UPEA Priority Bills Progress During Week Four

HB 139 – Government Employee Amendments

First Substitute HB 139, Competency-Based Hiring Amendments, was heard on the Senate Floor on Day 24 of the 2021 Legislative Session. Senator Thatcher explained competency-based hiring practice has been used on the state level since Governor Levitt implemented it in 2000. The bill has been brought forth this session to put into law what is already practiced. The bill asks DHRM to put together information for cities, counties, and other entities to assist in implementing competency-based hiring. The second substitute of HB 139 was introduced to add clarifying language.

On Day 25 of the 2021 Legislative Session, Second Substitute HB 139, Government Employee Amendments, was heard by the body of the Senate. HB 139, with the new title, was passed unanimously and returned to the house.

HB 291 – Residential Picketing Prohibition

H.B. 291 seeks to prohibit picketing within 100 feet of a property line outside a residence. The bill defines picketing as, “the stationing or posting of one or more individuals to appraise the public, vocally or by standing or marching with signs, banners, sound amplification devices, or other means, of an opinion or a message.” The offense for violating the 100 feet boundary may result in a Class B misdemeanor charge. The purpose of the bill is to keep individuals (public servants, state, and local officials, etc.) and their families from experiencing undue hardship at their place of residence.

UPEA supports this bill and Employee Representative Kendle Zdunich testified on behalf of this bill stating, “Public servants provide essential services to the citizens of Utah, and should be able to perform those services without fear.”

H.B. 291 passed unanimously through the house and has been sent to the Senate for their consideration.