Watkins Oversees Bills, Budgets in Third Week at Legislature

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Watkins attends a Boys and Girls Club breakfast honoring the club’s Youth of the Year.

By Christine Watkins, Representative District 69

Week three was very busy at the legislature. Many bills in both the Senate and House are coming out of committee and being heard on respective floors. Some bills have been defeated and many more are passing out and being heard in more committee meetings.

We have also been in sub-appropriation committee meetings. We study all of the state programs that we are over and decide which ones we feel can be cut from being funded. On Monday, we will prioritize the funding that we want, some are one-time funding and some are ongoing funding. The lists are given to the Executive Appropriations Committee and they approve (or not) the final lists. I am on the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee; it has the smallest budget of all state budgets so it’s pretty tough.

I have supported both bills that deal with medical marijuana. One passed Friday. HB 195 allows people who have received “terminal illness” diagnosis to be prescribed medical cannabis if they request it. This bill is not perfect but it is a start. The second bill, HB197, permits the cultivation of cannabis. Again, it is limited in scope, but so many constituents feel now is the time and want access to medical marijuana. HB197 did not pass on the floor of the House but I know it is going to be brought back for another vote.

On Thursday, I attended the Boys and Girls Club breakfast honoring the Youth of the Year. I was asked at the last second to introduce Madeika Vercella, a finals candidate, and incredible young woman from Utah County. I support the Boys and Girls Clubs and appreciate the help the Boys and Girls Club of Carbon County have given to Cedar and other kids in my area.

My Volunteer Fireman bill passed on to the senate but has been sitting with the rules chair. After a discussion with State Auditor John Dougall, I spoke with Senator Henderson about the bill and we have decided to make some changes through the rules of the governing body dealing with financial reports. This change will not require the use of my bill. I am pleased with the efforts so far and will continue to work with the appropriate people to guarantee a resolution that I want for volunteer fire departments in the state.

I have several more bills going to committees and also on the floor for votes. I have a weekly newsletter that goes out to constituents, if you would like to receive it, email me at christinewatkins@le.utah.gov and my intern will add you to the list. Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Cell: 435-650-1969
Facebook: Representative Christine Watkins District 69

 

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