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Day 2 – Back to Work

January 30, 2013

The first day of each session is mostly pomp and ceremony. Day 2 was all work. I started at 8 am with the Social Services Appropriations Sub-committee. We reviewed all of the federal funds we receive in the health and human services context. I was surprised to learn the Utah is still receiving stimulus funds, called ARRA, to provide unemployment compensation, etc.

Floor

On the Senate floor (pictured above), we passed over 20 bills on the second reading calendar. I also enjoyed a lively debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here are the bills that were on the agenda:

SB0011 – Alimony Amendments (Hillyard) Would have allowed a court to consider fault when awarding alimony. It defines fault to include intentionally and knowingly harming or causing substantial harm, physically or financially, to a spouse or to the children of the marriage. The bill failed in committee, although I voted for it.

SB0018 – Child Custody Proceedings Amendments (Robles) Would reduce the age from 16 to 14 for children to express their opinion during custody proceedings about which parent they would prefer. This bill will be considered further on Friday because we ran out of time.

SB0125 – District Court Judge Amendments (Van Tassell) This bill passed the committee and will add one judge in the eighth judicial district.

I am working with some great interns this year, and am really enjoying the new Senators. They all arrived with fresh perspectives and great attitudes.

Here is a blurry picture of my son with the Governor in the rotunda.

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