2011 General Session is Underway!
Welcome to the 2011 Legislative General Session Policy Matters weekly update. For the next 45 days Utah’s legislators will be debating and voting on a host of bills that directly impact the health and well-being of Utahns. Each of you can be part of the process by visiting the Capitol and sitting in on hearings and talking to your Representatives, emailing or calling legislators on issues that are important to you, and by responding to Action Alerts that United Way and other advocacy groups send out.
While state revenues are starting to improve, there will still be many tough budget decisions that must be made. Additionally, new programs or changes to current programs that impact United Way priority areas – education, health, income, basic needs and immigrant and refugee integration – are slated to be debated.
This weekly update is intended to provide a brief summary of legislative actions and calls to action related to the priorities of United Ways of Salt Lake. Each week we will provide you a short summary of what has been happening on the Hill, upcoming opportunities, and links to more detailed information. We will also provide you with targeted, five minute action item that will help to advance United Way’s public policy efforts to improve the quality of life in Utah.
United Ways 2011 Policy Priorities
Last week United Way unveiled our 2011 Policy Priorities at our annual Legislative Preview Breakfast. As with all the work we do, our priorities are focused on ensuring that children and adults have a quality education that provides a strong foundation for life, a job that pays enough to support a family through retirement, and the tools necessary to be healthy and productive. United Way also works to support people’s most basic needs of food, shelter, health, and safety. Through United Ways recent comprehensive community assessment, which combined both research and community dialogue, we identified the following priorities that we will focus on:
- Building a strong foundation of early learning from birth to age 8
- Helping people gain the income and financial tools necessary to thrive
- Improving children’s health and promoting healthy behaviors
- Providing food, shelter, health and safety to those in need within the communities we serve, and
- Creating cohesive communities to address Utah’s changing demographics
We will be posting a comprehensive list of the bills and budget items United Way is working on this session on our website. The bill list will be updated on a regular basis to provide you with current information.
We look forward to your participation over the next 45 days!