elizabeth_garbeby Elizabeth Garbe
Public Policy Director

Policy-Matters-2013-V3One of United Way of Salt Lake’s top priorities was introduced late last week; SB56, 2-1-1 Utah Information Referral Network, sponsored by Senator Weiler.

The bill includes the following requirements for a stronger statewide 2-1-1 system:

  • Expand and strengthen current phone and web-based services, act as the point of entry for disaster-related information and referral, expand outreach, and become a 24/7 service.
  • State and local government institutions, as well as private entities receiving state funds, will provide information on health and human service programs to 2-1-1 for inclusion in a statewide database.
  • State and local government to assess whether 2-1-1 could provide a service before starting a new toll-free number.

To reach a standard of excellence, $550,000 in ongoing funds to SUPPLEMENT United Way’s over $1 million commitment is needed.

You can read more about 2-1-1’s current services and about how the bill will create a standard of excellence for Utah 2-1-1 here. Sign up for action alerts to help support our efforts.

One Week Down

Appropriations Subcommittees met every morning last week and will continue to meet this week. Hearings are just the start of the budget deliberations. While new revenue forecasts will be made at the end of February,  action or inaction of Congress could have a big impact on how much money Utah receives, leaving lawmakers with many questions. This could lead to lower spending until many of the unknowns are resolved on the federal level, especially around sequestration.

This week, United Way’s other top priority bill, Senator Osmond’s Results-Based Financing for Early Childhood Education, should be introduced.

For more information on legislation United Way is supporting and following, check out our comprehensive bill tracker, updated weekly.

Remember to join the conversation on Twitter! Follow us @UWSL and use hashtags #utleg and #utpol.

See you on the Hill!