Statewide organization that looks after Utah kids and families sees a boon in virtual legislative session

Many organizations in Utah operate as a sort-of citizen lobbyist during the legislative session, getting plugged in to specific bills that pertain to specific topics. One organization that does that on a regular basis is Voices for Utah Children.

During the session they look at bills that would positively or negatively impact Utah families.

On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, the state priorities partnership director for the organization, Matthew Weinstein, said with this year’s session taking place more virtually, it has worked out well.

“We’re doing it all online, it’s the safest way to do it. But you’ve got to give Utah, the legislature a whole lot of credit, because they have, I think, been on the cutting edge nationally of making the process open and accessible to everybody in a way that hopefully will continue in the long term – where you can tune in, you can testify on bills without having to show up at the Capitol,” Weinstein explained.

He said that’s a real innovation for being able to give the public access to be able to get involved. Weinstein is pleased the legislature is giving more attention to child care in this year’s session.

Legislators are getting a better appreciation for the importance of child care, and there are a number of bills that are moving this year. For example, there’s House Bill 277 from Representative (Ashlee) Matthews to make child care…the subsidies that are available from federal and state sources, make them available to more working families and childcare providers, so that more families can access that.”

Another Senate bill is a sales tax exemption for child care centers that would provide some help for them.

Families in the state who would like, can sign-up for the Voices for Utah Children email updates at utahchildren.org.

AUDIO: Matthew Weinstein talks with Jason Williams on KVNU’s For the People on 02-24-2021

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