Lawmakers unveil bills focusing on family, economy

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) Your family and your wallet. That’s the focus of a non-partisan action plan coming from a rare combination of lawmakers and organizations Thursday. 

More than 17 pieces of legislation focus on growing the economy while also removing barriers facing Utah families.

“We want equality. We want justice for all and opportunities to be fair,” Sen. Luz Escamilla said, (D) Dist. 1. 

A recent study initiated by the Utah Women in the Economy Commission identified barriers women face while entering the workforce. The action plan aims to eliminate those challenges while also spurring economic growth. 

“We are taking issues that have been seen one way and saying hey, look at this through an economic lens,” Rep. Rebecca Edwards, (R) Dist. 20.

During the legislative session, democratic and republican legislators will address issues including minimum wage, family medical leave, paid parental leave for state employees, workplace protections, earned income tax credit, childcare incentives, family planning services and gender pay equity. 

“There are certain protections to make sure that doesn’t happen but I still believe there may be some gaps,” Sen. Escamilla said. 

Sen. Escamilla wants to study possible pay disparity among state workers to make sure families are reaching financial independence regardless of gender.

“I have daughters and I don’t want to believe that in 20 years from now, they are still facing some gender gap issues related to income,” Sen. Escamilla said. 

Rep. Tim Quinn proposes a bill that would eliminate the state portion of sales tax on food. To make up the $88 million in lost revenue, sales tax would rise by 0.24 percent on everything else. 

” I don’t view this issue from the standpoint of economics. This is a moral issue,” Rep. Quinn said, (R) District 54.

Several bills will affect retirees by offering a retirement income tax credit and eliminating state tax on Social Security.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...

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