UPHA and USOPHE are concerned about the growing lack of trust in public health. Public health and government officials have worked tirelessly over the past year to address COVID-19. In Utah, we have stood as an example of how a balanced response has been able to slow the spread and save lives and livelihoods.
We are asking you to TAKE ACTION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH. No matter where you work – state or county government, a non-profit, a university, etc. – you still have a right to freedom of speech.
In fact, state rules specifically say there is no limitation on an individual’s free speech:
- On their own time; and
- Using their own resources
- So long as are not stating or implying that you are representing the interest of the Governor or your employer (DOH or LHD)
- Review Committee Comment Talking Points
Here’s what that could look like. Let’s say the meeting or committee you are interested in takes place at 4:00 pm. You would:
- Sign up to give public comment ASAP:
- When the meeting starts, clock out. Make sure that you are not on “work-time”.
- Use your own device. Whether that is a computer, tablet, or phone.
- Log on to the Committee Meeting Webpage by following these instructions.
- When the time for public comment comes up for the bill you are interested in:
- Raise your virtual hand.
- When the chair is ready for you to speak, they will move you over as a presenter so you can speak.
- Unmute your line, turn on your camera (if you want) and share your remarks!
- When speaking
- Plan on only having one-minute
- Start by saying: “My name is __, I am from _ (city) and I am representing myself”
- Then, share your thoughts and personal experience as a public health professional:
- Why do you support or oppose a bill?
- Are there concerns you might have about the topic at hand?
- Is there something you want committee members to consider when making their decision?
- End with: “Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with the committee today”
It’s that simple! Because your comments will be done online, you could even type out your comments beforehand and read them from the screen in front of you. This will help make sure you don’t get flustered and can stay on topic and keep to the time limit.
HB 294 – PANDEMIC EMERGENCY POWERS AMENDMENTS
HB 294 would terminate the emergency powers and public health emergency powers related to COVID-19 once 1,700,000 in the state have either 1. Received the first dose of a vaccine or 2. Contracted COVID-19 and recovered.
SB 195 – EMERGENCY RESPONSE AMENDMENTS
SB 195 seeks to reduce the ability of the state and local health departments and other health professionals in responding to local needs during times of public health emergency by limiting the time period for which certain public health orders or declarations remain in place; requiring notification of certain elected officials before taking action.
The House Government Operations Committee will be hearing public comments on HB 294 and SB 195 on Monday, March 1st at 4 PM.