078 | Energy Storage Innovation, Research, and Grant Program | Sen. Lincoln Fillmore | Support
    • Summary: Requests $5 million in one-time funding to create a grant program for people, companies, research organizations, or other entities who will advance the development and deployment of energy storage, facilitate the transition of energy storage into the marketplace, improve resiliency, or enhance job creation in the energy sector.
    • Ended in: House Rules Committee
  • HB0194 | Clean and Renewable Energy Requirement Amendments | Rep. Raymond Ward | Neutral (support with reservations)
    • Summary: Creates a standard for utilities: 50% of generation from renewables by a certain date, expands the definition of “renewables” to include things beyond solar and wind (including nuclear, which we have a problem with). We are also concerned that there aren’t any enforcement mechanisms right now.
    • Ended in: House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee
  • SB0041 | Sales and Use Tax Modifications | Sen. Ronald Winterton | Oppose
    • Summary: Exempts oil and gas industry and electrical corporations from sales and use tax.
    • Ended in: Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee
Thank you to all of our citizen lobbyists who came to the Capitol this session to speak directly with lawmakers! Your voice, your time, and your dedication truly helped move the needle on all the bills we followed this year.

We couldn’t have done it without you, our amazing citizen lobbyists: