Moving the Prison
In 2014, after years of study and deliberation, the legislature made the decision to move the Utah State Prison. This session, among the major issues we’re confronting are those of funding construction of the new prison and reforming our criminal justice system.
The current prison needs hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements just to keep operating at current capacity. It is unable to accommodate programs proven to reduce recidivism and more likely return prisoners to productive lives upon release.
Unfortunately, the current prison structure doesn’t allow for many of the reforms recommended by the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice that are integral elements of these new programs.
We have a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only build a new prison, but to do it in a way beneficial to our state for generations to come.
With a little less than half of this year’s general session under our belt, we’re continuing to work to solve the difficult issues before us. As always, we welcome any questions, comments, or concerns, and look forward to hearing from you.
As we wrapped up the 3rd week, we finished work on the budget. We are waiting for the budget forecast numbers to come in. Each of us were tasked with cutting budgets by 2% as we established a base budget. We also placed priorities on funding should our revenue forecasts allow us to meet the funding requests that have been presented but not funded.
Towards safer Internet in Schools
I’m working on a bill that was featured in an article in the Deseret News this week. The bill requires our schools to provide guidance on safe technology utilization and digital citizenship to empower students to make smart media and online choices. It improves and addresses the growing need for a secure online environment. Rapid changes in technology are creating circumstances and a culture that is rapidly changing the online experience of our children. The intent of the legislation is to provide additional resources for parents and empower them at the local level. You can click here to find the text to HB213.