Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are passed the midway point of the 2021 legislative session! The following provides a quick update, but please watch the attached video for more information.
Constitutional Carry -- I was a co-sponsor of HB 60, which was signed into law by Governor Cox. This bill states that a permit is no longer required to conceal a weapon in Utah. Concealed carry permits will still be available for use in the other states that have reciprocity with Utah.
Women's Sports -- As the sponsor of HB 302, I am proud to report that this bill, which seeks to preserve women's sports for biological females, passed 8-6 in the House Education Committee and will be heard on the House floor. Senator Curtis Bramble is the Senate sponsor.
Military Retirement Tax Amendments Bill -- I am also a co-sponsor of HB 161, which creates a nonrefundable tax credit for military retirement pay with the goal of providing an incentive for these highly skilled workers to stay in Utah after their military careers.
Professional Licensing Amendments -- I want to elaborate quickly on SB 87, which I supported and which has passed in both chambers and is awaiting the governor's signature. I supported this bill, which states that a cosmetology license is not required for "blow dry bar" style businesses. I have often had the experience where a salon manager is hesitant to offer a shampoo and style service because it is not cost efficient compared to, for example, the two men's haircuts that could be done in the same amount of time. Blow dry bars offer exactly this service that salons often don't care to prioritize, and none of the other services generally found at salons. As such, they serve a niche market and are different from full service salons, so I support the idea that the same licensing requirements need not apply. They are still required to hold a hair safety permit.
Vehicle Registration Fee Revisions -- HB 209 is being discussed at length. I do not support it in its current form, but believe a fair compromise is coming.
Executive Overreach legislation -- There are currently three bills working their way through the legislative process aimed at limiting executive branch powers during a state of emergency. These bills are HB 169, SB 195, and HB 294. I highly recommend that you contact the sponsors of these bills if this is an issue that you care about!
I also recorded a video update you can watch it here:
Representative Kera Birkeland
Utah House District 53