Month: November 2016

House Minority Caucus Newly Elected Leadership Team

The House Minority Caucus elected their leadership team for the upcoming legislative session Tuesday night. They are as follows:

  • Brian King, D – District 28, was selected to serve another term as Minority Leader.
  • Joel Briscoe, D – District 25, was selected to serve as Minority Whip.
  • Angela Romero, D – District 26, was selected to serve as Minority Assistant Whip.
  • Sandra Hollins, D – District 23, was selected to serve as Minority Caucus Manager.

Welcoming the Newest U.S. Citizen

Over 100 people from more than 35 countries, represented by different flags, cultures and systems of government, became U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony at the Utah State Capitol on November 30, 2016. The event, hosted by Rep. Norm Thurston in partnership with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, was the fifth to be held at the Capitol in the last 12 months.

Though their personal journeys to this day were unique, in unison these individuals took an oath and in a single moment became Americans. 

Rep. Eric Hutchings delivered the keynote remarks.

“This is a great day for Utah and America because all of you are now U.S. citizens,” said Rep. Hutchings. “One of the many aspects that make this country exceptional is that every individual, no matter their background, is free to control their destiny as well as take part in shaping the future of this nation.”

Many came from neighboring countries – Canada and Mexico. Others came from across the globe including far away nations of Togo, New Zealand, Ukraine, Eritrea and Bhutan.

This nation isn’t bound together by a single ethnicity, race or religious faith. Instead, this country is defined by our founding principles: that all men are created equal with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

“It’s truly an honor to participate in this special moment,” said Rep. Thurston. “I commend those who have chosen to exercise their legal option to become full partners in our community and for completing the hard work to officially become a member of this exceptional nation. Hosting these important ceremonies is becoming a tradition for the House that I hope continues for years to come.”

Angela K. Barrows, district director for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, administered the Oath of Allegiance.

The Rotunda echoed as four Highland High School students sang the national anthem.

Following the ceremony, on-site voter registration was available to encourage the new citizens to be actively engaged in local, state and national matters as well as voice their opinion in future elections.

Congratulations to the new citizens of this great country.

See additional pictures here.


Media Alert: Naturalization Ceremony for 122 People at the Utah State Capitol

Media Alert
For Immediate Release
Nov. 28, 2016

Aundrea Peterson

House Majority Communications Coordinator 
Utah House of Representatives

Naturalization Ceremony for 122 People at the Utah State Capitol

Salt Lake City – Representative Norm Thurston, in partnership with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, will host a naturalization ceremony for approximately 122 people from 43 countries on Wednesday, November 30 at the Utah State Capitol.

Representative Eric Hutchings will deliver keynote remarks.

Angela K. Barrow, district director for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, will administer the Oath of Allegiance.

Highland High School students will sing the national anthem.

After the ceremony, on-site voter registration will be available for new the U.S. citizens.

Rep. Norm Thurston, District 64

Rep. Eric Hutchings, District 38
Angela K. Barrow, USCIS District Director

U.S. Naturalization Ceremony

Utah State Capitol ­– Rotunda

350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at 10 a.m. New citizens will be available for interviews immediately following the ceremony.




Happy Thanksgiving

With the holiday season fast approaching, now is a great time for self-reflection and expressions of gratitude for those who make our lives better, both in small ways and large. Mother Teresa has said, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

We should not allow the political divisions in our country, so obvious in this last election season, to divide us as friends, neighbors and family. We should not be defined solely by our political ideology, but rather by the good we do for those around us. Let us choose to be grateful, choose to be thoughtful and choose to always treat others with kindness and respect.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Interim Buzz – November 2016

The holiday season is fast approaching, it is a great time to take a moment to thank the people who have and currently make a difference in our lives.

The House Majority is thankful for the privilege to serve the people of Utah and have a heartfelt desire to make our communities and our state even better. We will continue to focus on listening to Utahns and making their priorities our priorities. We will serve with diligence and dedication to improving this great state.

Committee meetings, listed below, are open to the public and can be streamed live, here.

The Interim Committee Schedule* for November 2016:

Tuesday, November 15

  • 1:00 PM: Legislative Management Committee CANCELED
  • 2:00 PM: Executive Appropriations Committee
  • 3:00 PM: State Water Development Commission
  • 4:00 PM: Legislative Audit Subcommittee

Wednesday, November 16

  • 7:30 AM: Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee
  • 8:15 AM: Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee
  • 8:30 AM: Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee
  • 8:30 AM: Judiciary Interim Committee
  • 8:30 AM: Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee
  • 8:30 AM: Transportation Interim Committee
  • 1:15 PM: Business and Labor Interim Committee
  • 1:15 PM: Education Interim Committee
  • 1:15 PM: Government Operations Interim Committee
  • 1:15 PM: Health and Human Services Interim Committee
  • 1:15 PM: Political Subdivisions Interim Committee
  • 1:15 PM: Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Interim Committee
  • 4:00 PM: Special Session
    • The following items will be considered in the House:
      • Funding for class B and C roads
      • Legislation related to the regulation of solid waste similar to 2016 House Bill 258

    Thursday, November 17, 2016

  • 9:00 AM: Administrative Rules Review Committee

A list of 2016 Interim Committees can be found here.

* committee meetings are subject to change

Veterans Day

Liberty comes at a price, and our country was blessed with freedom because of the price paid by so many throughout the years – from those whose visionary ideals established this great nation to those who have fought to safeguard us throughout the generations since.

Freedom, today, is seen by some as a quaint idea and valued less than security by many who, having never been without it, have no understanding of its loss. Let us always remember that those who fight for freedom are our only barrier against those who fight for power and control.

Thank you, to the brave veterans of the United States of America!

Utah House Majority Selects 2017/18 Leadership Team

Utah House Majority Selects 2017/18 Leadership Team

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, the Utah House Majority elected their leadership team that will lead the caucus into the 2017 legislative session. They are as follows:


Press Release: Opting Out of Daylight Saving Time – Rep. Norm Thurston

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Nov. 3, 2016

Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Coordinator
Utah House of Representatives
801-791-3365 |

Opting Out of Daylight Saving Time

Rep. Norm Thurston’s proposed draft legislation for the upcoming session

SALT LAKE CITY – On Sunday, November 6, Daylight Saving Time will end, Utahns will turn their clocks back one-hour losing an hour of daylight in the evening. Rep. Norm Thurston, district 64, has drafted legislation for the upcoming 2017 General Session to allow the public to formally weigh in on ending the changing of the clocks ritual. The bill would send this issue directly to Utahns to vote on – in the next general election – whether to end participation in Daylight Saving Time or continue the bi-annual time switch.

“This is a perennial issue at the legislature and constituents want a definitive action taken,” said Rep. Thurston. “We have invested a lot of resources gathering public input, but have not mustered the political will to do anything. Now it is time to let Utahns voice their opinion in an official capacity so we can end this discussion once and for all.”

In a non-scientific survey conducted by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, 66.5 percent of respondents want to continually fall back and do away with changing the clocks. Only 15.4 percent of respondents wanted to keep the current system.

“Changing the clocks in the spring and fall has real impacts on physical and emotional health and productivity,” said Rep. Thurston. “This is the most frequently raised concern for my constituents and am I sure for many legislators. The people who are affected by the changing clocks really have a hard time and they make their voices heard. I hear most often from parents with special needs children and from adults with health issues that are sensitive to changes in routine.”

Daylight Saving Time was established throughout the United States by the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The law also granted each state the right to opt out of DST without federal approval and two have done so – Hawaii and Arizona. Lawmakers in Alaska and nearly a dozen other states are debating similar measures.

If Utah decides to join Arizona and opt out of Daylight Saving Time, the sun would come up earlier in the morning and set earlier in the evening during the summer season.

Rep. Thurston said, “Businesses, employers and others would be free to adjust their opening and closing times and work schedules to start and end earlier if they wish.”


News stories:

Daylight Saving Time could be on the ballot in Utah in 2018 – Fox 13 News

This weekend’s time change could be one of Utah’s last – ABC 4 Utah

Legislator wants to do away with Daylight Saving Time in Utah – KUTV

Lawmaker wants Utahns to vote on dumping daylight saving time – SL Trib