Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We received good news from the Utah Department of Health this last week. The Legislature was informed that the state meets the COVID-19 thresholds established in H.B. 294 Pandemic Emergency Powers Amendments. While H.B. 294 ends most public health orders, the bill also allows the Utah Department of Health to continue with orders that deal with health and safety in K-12 schools. With the number of fully vaccinated Utahns growing, and school ending in a few weeks, there is room for optimism. In fact, the CDC is predicting that COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths will drop significantly around the end of July. Find out more about their prediction here.
During the general session, we passed legislation to put money back in the hands of Utah veterans, seniors and families. We also passed legislation making it easier for businesses to thrive in our state. This week, Gov. Cox ceremonially signed the following bills:
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
Utah expects to receive more than $8.3 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Most of the funds will be allocated toward individual stimulus checks, with the remaining funds going to state and local governments, targeted agency grants and to enhance unemployment benefits. The state is projected to get about $1.5 billion. The state has three and half years to spend the funds, giving us time to see the long-term effects of COVID-19 and determine where the funds are needed most. Learn more here.
Pfizer has applied for emergency use of their vaccine for youth 12-15 years of age. The company announced they plan to apply for emergency use of the vaccine for 2-11 year olds later this year. Read more here.
On Wednesday, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Salt Lake City and was greeted by members of the federal delegation and state leaders. She also met with students at Glendale Middle School and stopped by a vaccination center to visit with community health workers at Jordan Park.
Older Americans Month
May is Older Americans Month, led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With the isolation that so many of us have felt over the last year, it’s a great time to share our gratitude by offering service and friendship to the seniors in our communities. Read more here.
I Look Forward to Hearing From You!
I'll try to continually keep you informed about my work on the Hill – likewise, please keep in touch – I’d love to hear your insights and opinions.
I can be reached by email at email@example.com. You’re also welcome to join me at the Capitol and if you’d like to meet with me in person outside of interim or the legislative session, you can reach Jason Gould at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’ll help us get in touch.
I’m truly grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me to serve in this capacity. We live in a unique and special place. Thank you for all you do to make Utah the best state in the nation – and thanks for paying attention.
Until next time,
Senator Dan McCay
Utah Senate District 11