April 2, 2020

Legislature half-way point marker

This week marks the half-way point of the Utah Legislature’s 2009 General Session. With less than three weeks to go several bills impacting the College of Eastern Utah remain in play.

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This week marks the half-way point of the Utah Legislature’s 2009 General Session. With less than three weeks to go several bills impacting the College of Eastern Utah remain in play.
Senate Bill 67, Miner’s Safety and Training, offered by Senator Luz Robles (D – Rose Park) passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee with a unanimous vote. The bill seeks to quantify how successful mine training programs in the state are. Senator Robles seeks $600,000 in one-time funds for CEU’s Western Energy Training Center (WETC). Under the bill’s provisions, WETC would provide an annual report on progress in training miners.
WETC operations director Dennis Dooley said the money can be put to use right away, “We trained more than 1,700 workers last year from all aspects of the energy industry. Continued funding would allow us to continue that in the way that the Utah Mine Safety Commission envisioned last year.”
In the wake of the Crandall Canyon tragedy, the Utah Mine Safety Commission issued 45 recommendations to improve mine safety in Utah. More than a third of those envisioned a specific role for the WETC program, according to a handout distributed to legislators by CEU administrators.
“It’s a tight budget year, but we think that we can get some stimulus money for this through the governor’s office,” said Brad King, CEU’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement and a former legislator.
Another bill working its way through the House of Representatives would help CEU’s enrollment by expanding the number of so-called “border waivers” available to the College. House Bill 364, Border and Nonresident Student Amendments, by Representative Don Ipson (R-St. George) addresses a number of issues in relation to students located just across Utah’s border. Of interest to CEU is a provision that would allow students in neighboring states residing within 100 miles of a CEU campus to attend CEU at a discounted non-resident rate.
“We’ve asked for an additional 82 waivers for a total of 100 waivers – they would decrease non-resident tuition by about $500 per semester for eligible students,” said Kevin Walthers, CEU Vice President for Finance and Administration. Non-resident tuition is double the resident rate of $980 per semester.
Dr. Guy Denton, CEU’s Vice Provost for the San Juan Campus, said the waivers could be used to serve neighbors who have difficulty receiving service from their home states. “We already count members of the Navajo Nation as residents for tuition purposes, this applies similar logic to non-Natives who live close to our campus but are not eligible due to an accident of geography.”
The additional students would not burden CEU financially as they would provide revenue for the college while primarily taking classes that have available seats. House Bill 364 received a favorable recommendation from the House Education Standing Committee and now heads to the full House for consideration.

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