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Friends and Neighbors,


After completing the third week of the session, a total of 707 bills have been numbered, and 44 of them have passed in both the House and Senate. Five of my sponsored bills have passed so far, and I am continuing to diligently tackle the issues important to District 16. With only four weeks remaining, there’s still a substantial workload ahead, but significant progress has been made. I admire the deliberative legislative process, which ensures each proposal is thoroughly vetted before becoming law. I especially appreciate how the public has multiple opportunities to voice their opinions on proposed laws as they progress through the session. Listening to public comment affords legislators valuable insight into how laws will impact a given demographic and is crucial for crafting meaningful and effective legislation.


We also had a busy week of events and community recognitions on Capitol Hill. We were visited by members of our state’s military installations, local organizations, school groups and state university affiliates all here for a glimpse of what we do during the session.


Below are some of these event highlights and an update on a handful of bills we considered last week. Thank you for following along this session, and I will continue to send weekly updates as the session goes on.




Senator Wayne A. Harper



Remaining Town Hall Meetings


We had a productive night at Brigham Creek Library for my first town hall of the year last week. I have two more town halls coming up this month for you to attend. I look forward to seeing you there!


February 8, 2024

Thomas M. Rees Justice Center


8040 South Redwood Road

West Jordan, Utah


February 15, 2024

Taylorsville City Hall


2600 w 5400 s

Taylorsville, Utah


My Legislation


ADA Website Accessibility

S.C.R. 4 Concurrent Resolution Urging Changes to ADA Website Accessibility urges Congress to change public accommodation laws regarding website accessibility. Small businesses don’t always have the resources readily available to design a website that fits all of the specific criteria outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These businesses are required to address components of their website that are deemed non-compliant in an unreasonably short period of time with no grace period. With roughly 46% of Americans working for small businesses,  extending the window would allow them time to meet requirements while supporting small businesses.


This resolution calls on Congress and the Department of Justice to allow small businesses time to respond to allegations and make corrections to comply with ADA accessibility before punitive action is taken.


Additionally, I’m running a bill, S.B. 82, to clarify that Utah is not a regulatory entity for the ADA provisions on website compliance under state and federal code. Learn more here.


AI and S.B. 131 Information Technology Act Amendments


S.B. 131 Information Technology Act Amendments enhances penalties for offenses involving the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This bill directs the courts to consider heightened penalties for offenses and addresses the misuse of AI in various criminal activities, including but not limited to child pornography, fraud, misrepresentation of elected or public officials and theft.

Presently, 12 states have enacted laws that increase penalties for AI-related crimes, whether enforced through civil penalties or overseen by the Attorney General. Moreover, numerous states have already enacted laws to address enhanced penalties in connection with various crimes and to improve information tracking systems. The collective efforts seek to establish a legal framework that effectively addresses the challenges posed by the misuse of AI in criminal endeavors. Learn more here.


S.B. 134 Child Welfare Amendments


Each year, lawmakers and the Department of Health and Human Services work together to address changes needed in state code. S.B. 134 Child Welfare Amendments extends the sunset date for the Interdisciplinary Parental Representation Pilot Program to Dec. 31, 2026. This bill clarifies the process for filing a complaint for failure to report child abuse or neglect by requiring the Division of Child and Family Services to provide all information necessary. These procedural changes help ensure that a child is placed in the best home with the best care. Learn more here.




Receiving the Cultural Champion Award


I was honored to receive the Utah Cultural Alliance Cultural Champion of the Year Award for my efforts and support of arts, culture and humanities in the state. I have long admired and been impressed by the range and quality of our arts industry, and I understand the deep impact it has in our communities. I am in awe of the countless artists, musicians, writers and cultural advocates who have contributed to the flourishing artistic scene in Utah. Together, we have witnessed how art and culture have the extraordinary ability to bridge gaps, celebrate diversity and stimulate conversations that shape the very fabric of our society. May arts, culture, and humanities thrive and continue to be a source of joy, enlightenment and unity for generations to come.



Recognizing Utah’s Service Members of the Year


The Utah Service Member of the Year award recognizes outstanding performers from the state’s major military entities, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Space Force. The Senate honored these fine service members and their families for their ongoing service and sacrifice. Our thanks are the least we can offer for their dedicated efforts, ensuring continued readiness during challenging times.


These service members represent the best of the military in Utah. They remind us of the true meaning of service and sacrifice. Their dedication and commitment to excellence inspire us all. We will always value those who wear the uniform and their families. Watch the recognition here.


Awarding Barbara Riddle


Joining the service members for recognition was Barbara Riddle. She is the President and CEO of Chamber West which serves the businesses in Taylorsville, West Jordan, Kearns and West Valley City.  Barbara was recently named Defense Community Champion of the Year in recognition of her many years of service to servicemembers and their families in Utah. Barbara went on to compete at the national level in the Association of Defense Communities’ Community Champion competition where she was selected as one of 15 national level semifinalists.


This recognition was well deserved and long overdue for the many years and countless hours Barbara has devoted to strengthening our communities and supporting military families. I was overjoyed to join in applauding her efforts with my fellow senators.


Other Highlighted Legislation

Tax Cuts


For the past three years, the Legislature has cut taxes by over $1 billion while ensuring funding for the most vital parts of our society, including historic funding for education and social services. S.B. 69 continues this effort by reducing the state income tax again. If it passes, it will mark four consecutive years the Senate voted to reduce taxes so Utahns can keep more of their hard-earned money.


S.B. 69 passed the Senate and will now be considered by the House.


Energy Independence


Investing in the state’s energy capabilities is a top priority this session. Utah is making considerable progress toward energy independence and a secure energy future.


Securing Utah’s energy future is about more than keeping the lights on – it’s about ensuring we have reliable energy resources for generations to come that will provide fuel for our vehicles, keep us warm during cold winters and cool during the hot summers and power our cities and businesses.


When it comes to energy, we’re applying an “all of the above” approach. We cannot rely on one energy source alone. We’re looking at any and all energy resources to ensure power remains affordable and reliable for generations to come.

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