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Legislature: Bills on fighting obesity and new costs for concurrent enrollment

By | Posted - Feb 15th, 2013 @ 2:18pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Several new bills were proposed in Legislation during their third week including costs for high school concurrent enrollment classes and creating awareness of HB81 virus for pregnant women.

Awareness of HB81 for Pregnant Women

A hearing and psychology specialist told a legislative committee Thursday that some pregnant women or those who are about to become pregnant should take precautions around young children, who commonly carry cytomegalovirus, or CMV.

Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, is sponsoring [HB81]( "HB81"), which would implement awareness programs and testing protocol throughout the state to better prevent, detect and treat women and children with the virus.

HB81 has successfully passed the Utah House of Representatives and now faces a final vote from the state Senate.

Cost for High School Concurrent Enrollment

High school students will see the costs of concurrent enrollment courses rise in the future if a bill advanced Thursday by the House Education Committee becomes law.

[SB162]( "Bill page"), sponsored by Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, cleans up the language in a law that was passed last year but never implemented due to a series of cumbersome exceptions included in the statute. The law calls for students to pay up to $30 per credit hour in an effort to ensure the financial strength and continuation of concurrent enrollment offerings.

Because high school students currently pay none of the costs associated with the classes, the expense of providing concurrent enrollment is transferred completely to the institutions of higher education and trickle down to enrolled college students through tuition, Urquhart said.

Urquhart said the bill is being introduced out of necessity, as limited funds have resulted in colleges and universities scaling back their concurrent enrollment offerings.

Fighting Obesity

A resolution working its way through the Utah Legislature aims to put obesity at the forefront of the minds of lawmakers and the general public.

[HCR2]( "HCR2") points at the rising costs of health care that are exacerbated by growing waistlines, said resolution sponsor Rep. Stewart Barlow, R-Fruit Heights, who is also a physician and surgeon. He said obesity is a "significant problem that is growing in medicine."

Contributing: Wendy Leonard and Benjamin Wood

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