Executive Director Message – June 2024

June 27, 2024

Hello Team Commerce,

I hope you have some exciting plans for this summer. I am looking forward to spending some relaxing time with my family.

Thank you for coming to the One Commerce meeting this morning. It was a great opportunity to see you all in person and hear Lieutenant Governor Henderson speak. I hope you also had the chance to take advantage of the Capitol tour.

I want to take this opportunity to discuss our legislative efforts. Even though the general legislative session lasts seven weeks in the winter, our efforts continue year-round. Interim sessions, comprising one full day of committee meetings, are held throughout the year to allow legislators to review and study policy items for the next general session.

For instance, OPLR uses interim sessions to brief the interim Business and Labor Committee about its licensing reviews.  Last year, OPLR briefed this committee multiple times about its research and recommendations regarding behavioral health licensure, culminating in the legislature passing landmark legislation reforming behavioral health regulation this past session. OPLR is currently evaluating the licensure requirements for cosmetology and massage therapy, and building inspectors, continuing our journey of improving the accessibility and relevance of professional licensing. OPLR presented its initial findings at an interim session earlier this month.

In the coming months, we will participate in more presentations at the interim sessions, which occur in August, September, October, and November, in addition to May and June. Our involvement in these sessions will help provide recommendations on topics impacting AI policy, licensing and industry regulation, and consumer protections generally.

Speaking of AI policy, our Utah Office of Artificial Intelligence Policy and Learning Lab is officially running, and I am excited about it getting underway. The establishment of the AI Office marks a significant step forward in our mission to craft policies that protect and empower Utahns and help reinstate trust in technology. Together with industry specialists, stakeholders, and lawmakers, we’ll be pioneering the effort to create the best artificial intelligence policy in the country. 

As the 2024 fiscal year ends, I’m excited to tell you when you can expect to see the increases in your paychecks. You will receive your one-time performance-based incentive, averaging 2.5% of your wages over the past six months in the July 5th paycheck. All employees can expect a 3% cost-of-living adjustment applied in the first July pay period, which starts July 6. That COLA increase will be in your August 2 paycheck. 

Many employees will also see further increases in their late August paychecks. That’s when the pay-for-performance incentive, averaging 2% for those who rate ‘successful’ or ‘exceeds expectations,’ goes into effect. These combined increases mean employees will have averaged an additional 7.5% salary gain since January by this coming August—13% since last July! Look for specific dates and details about these adjustments in this newsletter.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Enjoy your summer.