Hello all: We're still waiting to see if HB304 gets a hearing, so until then here's a reminder about tomorrow's 9am meeting, some info about ballot measure bills to keep an eye on, and (everyone's favorite!) a Fiscal Note update:
Next meeting W March 6 at 9am: All are welcome!
We're meeting on Wednesday from 9-10am in the usual location (Room 400 in the Capitol Building, top floor, north side). All are welcome!If you have any troubles then call or text me 206-351-5719.
On the agenda I hope: We've gotten draft testimony (2-3 paragraphs) and/or draft op-eds (600 words) from Norma Wills, Brad Kropp, Charlie Ashurst, and Carole Straughn, and Hope Z... thank you all!I'm hoping to get permission from all these folks to share their drafts at our meeting tomorrow and/or via email (either listed by name or anonymously) so more on that soon I hope! And if you're still working on testimony and/or op-eds then please send along what you have!
Ballot measure update
We've been focused on the current legislative session, but we have also discussed a ballot measure option if the legislative path forward appears to be a dead end in the years ahead. As a way of staying on top of that discussion it's worth noting four bills affecting ballot measures that are under discussion this session. See Salt Lake Tribuneoverviews hereand here, but the bills are as follows: SB151concerns fiscal notes and related issues; HB133delays implementation dates for ballot measures; HB145changes the process for turning in signatures and requesting removal of a signature; and HB195slightly increases the signature requirements and moves up the start and end dates for signature-gathering, so that the best window for the 2020 ballot---which, under current law, is to file in early June 2019 and collect signatures from mid-July 2019 to mid-April 2020---would instead take place two months earlier, i.e., filing in early April 2019 and collecting signatures from mid-May 2019 to mid-Feb 2020. Note that the Utah League of Women Voters positionon all four of these bills is "Watch" (as opposed to "Support" or "Oppose"). Stay tuned for more on this front!
Fiscal Note update
The legislative staffers who write Fiscal Notes are very busy during the session, but the Fiscal Analyst who wrote the HB304 Fiscal Note(Thomas Young) was kind enough to produce a Fiscal Note summary documentthat's easier to understand than the Fiscal Note itself. Based on this document, I've made a significant update to the pie-chart summary. Here are four comments about these documents:I made a mistake last week in concluding that the Fiscal Analyst had lowered the revenue estimate for the carbon tax. He has not, but he's continuing to look into this matter. Sorry for the confusion. Bottom line: Fiscal Notes are complicated!At last week's meeting, someone (I think Carole S) asked why there was no fiscal impact in FY 2020 (which runs from July 1 2019 to June 30 2020) given that much of the bill has an effective date of Jan 1 2020. I asked the Fiscal Analyst about this and he seemed to agree that this was a mistake in the Fiscal Note that should be fixed. I'm not sure what the process is for fixing Fiscal Notes but perhaps we will get this figured out after the session ends next week. Bottom line: The Fiscal Note is neither perfect nor set in stone.The pie-chart summarynow focuses on FY 2023 because that's the first year when all of the pieces of the bill (including the mining and manufacturing tax credit) are fully engaged. The numbers in the pie charts exactly match the "FY 2023" column in the Fiscal Note summary document. Bottom line: The big picture of the Fiscal Note is still the same. (Namely: There's a modest price on carbon, raising about $600m-$700m a year, with about 10% of the money going to local air pollution clean-up and rural economic development, and 90% of the money going to cut existing taxes such as the state sales tax on grocery store food.)Cheers, and hope to see you tomorrow morning, Yoram