WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE UTAH STATE LEGILSATURE THAT IMPACTS YOU AS A PARENT AND YOUR FAMILY?
This means the state elected representatives are discussing information that impacts the parent-child relationship and family.
How to Find Your Legislators:
Go to le.utah.gov
Click “My Legislators” (bottom right corner)
Type your address, or click “Use My Location” or “View Map”
You can also view the full Roster in both the House and the Senate by going to “Legislators” at the top of the website & clicking “Roster”.
Watch our Legislative Training here:
A simple explanation of how to get in touch with your elected officials and what to say to them to make your constituent voice heard.
HB 177 Health Education Amendments:
Click here for HB 177 Details:
The legislators in the Education Committee commented repeatedly on how many emails they had received regarding this piece of proposed legislation. We brought up so many good points that helped the legislators ask informed questions about the bill and what it would mean for schools. The vote to pass the bill failed 4-7.
One of our dear parents watched the meeting and wrote this recap for us: “During the discussion, Rep. Robertson brought up Utah's newly revised health standards that covered topics such as sexual assault, resources, skills, etc, and asked what this bill would add if we are already covering these topics. Rep. Snow made the point that this bill would add language to allow children to consent to sexual acts, but our criminal code states that children cannot consent. He worried that if this language was added to the code, defense attorneys could use that as a defense for perpetrators. Rep. Birkeland spoke about her foster children who have come home upset after certain topics were discussed in school because it triggered past trauma, and she felt these topics would be best handled by the children's parents or trained counselors. Rep. Pulsipher felt the standards we have set at the state level are adequate and we should let parents and educators decide on the local level what the curriculum should look like, which will vary a little district to district depending on the needs of the students in each area. Rep Ballard spoke in favor of the bill. Rep. Kwan made the motion to pass the bill with a favorable recommendation after speaking for the bill. Rep. Snow made a motion to hold the bill. The vote to pass the bill failed (4-7 https://le.utah.gov/mtgvotes.jsp?voteid=19265). The vote to hold the bill passed (11-0 https://le.utah.gov/mtgvotes.jsp?voteid=19263). Holding the bill has the effect of killing the bill unless they get enough votes to bring it back again.”
It is our position that the individuals proposing this bill were not being honest with their intentions. One of our physicians, who is an expert witness in court cases reviewed the bill and expressed the following: “As a physician, I believe that this bill introduces dangerous concepts such as negotiating for sex by minors, clearly illegal and a terrible concept for children. My concern is that we open the gates for all of these different teachers to interpret this curriculum as they would prefer. If parents are teaching these concepts they will be responsible for what the young people learn and understand. I do think that a curriculum of this type, no matter how finely tuned is not something to be taught in public schools...I see the camel's nose coming into the tent and I believe that the camel will follow. We must be very careful.”
Our existing Health Curriculum Standards already contain every other component of this bill. There is no reason that our children should be taught that they can give consent to sexual acts.
Here’s what our existing health curriculum contains: -Standard HII.HD.8b: Discuss and understand refusal skills, personal boundaries, and affirmative consent as they apply to situations involving pressure to be sexually active and identify strategies that support the decision to abstain from sexual behavior. -Standard HI.HD.8c: Discuss and understand the importance of developing personal refusal skills, including how to refuse an unwanted sexual advance, and how and when to use those skills. -Standard HI.HD.9a: Investigate methods of reporting, seeking help, and stopping sexual harassment and sexual abuse. -Brainstorm methods of reporting, seeking help, and stopping sexual harassment and sexual abuse. -List resources for reporting and seeking help (e.g., trusted adults, local resource centers, online options, apps, hotline). -Standard HI.HD.9b: Explain why a person who has been raped or sexually assaulted is not at fault. -Define discuss relationship violence for various relationships (e.g., acquaintance, dating, marriage, family). -Define and discuss sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and relationship violence.”
The only other component of this bill would be teaching children about giving consent. If you, as a parent, want to teach your child that they have the right to consent to sexual acts, then that is your right. However, it is opening a legal Pandora’s box to teach children as young as 7th grade that they have a right to give consent to sexual acts, because they legally do not.
Because these legislators knew there was a lot of concern around this bill they did their homework and combed through this bill to understand it was bad for children.
Your influence matters. Please continue to advocate for your children.
HB 18 1st Substitute - Changes to UT Driver Education
click here for hb 18 details
This bill eliminates the requirement that a youth observe an adult driver for 6 hours. It also extends the validity of the learners permit.
What does this mean? We were able to ask Representative Ballard about this bill and this was her response: "Youth have spent their entire lives “observing” drivers. They didn’t need 6 more. They will still have 6 hours of driving behind the wheel with an instructor.
If a 15 yr gets their learners permit on their birthday, and gets their license 4 days after their 16th birthday, they have to get a new learners permit because it has expired. This just extends the validity of the learners permit."
HB 93Suicide Prevention Programs It introduces suicide programs to elementary schools, where suicides are not happening. It's not age appropriate and it's not a topic we need to introduce into the minds of young children. This bill further ignores the science behind family involvement in preventing suicide and cuts out promoting family relationships to decrease suicide. Instead, the state is introducing a program that proposes that they are the best institution to prevent suicide.
This bill is still being discussed and reworked, so it's possible a substitute bill may be presented that addresses some of our concerns. But the current state of this bill ignores science and family.
HB 117 - Vaccine Registry It's on its 3rd substitute, meaning it has gone through several revisions. We were originally opposed to the bill, but since it has been revised to give parents the choice to opt out, we are now neutral. We had physician review the bill for us and there are good arguments on both sides.
This bill ultimately creates a state wide registry that gives the state control of your medical information. Although it gives parents the chance to opt out of the registry, the state will know who has opted out and those parents may have to prove that their children have those vaccinations. A central registry does provide convenience for parents and houses all medical records in one place, but the government is not immune from data breeches.
Further, parents need to decide who they want to be in control of their medical information. Do they want to relinquish that control to the state for convenience, or do they want to retain that privacy and responsibility? On principal, this grows government and gives government personal information that can later be used against constituents. For example, Hitler and Mao Tse-Tung both created registries for their constituents.
There are components of this bill that are better than current law, but as parents we need to decide if we want the government to be in charge of our medical information or if we want the responsibility to take care of our private personal medical records and keep that between our family and our medical provider.
SB165 Sex Offender Amendment After a molester or kidnapper has served their sentence and the required time has elapsed, this bill would require the Department of Corrections to automatically remove individuals from the Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry at the taxpayer's expense. It removes the requirement for the molester/kidnapper to comply with a request for removal and puts the burden and cost on the state instead of the perpetrator. It also removes the requirement for the molester/kidnapper to request removal from the sex registry. We should never allow the perpetrator to be promoted at the expense of the victim.
We believe in redemption, however, as these individuals have committed a serious crime, it should be their financial responsibility to remove themselves from the registry, when legally allowed, and the initiative should come from the perpetrator. Parents, victims and taxpayers should NOT incur the cost and consequences of the perpetrator's actions. This is not a good use of taxpayer money when funds are already tight.
HB302 Preserving Women Sports Requires schools, local education agencies, and institutions to designate athletic activities by sex; prohibits a student of the male sex from participating in an athletic activity designated for female students.
No matter what side of the fence you are on, this is going to affect athletes in school. States that have allowed athletes of the male sex to compete with athletes of the female sex have shown that female sex athletes are no longer competitive and can no longer attain scholarships because male sex athletes have a biological competitive advantage. In order to be fair to male and female sex athletes we need to make legislation based on biological sex instead of gender fluidity.