Month: April 2018

New Nation Letter Writing Competition

The Utah Legislature and the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts teamed up to give high school students an opportunity to see the Broadway hit Hamilton: An American Musical through the New Nation Letter Writing Competition

High school students from across the state wrote an essay about an issue of concern in their community, along with a proposed solution, for a chance to see the musical with their representative here in Salt Lake. The purpose was to encourage students to become engaged in the civic process, know who represents them and discover their own passion, using that to find a way to make a positive impact in their local community.

Watch the video about the project here.

Unclaimed Money

The Utah State Treasurer’s Office recently announced that Utahns have more than $38 million in property waiting to be claimed. The Utah Unclaimed Property Division receives lost property from various sources, such as dormant bank accounts, uncollected insurance payouts and stock certificates. Visit, the official government website that manages and returns unclaimed property, to see if you have any unclaimed money.



Veto Override Recap

The Legislature voted to override Governor Gary Herbert’s veto of two vitally important pieces of legislation that passed during the 2018 General Session. HB 198, Attorney General Responsibility Amendments, and SB 171, Intervention Amendments, are key to protecting the constitutional role of the Legislature and ensuring proper separation of powers. These two bills provide clarity to issues that have caused recent confusion in regard to where the line of separation among the branches of government ought to be drawn.

HB 198 merely requires the attorney general respond in good faith to legislative requests for an opinion within 30 days and allows the Legislature to petition the Utah Supreme Court to obtain an opinion if the attorney general does not comply. It also adds additional clarity to the role of the attorney general.

SB 171 allows the Legislature to intervene in support of litigation challenging the constitutionality of state statute.

According to the Utah Supreme Court’s Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 24, the Legislature is authorized to direct, by statute, that certain parties to a lawsuit be allowed to intervene. That is precisely what this law does by allowing the Legislature to intervene on its own behalf to defend the constitutionality of legislation it has passed, where necessary, to fully represent its interests and those of the people it represents.

HB 198 and SB 171 add additional guidance and clarity to the powers held by each branch when seeking opinions from the attorney general and defending statute from constitutional challenge.

Firework Fact Sheet

During the 2017 fireworks season, questions were raised about the types of fireworks allowed, the number of days it is legal to use fireworks, fire prevention, and liability concerns. In order to address these issues in a balanced and appropriate manner, Rep. Jim Dunnigan and Sen. Jani Iwamoto worked together on legislation that balances these concerns with the desire many Utahns have to be able to celebrate our most patriotic holidays with traditional displays of fireworks. HB 38, Fireworks Restrictions,  is the result of numerous meetings with law enforcement, firefighters, fireworks retailers and manufacturers, citizens, and local elected officials.

A balanced approach

This legislation takes a balanced, bipartisan, and reasonable approach to addressing the many viewpoints on how and when fireworks should be allowed.

40% reduction in dates fireworks are allowed to be discharged in July

  • Fireworks will be allowed on July 2-5 (instead of July 1-7) and July 22-25 (instead of  June 23- 27).
  • Fireworks would still be allowed on New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Sale of fireworks 

  • June 24-July 25 (from June 23-July 27).
  • New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s eve remain the same.

Stronger penalties for shooting fireworks outside of permitted dates and times

  • A penalty for discharging fireworks when not permitted would be up to a $1,000 fine.

New penalty for igniting fireworks in restricted areas

  • Up to a $1,000 penalty and an infraction for discharging fireworks in an area where fireworks have been prohibited due to hazardous environmental conditions.

More local control

  • Provides clarity and increased flexibility to local governments and the state forester to prohibit the discharge of fireworks due to historic or current hazardous environmental conditions.

Easier to understand restrictions and penalties

  • Requires local governments and the state forester to create and provide maps showing where fireworks are prohibited due to hazardous environmental conditions.
  • Requires retailers to display maps that counties provide showing these restricted areas and display signs that indicate legal dates and times as well as criminal penalties and fines for violations.

Increased liability for causing a fire with fireworks

  • Civil liability for negligently, recklessly, or intentionally causing a fire with fireworks potentially includes any damages caused by the fire and any costs of suppressing the fire.




Utah State University Extension Utah 4-H youth recently gathered at the Utah State Capitol to hold a mock legislature. The future leaders had the opportunity to experience the role of a legislator and learn first-hand about the lawmaking process.

During the mock legislative session, 4-H members presented and debated bills from the 2018 session on the House floor. The students also held committee meetings where they presented their sponsored legislation. Representative Paul Ray and members of the Office of Legislative Research sponsored the event and observed the proceedings.

Rep. Gage Froerer to be recognized for his legislative work

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
April 11, 2018

Aundrea Peterson
Utah House of Representatives

 Rep. Gage Froerer to be recognized for his legislative work

Youth Impact is holding a press conference to recognize Representative Gage Froerer for his legislative work of supporting non-profits and helping reduce the size of government. 

Rep. Gage Froerer, District 8
Youth Impact
Northern Utah Red Cross
Cottages of Hope
Intermountain Donor Services

Youth Impact
2305 Grant Ave, Ogden, UT 84401

Thursday, April 12 at 3:30 p.m.



Utah Legislature to hold a veto override session

April 11, 2018

Aundrea Peterson
Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives

Utah Legislature to hold a veto override session

Salt Lake City – As outlined in the Utah Constitution, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House have conducted a poll of their respective members, and two-thirds of the members of each chamber are in favor of reconvening the Legislature to reconsider bills and items vetoed by the Governor. President Niederhauser and Speaker Hughes will issue the official call of the veto override session to their members including the date and time of the session.

Article VII, Section 8(4) of the Utah Constitution states that the veto override session “shall begin within 60 days after the adjournment of the session at which the disapproved bill or item of appropriation passed. This session may not exceed five calendar days and shall be convened at a time set jointly by the presiding officer of each house solely for the purpose of reconsidering the bill or item of appropriation disapproved. If upon reconsideration, the bill or item of appropriation again passes both houses of the Legislature by a yea and nay vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house, the bill shall become law or the item of appropriation shall take effect on the original effective date of the law or item of appropriation.”



Job Opportunity

invites applications for the position of:



SALARY: $13 – $17 Hourly
OPENING DATE: 4/10/18 12:00 PM
CLOSING DATE: 4/17/18 12:00 PM
POSITION TYPE: Part-time (20 hours/week, then 40 hours/week during 10 weeks leading up to and including the legislative session)
BENEFITS: This position may be eligible in the future for a full benefits package including medical, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance, a retirement plan, plus paid leave to include annual, sick, and holiday pay.
PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 350 North State Street, Suite 400, Salt Lake City, UT 84114
SCHEDULE CODE: AN – Employees of the Legislature
SCHEDULE CODE DESCRIPTION: Schedule A or TL – At will: Employees in this position serve at the pleasure of the appointing officer in an at will status and may be terminated at any time without cause. This is not a career service position.

Employees in this position are appointed, non-classified, and overtime exempt. Employees provide administrative support for the Utah State House of Representatives Minority Caucus. Employees respond to constituents and support Representatives in their work to do so. Employees work closely with Representatives and staff to assist with receiving, organizing, and originating correspondence, documentation, and other communication. This position involves scheduling and coordinating meetings and appointments. Employees take and relay messages, respond to requests for information and provide information and/or direct callers/visitors to appropriate individuals/agencies. Employees also assist Representatives with miscellaneous research and clerical services, and work with staff to provide solutions to constituent requests. Employees will not raise funds or perform campaign work for any political campaign.

Overtime Exempt: Yes

  • Work full-time during the General Legislative Session and part-time between legislative sessions (the Interim), under the direction of the House Minority Leader and Staff Director, to coordinate and maximize opportunities to serve the public. The position may require some evening or weekend work and possible travel.
  • Work closely with caucus members, constituents, advocates, lobbyists and stakeholders involved with the legislative process.
  • Write or draft correspondence, reports, documents, and other written materials.
  • Prepare written materials from source documents, transcriptions, etc.
  • Provide clerical and administrative support and assistance to Caucus Staff Director and Minority Leadership team.
  • Review incoming correspondence; initiate replies as appropriate; route matters requiring action by staff or other organizations.
  • Schedule and coordinate appointments, meetings, facilities, meals, equipment, etc. and follows up as needed.
  • Assist with research on various topics; assists with analyzing and summarizing results.
  • Coordinate activities, projects, and programs for Representatives and staff, as requested.
  • Coordinate Representatives’ Town Hall meetings as requested.
  • Perform other duties as directed.
  • Act as a resource to provide information or determine the most effective way of meeting the needs of management, staff, clients or customers.
  • Maintain and create files or record keeping systems.
  • Receive calls and greet visitors, take and relay messages, respond to requests for information; provide information or directs callers/visitors to appropriate individuals.
(includes knowledge, skills, and abilities required upon entry into position and trainable after entry into position)

·       Reply to inquiries from the public.

  • Find, gather, and collect information, or data.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, elected officials and members of the public.

·       Deal with people in a manner which shows sensitivity, tact, and professionalism.

  • Organize information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Research methods and techniques, information gathering, data collection.
  • Utilize proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Operate a computer, fax machine, scanner, copier, and other office equipment.
  • Have strong computer skills, including ability to use Microsoft Office and the Google Suite.
  • Arrange, coordinate, and schedule appointments and details.
  • Maintain strict confidentiality; work with multiple Representatives and maintain the trust and confidence of each.
  • Use social media in a business environment.
  • Maintain personal integrity and professional work ethics.
  • Use automated software applications.
  • Enter, transcribe, record, store, and maintain information in both written or electronic form.
  • Establish, organize, and maintain electronic and paper files.
  • Follow written and oral instructions.
  • Follow principles, practices, and procedures of an office environment.

·       Communicate information and ideas clearly, concisely and effectively, both verbally and in writing.

  • Use the telephone in a professional and courteous manner.
  • Plan, organize and prioritize time and workload to accomplish tasks and meet deadlines.
  • Maintain a computer database.
  • Bilingual Spanish a plus.

·       Bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, public relations, political science, or related field or equivalent experience.



Two years of experience writing letters and responding to emails.



  • Typically, the employee may sit comfortably to perform the work; however, there may be some walking, standing; bending; carrying light items, etc. Special physical demands are not required to perform the work.
  • Risks found in the typical office setting, which is adequately lighted, heated and ventilated, e.g. safe use of office equipment, avoiding trips and falls, observing fire regulations, etc.


The State of Utah is an equal opportunity employer. Hiring is done without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The State provides reasonable accommodations to the known disabilities of individuals in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. For accommodation information or if you need special accommodations to complete the application process, please contact the Department of Human Resource Management at (801) 538-3025 or TTY (801) 538-3696.



Martha Hughes Cannon

Today, Governor Herbert is ceremonially signing a resolution that passed the Utah Legislature proposing Utah send a statue of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon to Washington, D.C.                                                     

On February 14, 1870, the first American woman to cast a vote in a state-wide election, Seraph Young, did so right here in Utah. Fast forward 148 years to February 14, 2018, when a concurrent resolution to have Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon represent Utah in the nation’s Capital passed the House.

Dr. Cannon was a leader in the women’s suffrage movement. She obtained two medical degrees, from the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in public speaking from the National School of Elocution and Oratory in Philadelphia.

In 1870, women were granted the right to vote in Utah—50 years before the 19th Amendment granted that right nationwide—but

Congress removed it in the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887.  Martha was a key player in ensuring that the right of women to vote and hold public office were included in the Utah Constitution in 1895.

Shortly afterward, Dr. Cannon ran for Utah State Senate and won against a number of candidates, including none other than her own husband. She became the first-ever female state senator in the United States in 1896, more than 20 years before most women in the country were even able to cast a vote.

Each state is represented by two historical figures in theNational Statuary Hall in Washington D.C., with ours being Brigham Young and Philo T. Farnsworth. SCR1 recommends replacing Farnsworth’s statue, which has been there for 32 years, with one of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon.

“Martha Hughes Cannon embodies the grit, talents, and vision of citizens of Utah, both as we look back at her era and as we look forward to our future,” said the House bill sponsor Rep. Becky Edwards on Twitter. “Let’s use her example as inspiration to do something good today!”

2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which made voting possible for all women. As our nation commemorates women’s suffrage in 2020, Utah will be standing up to celebrate its own historic and groundbreaking role in this effort.