Skip to main content
Dear friends and neighbors,

As the legislature concludes Week Two of the General Session, I wish to thank the hundreds of you who continue to contact meet on a variety of issues and bills..Our past week was very intense and consisted of many hours spent on the floor and in different committees listening to bill presentations and appropriation requests. It is fascinating to hear of the numerous projects across the state that have been envisioned and planned throughout the interim, well before the 2024 General Session began. The continual preparation and discussions leading up to the session leaves me with a profound appreciation for citizen input and for the legislative process.

I am currently working on getting several bills through the legislative process, the vast majority of my bills result from you, my constituents. My bills address topics such as cybersecurity, retirement code, transportation issues, tax reductions, families and more. If you would like to learn more about the legislation I am sponsoring this session, you can find a list of bills here. Below I have also detailed some of my bills that were heard in committee and on the floor this week.

Below, I have provided an overview of this week’s important events and bills in various stages of the legislative process, including the budget appropriations process and my own legislation. I will continue to send regular updates during the remaining five weeks of the session. Please reach out with any questions, comments or recommendations you may have!

And to clarify a common question and misunderstanding: Dual Language Immersion will be fully funded and will continue. 


Senator Wayne A. Harper



Town Hall Reminder

As a reminder, I am hosting three town halls in the coming weeks. I hope these settings will be a convenient opportunity for you to come, ask questions and learn a little bit more about our efforts this session. I have also invited the Representative in that area to join me in the town halls.


Option 1
January 31, 2024
Brigham Creek Library
4834 w 9000 s
West Jordan, Utah

Option 2
February 8, 2024
Thomas M. Rees Justice Center
8040 South Redwood Road
West Jordan, Utah

Option 3
February 15, 2024
Taylorsville City Hall
2600 w 5400 s
Taylorsville, Utah



Base Budget Bills

As the Legislature, our constitutional responsibility is to pass a balanced budget before the close of the general legislative session. It is a responsibility we take seriously. As such, we spend the first few weeks of the session meeting in appropriations subcommittees considering how we allocate money for public education, social services, transportation and more.

Eight appropriations subcommittees prepare base budgets for their assigned subject area over the first couple of weeks of the session. These subcommittee base budgets are passed in the early weeks of the session, allowing the state to continue functioning at a basic level and preventing the state government from shutting down. Then, typically during the final week of the session, we pass what is known as the “Bill of Bills,” which is the comprehensive budget bill that includes additional appropriations not included in the base budgets. Learn more here.

My Sponsored Legislation

S.B. 32 Caregiver Compensation Amendments
S.B. 32 makes a small amendment to a previously passed bill. S.B. 106 Caregiver Compensation Amendments, passed in 2023, was a bill I ran that allows parents and caregivers to decide the best care for their dependents – whether that be at home with a caregiver or in an institutional facility. The bill allows the spouse or family member who provides care to receive partial compensation to make up for lost work opportunities. S.B. 32 extends this program to include step-parents as qualifying caregivers to ensure families of all types have the support they need. Read more here.

S.B. 98 Online Data Security and Privacy Amendments
Over the past few years, there has been an effort by stakeholders, organizations, businesses and national security task forces to review security and privacy to better identify the duties of the state cybersecurity centers and departments. As part of this push, S.B. 98 will ensure more secure domains and information online.

The bill enhances and clarifies the data breach notification responsibility, outlining the reporting process and requirements when these breaches occur. It grants the Utah Cyber Center the rulemaking authority to set a framework for notification responsibilities and reporting requirements for government entities, an industry best practice. The Utah Cyber Center will utilize information technology directors, cybersecurity professionals or equivalent individuals representing political subdivisions to perform necessary duties. Also, the bill requires certain government entities to use authorized domain names and sets a timeline for when they should implement this. Learn more here.

S.B. 99 Public Service Commission Amendments
S.B. 99 changes the appointment process and period for the Public Service Commission, improving the functionality and indicating vacancies for the commission are to be filled by a Gubernatorial nomination subject to the consent of the Senate. This bill changes the process of appointing a commission pro tempore due to conflicts of interest or disability by allowing the Governor to select a new commission pro tempore within 60 days. The time period for an application for appointment shall last 30 days for an expiring term and 14 days for a vacancy. These changes will help strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of our institutions. Read about the bill here.



Other Legislation

S.C.R. 2 Utah Association of Counties Resolution
The Utah Association of Counties (UAC) plays a pivotal role in Utah’s track record of good governance. With a crucial role in supporting the 29 counties across our state, UAC enables counties to offer the best possible services to their citizens. They represent the counties in the Legislature, advocate for their needs, provide training to county officials and work to improve county government outcomes. As the government entities closest to the people, counties benefit significantly from UAC’s vital services.

This month marks the 100th anniversary of UAC. Here at the Legislature, we honored their timeless contributions to Utah by passing a resolution in support of their organization while welcoming numerous county commissioners onto the Senate floor. UAC’s tireless efforts contribute significantly to Utah’s standing as one of the best places to live in America, which we acknowledge with deep gratitude. For more insights into UAC and to read the resolution, click here.

S.C.R. 3 Concurrent Resolution Supporting Major League Baseball in Utah
Baseball is truly America’s pastime. Its history, deeply rooted in American culture, has brought countless contributions to our society and generational connections. It is only fitting that one of the greatest sports comes to the greatest state in the nation. My colleagues and I are working hard to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to the Beehive State. This week we passed S.C.R. 3 Concurrent Resolution Supporting Major League Baseball in Utah. Recognizing Utah as a prime location, the resolution highlights our advantageous geographic position, proven track record in hosting successful sports events, community-centric values and robust economy.

Beyond the thrill of the game, the resolution emphasizes the significant economic and cultural benefits a professional baseball team and ballpark would bring to Utah. Enabling greater accessibility and affordability for Utahns to enjoy sporting events, this decision will have a positive impact for generations. Utah is poised and eager to become the permanent home of a professional baseball franchise, further enriching our state’s cultural and sporting legacy.

Great Salt Lake Update

Great Salt Lake Commissioner Brian Steed provided a status update on the Great Salt Lake. He shared some of the goals for the lake, including land use planning, developing a long-term funding plan, exploring potential water supply augmentation and developing a split season lease program to acquire the water the lake needs.

One of the main concerns is dust pollution. Dust mitigation could require high upfront and ongoing costs. Thankfully, the lakebed has a thick crust that will keep the dust down; however, mitigating it is a long-term goal.

Additionally, the lake’s south arm has seen a notable increase, with healthier salinity and higher water levels than in 2022. While it is still a work in progress, there has been an increased understanding of the costs associated with a drying lake.

Listen to the full report presented in the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee here.




Visit from Consulate General of Canada

I had the pleasure of welcoming Canadian Consul General Sylvain Fabi, who represents Canada in the U.S. Mountain West Region, to the Senate. Utah has a strong relationship with Canada, with $2.75 million exported to Utah annually and 77 Canadian-owned businesses employing 2,473 workers in Utah. During a meeting with Senate majority leadership, we shared our priorities with the Consul General and discussed opportunities for continued collaboration on future projects. We will continue to develop good relationships with international partners, allowing Utah’s influence to expand worldwide.

Small Business Coalition Meeting

I was pleased to participated in a meeting of entrepreneurs and small business owners to better understand their needs and status heading into a new year. Our state’s dedication to fostering small businesses is not just a commitment but a testament to the thriving entrepreneurial spirit that defines Utah. Our business-friendly policies serve as a catalyst for innovation and growth, providing a supportive environment for startups and owner-operated companies to flourish. With our welcoming business climate, robust tech ecosystem, and diverse economy, we cultivate an ecosystem where businesses can thrive, evolve, and make lasting contributions to our state’s prosperity. It’s not just about building profitable businesses; it’s about creating a legacy of innovation, resilience, and community that defines the entrepreneurial spirit of Utah.

Recognition of Uzbekistan Representative to the United Nations

This week we also recognized the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United Nations, Mr. Ulugbek Lapasov, on the Senate floor. Since its founding, Utah is known as the crossroads of the West. Likewise, Uzbekistan was the crossroads of the world for hundreds of years as trade flowed along the Silk Road. Ambassador Lapasov came to Utah to build partnerships with Utah organizations. He is committed to helping Uzbekistan teach its people English instead of Russian, increasing digital literacy in Uzbekistan, and providing support as the country works to modernize its mining industry. Additionally, he wants to increase tourism and develop a strong tech industry—all things we know that Utah excels in. It was an honor to be joined by representatives of Uzbekistan.


Thank you to everyone who has reached out this year; your involvement in the political process is invaluable.

Please continue to share your thoughts as we progress through the legislative session.

Warm regards,

Senator Wayne Harper

Leave a Reply