JJS Restoration

At the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee final meeting on February 13, 2018 Senate Chair Daniel Thatcher made the motion to restore $9 million of the $14 million budget cut, resulting in a $5 million based budget cut for JJS. The motion passed unanimously and included the recommendation to close the Wasatch Youth Center in Salt Lake County, which is nearly half or $2.4 million of the $5 million reduction.

JJS Division Director Susan Burke told UPEA Field Services Manager that the division is currently working with DHRM to create workforce adjustment plans in accordance with Utah State Code 67-19-18(6) and eliminate 41 positions, which she said probably will not be limited to Salt Lake County, but also Weber, Davis and Utah Counties. JJS is looking at current vacancies within their division to transfer or reassign employees before laying off employees.

Executive Appropriations is meeting this week to vote on the subcommittee appropriation recommendations. UPEA urges you to contact members of this committee and your legislators asking them to reconsider eliminating $5 million from JJS’ budget to delay and minimize the need to eliminate staff positions. If you choose to email or call, please give your legislator your name and address to identify yourself as a constituent.  At the end of the email or call, thank them for their time and support.  Do not use state resources, time or property when contacting your legislator.

Family Leave Amendments Update

On Thursday, February 22nd, H.B. 156 Family Leave Amendments by Rep. Weight (D), was heard in the House Business and Labor Committee. H.B. 156 allows Executive Branch and Higher Education employees to use 240 hours of paid parental leave based on the birth or adoption of the eligible employee’s child. The leave would run concurrent with the Family Medical Leave Act.

Weight explained that “there is a growing trend for businesses to provide parental leave” and she believes that offering this leave to state employees will keep us in line with what the private sector is offering. Weight also quoted a statement from a current state employee that said this bill makes the statement that men and women can be brave in pursuing a family, and not worried about choosing between a job and family. Utah is known for having a “primary interest in families and children” and this bill would only further that idea.

UPEA testified in support of this bill, stating that “the parental leave benefit would further the concept of work/life balance.” After discussion and several public comments, the bill was held in committee due to fiscal uncertainties.

Compensation Update

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) is asking the Legislature to fund a pay increase for state employees. The Executive Appropriations Committee is currently reviewing appropriations for the FY2018 budget.

Please contact your legislator and ask for their support in giving state employees a pay increase.  Contact should be made on your own time.  Please remember to use your personal telephone number and/or email address.  If you contact your legislator, provide your name and home address to identify yourself as a constituent and thank them for their time and support.

To find your legislator please click here.

Base Budgets Update

Appropriation subcommittees have completed their base budget requests for approval at the Executive Appropriations committee. All subcommittees were asked to find efficiencies and make reasonable cuts to their budgets to make more money available for reallocation. Agencies have also made appropriation requests for reallocated funds and any possible new money from this year’s sales tax revenue. UPEA anticipates the revenue numbers to be released anytime in the next two weeks.

UPEA representatives have been tracking any potential cuts to staffing and more details will be available once base budgets are approved and revenue numbers released. If you’d like more details on committee budgets please click here. After visiting this link you can view each committee budget by line-item.


Here are the links to each committee base budget bill:

Higher Education Base Budget

Social Services Base Budget

Business, Economic Development, and Labor Base Budget

Retirement and Independent Entities Base Budget

Infrastructure and General Government Base Budget

National Guard, Veterans’ Affairs, and Legislature Base Budget

Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Equality Base Budget

Executive Office and Criminal Justice Base Budget


H.B. 156 – Family Leave Amendments

H.B. 156 Family Leave Amendments by Rep. Weight (D), allows Executive Branch and Higher Education employees to use 240 hours of paid parental leave based on the birth or adoption of the eligible employee’s child. The leave would run concurrent with the Family Medical Leave Act.

UPEA supports this bill and believes that family leave will help to further the concept of work/life balance.

The bill may be heard in the House Business and Labor Standing Committee this week. UPEA will provide updates as the bill moves through the legislative process.


S.B. 73 – Health Insurance Update

Senate Bill 73, Public Employees’ Benefit and Insurance Program Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Hemmert (R), passed the Senate floor unanimously.

1st Substitute SB 73 brings state statute into alignment with current PEHP plan benefit design. Consequently, there is no change to any health plan and the bill has no fiscal impact that will lead to dramatic premium increases for employees who are enrolled in the Traditional plan or the Star plan. The bill in no way restricts the current ability of state employees to annually choose whichever plan best meets their needs.

1st Substitute SB 73 will now go to a House Standing Committee before going to the House floor.

Click here to read the bill language.


H.B. 19: Health Insurance Right to Shop Amendments

House Bill 19, Health Insurance Right to Shop Amendments, sponsored by Representative Norman Thurston (R), requires PEHP to set up a “Right to Shop” program.   A “Right to Shop” program is an incentive-based program that will allow employees to find lower cost health care options.  Those who utilize the lower cost health care options provided by PEHP’s Transparency Tool will be rewarded with a financial incentive.  Possible financial incentives for the employee may include: a discount on their premium, a rebate, a reduction of out-of-pocket costs, or another financial reward.

House Bill 19 passed both the House and the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his signature. To read more about the bill click here.

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