Report from Representative Carl Albrecht
District 70 February 24, 2023
Week Six of the General Session
We’ve made it to our final week of the General Session and have passed 388 bills that will have a significant, meaningful impact for all Utahns. I will continue to work hard for each of you throughout this last week. You can follow along at le.utah.gov.
Updated Budget Estimates
This week, the Governor’s Office and Legislature released updated revenue numbers for the state fiscal year 2023-24. The new revenue growth reflects the ongoing momentum of the state’s economy, yet as we historically do, we are committed to prudent and smart planning for future downturns.
During the 2023 General Session, we are tasked with deliberating on the estimated $817 million in one-time and $410 million in ongoing money combined in the General and Income Tax Funds, after accounting for base budget adjustments and set-asides. Read more about the budget estimates at house.utleg.gov.
Sales Tax on Food
Utahns have made it clear that removing the sales tax on food is a top priority. This week, the House passed H.B. 101 Food Sales Tax Amendments, which Removes the state portion of sales tax on food contingent on removing the Constitutional Earmark for income tax revenue, as laid out in S.J.R. 10
Currently, the Utah Constitution mandates that all revenue from income tax be used only for certain items. While Utah’s economy is robust, eliminating the sales tax on food would not be possible without first addressing these budget constraints. If passed by the full Legislature, voters will have the opportunity to approve these changes on the 2024 ballot. Read more at house.utleg.gov.
Stand with Ukraine
Exactly one year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine resulting in nearly 19,000 Ukrainian casualties to date. I understand the hardships Ukrainians have gone through over the last year and am inspired by their courage, strength, and resilience. Our legislative
work is possible and necessary because of the freedoms we all enjoy — freedoms that are still under attack in Ukraine. I was humbled to join my colleagues in a moment of silence for Ukraine this week.
Largest Tax Cut in State History
We know that the best way to ensure Utahns can continue to call Utah home is to allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. Over the past two years, the Utah legislature has reduced taxes by nearly $300 million. To continue Utah’s commitment to reducing taxes and cultivating a family and business-friendly environment, the Utah House passed H.B. 54 Tax Revisions, an additional $400 million in tax relief. You can learn more about the tax cut in this week’s episode of our House podcast.
The Legislature took Monday off in honor of President’s Day. I am grateful for all the leaders of this country who have protected our freedoms and founded our country and Constitution.
My Bill Report
The House has passed over thirty more bills this week! All of my bills have passed out of the House. My bill H.B. 144 High Cost Infrastructure Development Tax Credit Amendments passed out of the House and will be heard in the Senate Natural Resources Committee this week. It will join three of my other bills awaiting final debate on the Senate floor:
- H.B. 184 Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment Program
- H.B. 150 Emergency Water Shortages Amendments
- H.B. 370 Utility Infrastructure Amendments
My bill H.B. 55 Off-highway Vehicle Registration Requirements was signed by the Governor this week, and five others have been sent for his signature:
- H.B. 114 Theft Defense Amendments
- H.B. 33 Water Related Liability Amendments
- H.B. 93 Outdoor Recreation Modifications
- H.B. 112 State Fish Hatchery Maintenance Account Amendments
- H.B. 237 Hunting Mentoring Amendments
I continue to meet weekly with the Speaker of the House to discuss important issues regarding Rural Utah in addition to attending the TOUR Caucus, Yellowcake Caucus, and the Rural Educators Meeting on Thursdays to represent the needs of our Rural
School Districts. I continue to Co-Chair the Rural Caucus every Friday morning. This Friday’s Caucus we had the honor of hearing from Governor Cox. He addressed many questions and concerns that were expressed regarding Rural resources and education. House Speaker Brad Wilson was also in attendance.
All-State High School Art Show
Last Friday I had the privilege of meeting my constituent, Paige LeFevre, from Enoch who attends Southwest Educational Academy. She was awarded a scholarship for her artwork of Utah’s landscapes at the All-State High School Art Show. I was impressed not only with her artistic talent, but also her involvement in her community and school. Utah has a great future ahead with youth like Paige!
North Sevier High School Intern
Earlier this week, my intern and I were pleased to invite Kason Merchant, a senior from North Sevier High School, to shadow us on the Hill for a few days. Kason is extremely intelligent, ambitious, and enthusiastic. We need leaders like him! We had the honor of meeting with Lieutenant Governor Henderson, and Kason was very helpful in attending committee meetings and sitting with me on the House floor.
This Legislative Session I was assigned to three committees: the Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, which wrapped up its last meeting a couple of weeks ago, the House Business and Labor Committee, as well as chairing the Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee. Our committee agendas are piling up with bills now as the session nears an end!
This Session I ran eight Requests for Appropriations in the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee and two in the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee this Session. Some of these include one working with Utah State University on Agriculture and Small Business, and another working with Snow College on Rural Technological Outreach, as well as funding for the Grazing Improvement Program and the Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment Program. Many of my requests have received high priority for funding. These appropriations requests will be beneficial for providing support and funds to much needed programs in Rural Utah.
Farm Bureau Day
Friday I spoke to the leaders and students involved with Utah’s Farm Bureau as part of Farm Bureau Day on the Hill. I appreciate all that they do to advocate for Utah’s farms and agriculture and putting food on our table!
If you would like to join my email list for weekly newsletters, enter your email at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UTHOUSER/signup/32064, or send an email to my intern, Tabitha Anderson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, please contact my intern, Tabitha Anderson, with your comments, questions, and concerns. You can contact her by email at email@example.com, or by call or text at (385)-420-3096. You may contact me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org. We value your opinions and appreciate your concerns for Rural Utah.