Saturday, January 31, 2015

Week 1 Update

Week one of the Legislative General Session.

Numbered bills for Rep. Fred C. Cox

H.B. 29 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board Amendments
passed the House and in Senate Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology Committee

H.B. 126 Design Professionals - Amendments
on House Business and Labor agenda for Feb. 2

H.B. 162 Construction Trades Continuing Education Amendments
in House Business and Labor

H.B. 177 Absentee Ballot Amendments
in House Rules

See the above link for more information and also for some bills in the works. Some of those and other bills may not be required because of other proposed legislation, including alcohol restrictions for those on probation and parole and disabled adult child guardianship. Some bills may not be drafted this session. The bill request list should be updated by February 5th.

Remember, any bill may change and that could change my support or opposition.

I was willing to support one bill on Friday until a last minute substitute made the bill worse than the law we have now. I attempted to block the substitute and when that failed, hold the bill in committee. That motion failed. I then voted against the bill having other Representatives voting with me. The bill still passed the committee for more debate on the Floor of the House.

I have also been very involved in debating, amending and voting for and against many other bills, along with on going discussions on the budget and policy decisions.

Stay on top of posts from my blog:

801-966-2636 (home)

Official Legislative Website and email

The best way to get a hold of me is via email at:

There have been 2 town hall meetings, well attended with two more. Hundreds of Surveys have been returned. I am still reading them. I should have some general statistics from them in the next few days.

2015 Town Hall Meetings at Hunter Library 4740 West 4100 South West Valley City, Utah
Thu. January 22, 2015, 7:00pm to 8:30pm (completed)
Sat. January 24, 2015, 1:00pm to 2:30pm (completed)
Sat. January 31, 2015, 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Sat. Febrary 28, 2015, 10:30am to 11:45am

A 2015 survey is at:

Other links:  (personal profile)  (public page)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gas Tax Options

If you read the survey I sent out, or this article:

There is a 3rd option. Keep the fuel tax a fixed number per gallon, 24.5 cents. Adjust that with a CPI increase or decrease each year with caps so it doesn't go up or down too fast. So next year could be 25 cents or perhaps 25.5 cents per gallon. The amount of funds wouldn't keep going down in value each year based on inflation.

The other two options, in my opinion, will not pass both houses. if it is sales tax, we could double the amount going to the state per gallon in a year if gas prices go back to $4 per gallon. It is too unstable with the potential of fast tax increases or leaving the state and local governments hurting for road funds again. .

Raising the fixed rate by 5 cents is a 20% increase for the tax. That doesn't fly with most voters where I live. Raising it by 10 cents or 41% increase is even worse.

We have, dozens of cities that want more money from the state for their local roads. You do realize 30% of the state fuel tax goes to the local cities, etc. for local roads. They have been raising local property taxes or cutting police or fire to cover the shortfall. They either want more money from a larger fuel tax or permission to raise local sales tax for this purpose.

Under Utah Art XIII sec. 5, 6   the State Fuel tax has to go to roads or drivers training or UHP or debt re roads. It doesn't go in a general fund. The Utah Legislature hasn't raised it a little based on CPI for many years.

The fuel tax doesn't go to the UTA. It does go to UDOT.

UTA gets its funding from local sales tax, specifically voted on to fund UTA. It has also received funds from the Federal Government.

Approx. 17% of the sales tax collected in Utah is transportation based, including cars, tires, oil, etc. Approx. that percentage of the state portion of that tax goes to roads. See again Utah Art XIII sec. 5, 6 . Those electric cars are paying into the road fund. The Governor in 2011 vetoed a bill, which sends this money to roads, which was passed again in a veto override session by the legislature. In his current budget, the Governor proposes to use this money for something else, but that would require the law to be changed, which based on Utah Constitution, Art. XIII, Sec. 5, (6), it likely will not.

This transportation based sales tax is general fund money that normally could be used  for any other state program. 

The State Income Tax, goes to K-12 Public Education and also Higher Education. Utah Art. XIII, Sec. 5 (5).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Clean Air

At one of my Town Hall meetings, I was given this document. It was used to raise the question as if small users, such as wood burning, are being asked to take a bigger hit on clean air requirements because larger users are getting away with more.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 HB 126 Design Professionals - Amendments

Typically Interior Designers and Architects fight over what each can do under state licensing laws. That is true all over the country. As an architect, I was surprised that both the interior designers and the architects wanted me to run the bill. I have a proposed compromise and I am working to be fair to both sides.

The interior Designers submitted their fee and licensing proposal this summer and the issue was covered in two committee meetings in September and October. The Occupational and Professional Licensure Review Committee. In September, a request from the committee was made to open a bill file, which was done, but the result created a lot of people showing up to support it and oppose it. I personally had major problems with the bill at that time.

Over the last several months, I have met with several members of those groups, including the Utah Building Code Commission, the Architectural Licensing Board, Utah AIA (American Institute of Architects), interior designers, etc.

This bill is very different than I thought it would be last April and May when I was first contacted about the idea by the interior designers.

The bill doesn't require most interior designers to be licensed and it doesn't create a new area of practice requiring a license.

What it does do, is allow specific interior designers, with specialized education, training, experience, certification and a license, to provide signed drawings limited in scope of work, with a DOPL licensing number for a building permit that currently requires an architect license. We are not talking about colors, etc. This would allow then to create building permit drawings for non-bearing walls, doors, etc.

It is literally creating competition for me as an architect. There are many drawings that can be created without a license and those exceptions are not eliminated. There are about 160 interior designers with a NCIDQ certification that this may help, and others that may work toward this.

Additional Information:

Does not require interior designers to obtain a license unless they want to work in some of the areas that currently require an architect’s license.

Interior Designers who desire to expand their scope of practice now have pathways to meet the standards of the state for the specified licensed space through a combination of education, experience and examination. 

The expanded scope for a licensed interior designer is limited to specific types of interior spaces that already have the building exiting designed and does not involve changing beams, columns and bearing walls.

Increases the number and type of professionals that can compete for projects in this space.

One, Two, Three and Four Family Residential spaces remain unregulated. Interior designers practicing in these spaces are unaffected, and are able to continue to practice as usual. 

The title of “interior designer” is not regulated

Stakeholders met together to create bi-partisan agreement on a non-mandatory licensing bill that enacts permitting authority within specific interior spaces by individuals who meet the life safety requirements of the space.

Designers working on project drawings for commercial spaces requiring a permit will have more than one option when seeking Building  Permit Construction Drawings.

Additional details of the bill
    Minimum design education accredited by CIDA, or equivalent Requirement for professional experience

    National Council for Interior Design Qualification NCIDQ is the primary examination interior design licensing

    A code of guidelines for professional practice and ethics is outlined

    A requirement for continuing education included

    Grandfathering with education, experience and examination criteria License/Signing privileges to substantiate documentation

NCIDQ requirements.

See also for building code occupancies

with the Utah State amendments from:

Or this document that is designed to combine these:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Town Hall Meetings

Utah House District 30, Fred C. Cox  2015 Town Hall Meetings at
Hunter Library 4740 West 4100 South West Valley City, Utah

Thu. January 22, 2015, 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Sat. January 24, 2015, 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Sat. January 31, 2015, 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Sat. February 28, 2015, 10:30am to 11:45am

A survey is at: