These bills in the Utah legislative session could affect home life.
As Utah’s 2024 legislative session kicks off, the state lawmakers are gearing up for a busy season with hundreds of numbered bills on the docket. The session, spanning until the end of February, promises to bring about significant changes.
Holly Richardson, the editor of Utah Policy for Deseret News, shares five bills that could particularly impact home and family life.
Stay informed and engaged as the lawmakers deliberate on these and many more bills that will impact the community. To follow these developments, visit the Utah Policy website and connect on social media via @utah.policy & @hollyonthehill.
5 Bills to Look for This Utah Legislative Session
The School & Classroom Amendment: H.B. 331
Utah is contemplating a unique approach to early education with House Bill 331, also known as the School and Classroom Amendment. The bill, if approved, mandates that children must be potty trained before entering kindergarten. This comes as a response to the increasing number of children arriving at school in diapers, posing challenges for teachers expected to balance diaper changes with academic instruction.
Stipends for Future Educators: H.B. 221
Representative Karen Peterson is championing House Bill 221, which addresses the financial hurdles faced by aspiring teachers. The bill proposes a $6,000 stipend for student teachers to complete their required semester of student teaching. This incentive aims to encourage a smoother transition from coursework to classroom teaching without the financial strain that often leads to delays.
Expanding Child Tax Credit: H.B. 153
House Bill 153 seeks to extend the reach of Utah’s child tax credit. The proposed amendment increases the age limit from four to six years old. This adjustment recognizes the financial challenges families face, especially considering rising daycare and childcare costs.
Medicaid Doula Services: S.B. 85
Senator Luz Escamilla is advocating for Senate Bill 85, focusing on enhancing maternity care through Medicaid coverage for doula services. Doulas offer emotional and physical support during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum periods. While currently considered an additional service, other states, like Florida, have recognized the benefits and included them in Medicaid coverage.
Establishing the Office of Families: H.B. 246
House Bill 246 proposes a structural change by placing the Office of Families, created by Governor Cox, under the umbrella of the Department of Health and Human Services. This adjustment could potentially enhance the office’s capabilities by leveraging resources within the department for better communication and outreach.