2015 Legislative Session – Week 1

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Week one and we are already in full gear. During this week, every Appropriation Committee is meeting. In these committees, various councils and departments are presenting their budget and needs for the next fiscal year. Several challenges that we have faced are finding ways to fund the State Fair Grounds as well as meeting the multiple transportation needs that we face in Utah. We also have many options that are in the mix for education. Voting for these appropriations, as well as many other funding issues, will be on the agenda in the next coming weeks as we prepare our State’s budget.

My legislation has already begun to be heard in their respective committees. Two bills have had hearings this week:

  • SB 50–Railroad Revisions passed out of committee to be voted on by the entire Senate Wednesday afternoon. It is legislation that will require all freight trains passing through Utah two have at least a two-man crew. This is a safety issue for our communities as we continue to see our state grow and develop.
  • SB 32–Amendments to Limitations on Awards also passed out of committee to the floor to be voted on by the Senate. This legislation outlines regulations on awards and honorariums for legislators while in office.
  • SB 27–Health Facility Administrator Act Reauthorization is a committee bill and is on the Senate's voting board waiting to be passed Monday. I am happy to carry this legislation, which licenses Health Administrators in our state.

This is only a sampling of my bills that you will see during this session. Other bills that I am carrying include a Utah GI Bill of Rights for Veterans, Workers Compensation Coverage for Firefighters, Resolution Honoring Fallen Miners, Municipal Government Amendments, and Safety Regulations for Construction Projects and several other interesting pieces of legislation. I will be sure to keep you posted.

My senate survey is coming along.  If you haven't responded yet, please do so. I love reading the responses and comments. This helps me as a legislator and if there is any question you have regarding a specific piece of legislation, please contact me. If you haven’t taken the survey yet, please do so here.

One highlight of the week was being asked to give the invocation at the "Salute to Law Enforcement Banquet.” There were widows of fallen officers that were present, reminding us the loss of loved ones that have sacrificed their lives on behalf of our communities. It was an honor to be part of the ceremony and to thank our peace officers for their service was very humbling.

Lastly, Governor Herbert presented the State of the State message. The Governor spoke about several concerns facing the state, including the funding of our educational needs and the health of our state. It was my pleasure to be part of the Minority Caucus response. I spoke in favor of a living wage for our citizens, safety in our workplaces and communities, and the value of a skilled and educated workforce. You can see the video of the response here.

Thank you for your support and continued interest and involvement in our state’s government.

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