Blog: A Legislative Preview! The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Utah’s annual session of our State Legislature which starts in just under two weeks is always interesting, often maddening and sometimes even productive.

Such is the reality of living in a state where many legislators see organized environmental interests as the enemy.

But despite that, we at HEAL Utah are very proud of our record up on the Hill. We succeeded in banning hotter nuclear waste. We beat back efforts to pave the way for Utah’s first nuclear reactors. And in recent years, along with our allies, we’ve helped pass more than a dozen clean air bills.

So what’s up for 2016? I’ll share some info below, but here’s the best way to find out a bunch more: Come to HEAL’s Community Night one week from today! We’re holding a special “Legislative Preview” in the fourth floor conference room of the main library:

What? HEAL Community Night “Legislative Preview”

When? Wednesday, January 20, 7 pm

Where?  Room 4, Fourth Floor, Salt Lake Main Library (210 E 400 S)

If you think you can make it, please RSVP on our event page so we know how many to expect. And if you know others who might like to come, you can forward this email or invite them via our Facebook event page.

Let me tell you about a few other ways you can support good legislation – and fight bad! – this year. First, please sign up for our Legislative Updates during the session. We’ve done this two years running now. We’ll send you, once or twice a week, in-depth updates about how the session is going. That will include updates on bills, action alerts, upcoming committee hearings, opportunities to lobby and more! Oh, and lots of scoop. And the skinny. You know what I’m talking about.

Lastly, we’re starting a new program this year. The HEAL Citizen Activist Program. It’s for those of you who want to be more involved in our issues, to flex your activism muscles and be a really engaged citizen. We’re still working out exactly how it will work, but the idea is that our Outreach Coordinator Laura Schmidt will email you once a week and let you know about all the ways you can get involved in the coming weeks to push for progress on HEAL’s key issues: fighting for clean air and clean energy and protecting Utah from nuclear and toxic risks. If that sounds interesting, click here to sign up for the Citizen Activist Program.

OK, here’s a quick rundown on what we’ll be covering during our “Legislative Preview” Community Night next Wednesday at the Main Library:

·      Good clean air bills HEAL will be supporting, particularly efforts to require cleaner water heaters and to update Utah’s building codes. There are also proposals to create a stream of clean air funding and to toughen penalties to polluters which knowingly violate the law. To urge your legislators to support these good clean air bills, click here!

·      Good clean energy bills, such as policies to spur the development of rooftop solar in Utah, including a proposal to legalize a leasing program popular in other states.

·      An alarming package of legislation from Rocky Mountain Power that would cost ratepayers millions, while also representing a dangerous bypass of existing regulatory structures.

Plenty! If you want to hear more, please join Senior Policy Associate Ashley Soltysiak and I at our Legislative Preview one week from today at the Main Library.



Matt Pacenza

HEAL Utah Executive Director and Prince of Previews

P.S. One other date to make sure you have in your calendar: Tues. 1/26, when the EPA will be in Utah to gather comment on a plan to control coal power plant pollution. More information here on a critical public hearing that we hope to see you at.