Get Ready for the 2017 Legislative Session!
It is almost time for that most wonderful time of the year…the Utah State Legislative Session. Beginning January 23 and running through March 9, the 2017 session promises to be exciting and, as always, to have a big impact on education. Several bills have already been filed that will affect different areas of education and more bills are expected. If you are interested in keeping up with the latest happenings at the State Legislature, there are several resources that can help you track bills and other events. Some of the more helpful sites are:
Utah State Legislature: http://le.utah.gov/
The official page of the State Legislature is the best place to get updated info on Bills and other happenings during the sessions. It also has helpful tools like a list of all legislators and their contacts, a feature to look up who your representatives are based on your address, and live streams and recordings of many proceedings going on during the sessions.
USBE Legislative Page: http://www.schools.utah.gov/law/Legislative-Session.aspx
The Utah State Board of Education page includes documents outlining the USBE Legislative Priorities and tracking of Education Bills. One of the best features of this page is the “Public Education Legislative Summary” that is available after the session has concluded. This gives a really concise overview of all the outcomes of the session. It includes archives of past sessions, which can be interesting for comparative purposes.
UEA Issues & Action Page: http://www.myuea.org/issues_action/uea_under_the_dome.aspx
The UEA has a team that spends countless hours at every legislative session and keeps a detailed record of how the session is proceeding. In addition, UEA sponsors the “UEA Educator Day on the Hill” every Friday during the session for all educators who would like to become involved. The schedule and more information can be found on the above page.
The Legislative Session can be an uncertain and stressful time for educators. The more we stay involved and informed, the better we are prepared to make a difference in our profession.