Wayne Niederhauser

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Other Committee Highlites

One of the items the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee discussed was seat belt compliance law. In Utah, 70% of all crash related fatalities occur in high-speed crashes. However, people involved in those high-speed crashes are 13 times more likely to survive if they are using seat belts. Please be careful as you drive and always wear your seatbelt.

A presentation on water rights issues took place in the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee. Michael Styler, the Department of Natural Resources Executive Director presented 12 proposals for legislation that would clarify the use of water rights in the state.

The Business and Labor Committee heard a follow-up from August's discussion on Alarm System Security Licensing. The language in the current law needs to be clarified because right now, people who work for alarm system companies such as janitors or human resource agents are required to hold a license. The Alarm System Security Licensing Board has indicated that this is unnecessary and so the language needs to be clarified. They also heard recommendations for procedural changes from the Uniform Building Code Commission and the Utah State Fire Prevention Board.

The Senate also met quickly on the floor to confirm gubernatorial appointees. Here are the names of the appointees: http://www.senatesite.com/home/election2012/

Budget Surplus

We had a bit of good news about the budget--there is a small surplus. There was an unexpected surge in income tax and corporate income tax revenue that produced an additional $85 million. In reality that is only about 1.8% of our ongoing revenue, but every little bit helps. By a statutory mandate, $45 million will go into the Rainy Day Fund and the rest will be used for things like backfilling the budget error made by the Department of Education, paying for the many fires we had this summer and re-seeding those burned areas. What is remarkable to me is that the numbers we were given this year as we planned our $13 billion budget were only off by 1.8%. That is amazing. Our staff is conservative with the estimates we are given, so we always know what we have to spend. They definitely provide a valuable service to our state.

Voter Registration

If you are a Utah resident (with a current drivers license) you can register to vote, change your voter affiliation, your name or address or register as an absentee voter until October 22 either on-line or at your county office building. http://www.senatesite.com/home/election2012/

Here is some additional information from the lieutenant governor about Utah voting. The elections are fast approaching. Utah has gone to great lengths to make voter registration easy. You can register in about 10 seconds on-line. Here is the link:

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