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2019 Legislative Session Outcomes

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The 2019 Legislative Session has come to a close. As a state employee, you may be wondering what bills passed and what impact they may have on you. This article highlights a few key takeaways from the session: 

  • Tax Reform: Tax reform was one of the most-talked-about issues this session, and it will continue to be at the forefront of conversations over the coming months. While a tax reform bill did not pass, the governor, senate president and house speaker remain committed to finding a resolution on this important issue. A special session may be called this summer after a Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force provides recommendations after receiving public input. 
  • Air Quality: The legislature made a historic investment of about $28 million to improve air quality. The money will go toward various initiatives such as replacing old polluting state vehicles, incentivizing voluntary replacement of wood burning stoves with cleaner alternatives, creating more free fare days on public transit, and increasing the number electric vehicle charging stations at public facilities and other locations. 
  • Telework: $6.6 million of the air quality funding has been allocated to expand teleworking opportunities for State of Utah employees. Utah government is one of the largest employers in the state. Responsibly increasing teleworking will remove cars from the roads and provide job opportunities for those in rural communities. Telework pilots are currently underway in the State Office Building and at the Department of Health. The pilots will be evaluated this summer to determine potential scalability across the state.
  • Compensation: Below are some of the employee benefits that will take effect in FY 2020.
    • 2.5% labor market salary increase
    • 4.35% health plan premium increase
    • Funding to continue the up-to $26 per pay period match for qualifying state employees enrolled in a defined contribution plan