Rep. Draxler: legislative session less controversial, starting to pick up pace

In two weeks and two days it will all be over for the 2012 session of the Utah Legislature. One local lawmaker, Rep. Jack Draxler, R-District 3, says this has be a busy but much less controversial session than others he has experienced. Draxler says it has probably helped to have a little more money to work with but he says there have also been fewer unpopular bills, especially dealing with immigration. “Both the House and the Senate,” Draxler says, “are just saying, ‘let’s let things move forward from last year. We spent a whole session on it last year and it was very, very strongly debated.’ Anything new is meeting a fare amount of resistance.” Final 2013 revenue projections are being released Tuesday and Draxler says things will probably move faster then. Draxler’s bill that would allow sex offenders who have fulfilled all of their court requirements over a 10 year period to have their name taken off the sex offender registry has passed both houses and is now on the governor’s desk. Things are also looking good for one of his other bills which would make data on health care-associated infections for certain facilities more accessible and transparent. It is not unusual for someone to get a health-care associated infection and a bill sponsored by Draxler would make information about these infections more transparent. “The bill tasks the State Department of Health with gathering and validating and presenting on their website the rate of these infections occurring at these facilities,” Draxler explains, “so a consumer here in Utah can get some idea of how the facilities are doing in their community or the facilities they are considering going in to for a procedure or care.” Draxler says in spite of all the precautions taken at hospitals and other health care facilities infections do occur and under his bill information about these infections would become part of the public record. Draxler says one good outcome is transparency and the other would be hospitals and other facilities doubling their efforts to control these infections. He says the bill has a fiscal note of $130,000 for the State Department of Health to set up a reporting process but he says he is getting a lot of support among lawmakers. The legislature winds up its session on Thursday, March 8.

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