Utah Legislative Organization Overview

75 House Districts, 29 Senate Districts

    Leadership Elections

    • House

        • Speaker

        • Majority Leader

        • Majority Whip

        • Assistant Majority Whip

        • Minority Leader

        • Minority Whip

        • Minority Assistant Whip

        • Minority Caucus Manager

    • Senate

        • President

        • Majority Leader

        • Majority Whip

        • Assistant Majority Whip

        • Minority Leader

        • Minority Whip

        • Minority Assistant Whip

        • Minority Caucus Manager

    Appointments for extended leadership

    • Executive Appropriations Chair

    • Executive Appropriations Vice Chair

    • Rules Chair

    • Rules Vice-Chair

    Legislative Management Committee:

    • Senate President

    • Speaker of the House

    • Majority Leader (both House & Senate)

    • Majority Whip (both House & Senate)

    • Assistant Majority Whip (both House & Senate)

    • Minority Leader (both House & Senate)

    • Minority Whip (both House & Senate)

    • Minority Assistant Whip (both House & Senate)

    • Minority Caucus Manager (both House & Senate)

    All Members Committee Assignments:

    • Two standing (policy) committees

    • 1-2 appropriation committees

    Bill Process

    • Priority bills get prioritized for drafting purposes.

      • House members get four priority bills.

      • Senators get five priority bills.

    • Bill request, goes to drafting.

    • Once drafted all bills get assigned to rules committee to:

        • Kill a bill

        • Hold a bill

        • Amend a bill

        • Assign to a standing (policy) committee

    • If assigned to a standing committee, they take action:

        • Pass

        • Fail

        • Hold

        • Move on to next item

        • ETC.

    • If passes, committee reports get read in on the floor.

    • Bills go to the board in the order they were read in.

    • Bills pass, get sent to other body.

    • Then through rules, committee, floor, etc.

    • If amended/substituted, they get sent back for concurrence.

    • If refuse to concur a conference committee is called:

        • Conference committee = two majority one minority from each house.

        • Conference committee action then gets voted on the floor.

        • Sent back again for concurrence.

    • During the last few days of the session only House bills can be heard in the Senate with the House controlling their board, and only Senate bills can be heard in the house with the Senate controlling their board.

    • If passed by Feb 20th, the gov must take action during the session – much harder to veto.

    • Once a bill is passed it goes to gov for signature, no signature or veto.

    • Potential veto override

    • Most bills become law on May 1

    • Approps bills become law on July 1

    • Some bills have an immediate effective date that allow them to become law upon the governor’s signature if they receive a 2/3rds vote of the legislature.

    Appropriations

    • Gov budget process (Sept-Dec)

        • Recommendations the legislature takes into consideration.

        • Exec branch is limited to what is in the governor’s budget.

    • Executive Appropriations Committee (EAC) in December – make decisions for base budget increases related to growth or programs. They also allocate amount left for subcommittee prioritization.

     

    • Budget items/request assigned to an appropriation subcommittee for vetting.

     

    • Base budgets done by day 10.

      • Early passage forces the governor to act during the session so if gov vetoes and the Legislature wants to override, they are already in session.

      • Early passage of base budgets allows Utah to avoid threats of government shutdowns.

     

    • New appropriations – bills with fiscal notes and/or requests for appropriations (RFAs).

      • Appropriations subcommittee vets and ranks funding items.

      • EAC ultimate ranking. (Base budgets can still be adjusted)

      • Full vote of legislature.

      • Budget passes on the last day.

    Interim

    • Legislative management committee sets the interim schedule and topics for interim committees.

    • Interim is typically every third Wednesday of each month. 

    • Other regular policy committees and task forces

    • Interim committee bills get prioritized for drafting – don’t count against individual legislator priorities.

      • If committee bills get unanimous support, then they MAY go straight to the floor (to the Consent calendar) at the start of each session – depending on the issue.

     

    2024 Legislative Session Key Dates

    • January

      • 16: Legislative General Session convenes.

      • 18: Utah Sheriffs’ Association Meeting

      • 25: Base budgets get passed.

      • 26: Last day to request a bill or appropriation without floor approval.

    • February

      • 8: Sheriffs’ host breakfast

      • 23: Last day for the Executive Appropriations Committee to complete decisions for the final appropriations bill.

      • 28: Last day for final action on each general appropriations bill.

    • March

      • 1: Last day of the annual General Session.

      • 21: Last day for governor action on bills.

    • April

      • 30: Last day a veto-override session may begin.

    • May

      • 1: Normal effective date for most bills.

    • July

      • 1: New fiscal year, effective date for bills that have a fiscal impact.