Spring is here and summer is soon on its way. Seeing flowers in bloom makes everyone anxious for warm weather and outside activities–myself included. I love to play golf, so I have been hitting the balls around some in whatever free time I have. I don't keep score often, so there is no pressure when it’s just fun with friends and family. Although I try to have fun, with the spring comes the beginning of the campaign season. I am running to serve you once more as your State Senator, a duty that I take seriously and which I’m already honored to do.
My position in the Senate leadership and many high profile committees gives our community a strong voice. Speaking to that, I was just appointed to sit on the important “Relocation of the Prison” Committee. This committee will direct the way we address corrections in the State of Utah. My personal role on this committee is to guarantee that the employees and volunteers who work at our prisons are considered in the future of the State Prison. Many of our neighbors are employed with the Department of Corrections. Another important committee in which I sit is the Veterans Task Force Committee. In this committee we are improving the way we take care of the veterans in our state. I passed legislation this past session to help veterans in financial need get help with home repairs. Our brave heroes deserve to be taken care of, with grace, for their service. Another commission in which I am honored to serve on is the Commission on Federalism. The intent of this group is make sure that the state remains a partner with the Federal Government, not just an instrument without input.
It is exciting to work on projects and partner with area groups to get things done. One example is the Bruce Field ballpark. Working with Salt Lake County, the Kearns Town Council, and a host of great people we will now have a new multi-use sports park in Kearns. Cutting the ribbon to start the project was a dream come true for many residents and neighbors of this park. Adding to that was the celebration of the Veterans Memorial in Kearns. The memorial is almost completed and looks beautiful. I’m so proud of the hard work and effort that the many people have made to make this memorial happen. Speaking of hard work, I recently joined the Taylorsville Exchange Club to dedicate the Roots of Freedom award presented to Westbrook Elementary. The Exchange Council is a jewel for the Taylorsville community.
Upcoming Community Events: We are preparing for the huge Women's Conference in West Valley. It started last year and is now becoming an annual affair for our community and the state. Women in Motion is a real world event that gives women information on almost anything and everything. It will be hosted at the Cultural Center and of course, I will keep you up to date.
There were 457 bills that were passed during the 2014 General Session by the State Legislature, many which went into effect in May 2014. Some of the most important and noteworthy bills include:
- SB253- distracted driver law that will restrict cell phone use to only making calls or being used as GPS in a car.
- HB96 This bill would create a grant system for a state-private partnership to provide preschool for high-risk children that intends to keep children from more expensive programs in life later on.
- Several bills aimed to curb air pollutions, such as HB 154, which would help people convert wood burning furnaces to clearer sources and SB99, which will require the state to make half of its future vehicle purchases high efficiency vehicles.
- SB-122 An education bill of rights that will allow parents to have more say in the individual treatment of their students in school.
- SB57-This bill would require insurance companies in the state to cover autism treatment for children.
These are only a few pieces of legislation. All the bills are online, so if you have questions about specific bills, please visit the State’s website and they are all there for you to review.
One of the bills I passed last session, Senate Bill 36, addresses voter registration protection. We will have a ceremonial signing with the Governor in June. This bill was a priority bill for the Lt. Governor’s Office and something that I was proud to carry during the session. This bill protects the information of Utah voters and makes sure that this private information is only used for its intended purpose. My colleague's tell me this legislation was a priority for many of their constituents statewide.
My campaign is in full swing now! As always, I am looking for my friends and neighbors who would be interested in helping out on my campaign team, including walking with me in our community, placing a sign in your yard, or helping with donations. This is an amazing community and amazing people...thank you for the welcoming support you have given me. You know me, you know my history and you know my heart is for our West Side residents. Please consider getting involved by contacting me at this email address, or my intern, Keegan Rank at email@example.com.