Category: Press

Jonathan Ball Honored with Steven D. Gold Award

Utah Budgeteer Honored with Steven D. Gold Award

Washington, D.C. – The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) presented Jonathan Ball, the chief budget staffer for the Utah Legislature, with the Steven D. Gold Award at NCSL’s Capitol Forum in Washington on Thursday.

The Gold Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of state and local finance, especially those that erase boundaries between academics and public policy.

“Jonathan exemplifies what the Gold Award is all about,” said NCSL Executive Director William Pound. “He strives to bridge the worlds of academia and government so that citizens enjoy thoughtful, informed and practical laws and programs.”

Ball is the director of Utah’s Legislative Fiscal Analyst and leads a team of 25 economists, accountants, financial analysts and support staff who help legislators craft the state budget each year. He has contributed to several academic publications, is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities in Utah and regularly presents on budget issues for national organizations, including NCSL. He served as president of the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices and the Western States Legislative Fiscal Officers Association. He is currently staff co-chair of NCSL’s Standing Committees and a member of the NCSL Executive Committee.

“Legislative staffers typically prefer to toil away in anonymity,” said Ball, “but this recognition is welcome and especially meaningful because it reflects what my team and I strive for on a daily basis – objective, accurate and relevant budget advice. I’m humbled and honored to receive it on behalf of my family, friends and colleagues without whom it would not have happened.”

The award was established in 1997 in the memory of Steven D. Gold, an accomplished economist, academic and public finance expert. Gold was an active member of NCSL, the National Tax Association and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. It is given each year by one of these organizations on a three-year rotation.

Since its inception, Ball is the second Utahn to receive the Gold Award. The National Tax Association presented it to Brigham Young University professor Gary Corina in 2006. It is the second national award Utah has been given for good fiscal management in recent months. Governing Magazine named Kristen Cox, budget director for Governor Gary Herbert, Public Servant of the Year in November.

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Press Release: Utah House Announces Extended Leadership Team and 2017/18 Committee Assignments

Press Release
For Immediate Release
December 6, 2016

 Utah House Announces Extended Leadership Team and 2017/18 Committee Assignments

Salt Lake City – After a comprehensive review of upcoming policy objectives and expertise of house members, Speaker Hughes announced the 2017/2018 extended majority leadership team and committee appointments. The new committee chair assignments have been well received as an opportunity to grow and tackle an aggressive agenda. The committee appointments are based on interest and expertise of members and, in some instances, will allow a fresh perspective on issues in all areas that will benefit the State.

“The work ahead of us is too important for this to be a status-quo session,” said Speaker Hughes. “This was a comprehensive effort made to ensure we make significant progress for our constituents and to have Utah continue to lead the nation. I am proud of the work we do in the House and that we let good information drive good decisions.  We are prepared to address the challenges and opportunities facing our state.”

Speaker Hughes reappointed Rep. Dean Sanpei to continue to serve as Chair of Executive Appropriations, he appointed Rep. Brad Last to serve as Executive Appropriations Vice-Chair and reappointed Rep. Michael Noel to continue in his role as Rules Committee Chair.

The two-year assignments will begin January 1st, 2017.

Utah House of Representatives New Standing and Appropriations Committee members for the upcoming legislative session are as follows:

House of Representatives 2017/18 Standing Committees

A Committees

Business & Labor

  • Jim Dunnigan, Chair
  • Marc Roberts, Vice Chair
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Gage Froerer
  • Adam Gardiner
  • Tim Hawkes
  • John Knotwell
  • Mike McKell
  • Jeremy Peterson
  • Mike Schultz
  • Jon Stanard
  • Curt Webb
  • Mark Wheatley
  • Brad Wilson

Health & Human Services

  • Brad Daw, Chair
  • Mike Kennedy, Vice Chair
  • Stewart Barlow
  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck
  • Craig Hall
  • Sandra Hollins
  • Kelly Miles
  • Paul Ray
  • Ed Redd
  • Robert Spendlove
  • Norm Thurston
  • Ray Ward

Education

  • Val Peterson, Chair
  • Kim Coleman, Vice Chair
  • LaVar Christensen
  • Bruce Cutler
  • Justin Fawson
  • Francis Gibson
  • Eric Hutchings
  • Brad Last
  • Dan McCay
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Mike Noel
  • Derrin Owens
  • Marie Poulson
  • Lowry Snow

Public Utilities & Technology

  • Steve Handy, Chair
  • Merrill Nelson, Vice Chair
  • Carl Albrecht
  • Patrice Arent
  • Walt Brooks
  • Scott Chew
  • Kay Christofferson
  • Keith Grover
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • Cory Maloy
  • Keven Stratton

B Committees

Judiciary

  • Mike McKell, Chair
  • Lowry Snow, Vice Chair
  • Kim Coleman
  • Bruce Cutler
  • Brian Greene
  • Ken Ivory
  • Brian King
  • Karianne Lisonbee
  • Dixon Pitcher
  • Susan Pulsipher
  • Tim Quinn
  • Mark Wheatley

Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice

  • Lee Perry, Chair
  • Ed Redd, Vice Chair
  • Becky Edwards
  • Steve Eliason
  • Adam Gardiner
  • Sandra Hollins
  • Eric Hutchings
  • Kelly Miles
  • Paul Ray
  • Angela Romero
  • Elizabeth Weight
  • Mike Winder

Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment

  • Keven Stratton, Chair
  • Stewart Barlow, Vice Chair
  • Joel Briscoe
  • Scott Chew
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Steve Handy
  • Tim Hawkes
  • Mike Noel
  • Derrin Owens
  • Doug Sagers
  • Scott Sandall
  • Christine Watkins
  • Logan Wilde

Transportation

  • Mike Schultz, Chair
  • Kay Christofferson, Vice Chair
  • Walt Brooks
  • Justin Fawson
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • Mike Kennedy
  • John Knotwell
  • Karen Kwan
  • Jeff Moss
  • Val Potter
  • Robert Spendlove
  • John Westwood

C Committees

Government Operations

  • Jeremy Peterson, Chair
  • Norm Thurston, Vice Chair
  • Patrice Arent
  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck
  • Brad Daw
  • Dan McCay
  • Merrill Nelson
  • Lee Perry
  • Val Peterson
  • Dean Sanpei

Political Subdivisions

  • Dixon Pitcher, Chair
  • Craig Hall, Vice Chair
  • Jim Dunnigan
  • Keith Grover
  • Karen Kwan
  • Val Potter
  • Marie Poulson
  • Susan Pulsipher
  • Marc Roberts
  • Ray Ward
  • Curt Webb
  • Elizabeth Weight
  • Logan Wilde

Revenue & Taxation

  • Steve Eliason, Chair
  • Doug Sagers, Vice Chair
  • Joel Briscoe
  • Gage Froerer
  • Brian Greene
  • Ken Ivory
  • Brian King
  • Karianne Lisonbee
  • Jeff Moss
  • Tim Quinn
  • Jon Stanard
  • Brad Wilson

Economic Development & Workforce Services

  • Becky Edwards, Chair
  • John Westwood, Vice Chair
  • Carl Albrecht
  • LaVar Christensen
  • Cory Maloy
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Angela Romero
  • Scott Sandall
  • Christine Watkins
  • Mike Winder

Other Standing Committees

Rules

  • Mike Noel, Chair
  • Jon Stanard, Vice Chair
  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck
  • Justin Fawson
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Val Peterson
  • Mike Schultz
  • Christine Watkins

Ethics

  • Doug Sagers, Chair
  • Patrice Arent, Co-Chair
  • Jim Dunnigan
  • Keith Grover
  • Mike Noel
  • Marie Poulson
  • Angela Romero
  • Mark Wheatley

Administrative Rules

  • Brian Greene, Chair
  • Kim Coleman
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Curt Webb
  • Mark Wheatley

Retirement & Independent Entities

  • LaVar Christensen, Chair
  • Tim Hawkes, Vice Chair
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Steve Eliason
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • Dan McCay
  • Jeff Moss
  • Lee Perry
  • Marie Poulson

House of Representatives 2017/18 Appropriations Subcommittees

Executive Appropriations

  • Dean Sanpei, Chair
  • Brad Last, Vice Chair
  • Greg Hughes
  • Brad Wilson
  • Francis Gibson
  • John Knotwell
  • Brian King
  • Joel Briscoe
  • Angela Romero
  • Sandra Hollins

Business, Economic Development & Labor

  • Curt Webb, Chair
  • Scott Sandall, Vice Chair
  • Stewart Barlow
  • Adam Gardiner
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Jeremy Peterson
  • Val Peterson
  • Elizabeth Weight
  • John Westwood
  • Brad Wilson

Social Services

  • Paul Ray, Chair
  • Ray Ward, Vice Chair
  • Carl Albrecht
  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck
  • Becky Edwards
  • Sandra Hollins
  • Mike Kennedy
  • Ed Redd
  • Christine Watkins

Executive Offices & Criminal Justice

  • Eric Hutchings, Chair
  • Bruce Cutler, Vice Chair
  • Jim Dunnigan
  • Brian King
  • Merrill Nelson
  • Tim Quinn
  • Angela Romero
  • Lowry Snow
  • Logan Wilde

Higher Education

  • Keith Grover, Chair
  • Derrin Owens, Vice Chair
  • Kim Coleman
  • Brad Daw
  • Karen Kwan
  • Kelly Miles
  • Val Potter
  • Jon Stanard
  • Mark Wheatley
  • Mike Winder

Public Education

  • Dan McCay, Chair
  • Robert Spendlove, Vice Chair
  • Patrice Arent
  • Joel Briscoe
  • LaVar Christensen
  • Steve Eliason
  • Justin Fawson
  • Francis Gibson
  • Brad Last
  • Karianne Lisonbee
  • Jeff Moss
  • Susan Pulsipher
  • Norm Thurston

Infrastructure & General Government

  • Gage Froerer, Chair
  • Walt Brooks, Vice Chair
  • Craig Hall
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • John Knotwell
  • Cory Maloy
  • Mike McKell
  • Dixon Pitcher
  • Marie Poulson
  • Doug Sagers
  • Mike Schultz

Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environmental Quality

  • Ken Ivory, Chair
  • Scott Chew, Vice Chair
  • Kay Christofferson
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Brian Greene
  • Steve Handy
  • Timothy Hawkes
  • Karen Kwan
  • Mike Noel
  • Lee Perry
  • Marc Roberts
  • Keven Stratton

Retirement & Independent Entities

  • LaVar Christensen, Chair
  • Tim Hawkes, Vice Chair
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Steve Eliason
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • Dan McCay
  • Jeff Moss
  • Lee Perry
  • Marie Poulson

*Updated 12/12/2016

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

Media Alert
For Immediate Release
Nov. 28, 2016

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson

House Majority Communications Coordinator 
Utah House of Representatives
801-791-3365
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

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.

Who:
Rep. Norm Thurston, District 64

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

What:
U.S. Naturalization Ceremony

Where:
Utah State Capitol ­– Rotunda

350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

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

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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:

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

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Nov. 3, 2016

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Coordinator
Utah House of Representatives
801-791-3365 | aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov


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.”

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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

Press Release: White House Releases State Call to Action Initiative on Non-Compete Agreements

Press Release
For Immediate Release
October 25, 2016

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Coordinator
Utah House of Representatives
801-791-3365
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

White House Releases State Call to Action Initiative on Non-Compete Agreements

SALT LAKE CITY – Today the White House released suggested policy objectives in their State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements. Included in these guidelines are suggestions from a working group convened earlier this year that Speaker Greg Hughes and Representative Mike Schultz were pleased to be a part of.  

“It was our honor to collaborate, in a bipartisan way, to help develop recommendations that will not only benefit employees in Utah but individual workers across the country,” said Speaker Greg Hughes. “Companies should not have the right to treat people as property and the elimination of most non-compete agreements makes such treatment significantly less likely. The result of state-level reforms will increase the free flow of the workforce and the competition within it.”

During the 2016 legislative session, Rep. Mike Schultz sponsored H.B. 251 that limited post-employment restrictive covenants, known as non-compete agreements, to one year and established that if a non-compete agreement is determined unenforceable through arbitration or civil action then the employer is liable for costs and damages to the employee. This bill will result in less abuse and misuse of non-compete agreements.  

“Here in Utah we strongly believe in the freedom of employers to hire and fire at will,” said Representative Mike Schultz. “We also must, just as vigorously, defend the rights of workers to pursue employment opportunities within their field of expertise. That is our free market economy in action. This state call to action framework will help us build on the progress we made in Utah to ensure employees are able to use their best skills to provide for their family.”

Entrepreneur Josh James, founder and CEO of the Utah-based technology company Domo, added his support: “Non-compete agreements, by their name, fly in the face of competition by stifling the free market for good talent, making it harder for companies to hire and discouraging entrepreneurs from starting new businesses,” said James. “I am encouraged by the national call to action for the elimination of non-competes across all states. Eliminating non-competes will make our economy stronger by requiring employers to up their game and build better companies and better products that attract and retain great talent.”

During the debate on H.B. 251, several stakeholders in Utah came together to form an informal working group on non-compete agreements. This group has been focused on gathering information and data to inform any future legislative action. The results of that effort, as well as the recommendations and reports coming from the White House, will bolster policy discussions and recommendations on post-employment restrictive covenants in Utah.

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ATTACHMENT:

State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements

Firearm Suicide Prevention Initiative

Media Alert
For Immediate Release
Aug. 30, 2016

Contacts:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Coordinator
Utah House of Representatives

 Kim Myers, MSW
Suicide Prevention Coordinator
Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Rep. Eliason & Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition to Launch Firearm Suicide Prevention Initiative
Is Your Safety On?                                   

SALT LAKE CITY – Representative Steve Eliason, the Firearm Safety Committee of the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition and a Utah Shooting Sports Council board member will hold a joint press conference on Thursday, September 1 at 2:30 p.m. at the State Capitol to present Utah’s Suicide Prevention Plan. The Committee has been working to create and implement a suicide prevention and firearm safety module in the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Concealed Carry Instructor Course. The committee will be launching the training module and supporting materials for families, communities, gun shops, instructors and others to use to raise awareness of firearm suicide prevention.

Suicide is a serious public health concern, and Utah ranks fourth in the nation in suicide deaths. Eighty-five percent of firearm deaths in the state are the result of suicide, making its prevention a critical firearm safety issue. A key strategy in Utah’s Suicide Prevention Plan is to reduce access to lethal means, especially firearms, during a time of crisis, also a priority of the Utah Division of Substance Abuse & Mental Health (DSAMH). Nine of 10 people who die by suicide were experiencing a behavioral health disorder at the time of death. Key aspects of the prevention plan involve education regarding the necessity of good behavioral health for a person’s well-being; and the idea that prevention works, recovery is possible, treatment can be effective and suicide is preventable. 

“Firearm safety is one part of Utah’s comprehensive approach to suicide prevention,” said Kim Myers, Utah Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. “It is a natural partnership for suicide prevention advocates and firearm instructors to come together with shared goals of protecting loved ones who may be at risk for suicide through training and education.”

“Suicide accounts for over eight in 10 firearm-caused deaths in Utah,” said Rep. Eliason. “These training materials provide a necessary tool to assist gun shop owners, friends and family to recognize potentially suicidal signs that will help prevent suicide.”

Who:
Rep. Steve Eliason, District 45

Kim Myers, Suicide Prevention Coordinator Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Clark Aposhian, Chair of the Utah Shooting Sports Council and Committee Member of the Firearm Safety Committee of the Utah Suicide Prevention

Lieutenant Ryan Van Fleet, Assistant Director Utah Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Identification

Bruce James, Concealed Carry Permit Class Instructor and Committee Member of the Firearm Safety Committee of the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition

What:             Firearm Suicide Prevention Initiative Press Conference

Where:           Rotunda – Utah State Capitol 

When:            Thursday, September 1, 2016, at 2:30 p.m.

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Legislature Funds New Fair Park Arena

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
July 13, 2016

Contact:
Elizabeth Converse
Communications Director
Utah House Democratic Caucus
801-835-7087

State Fair Park Arena Approved By Full Legislature

Salt Lake City – Representative Sandra Hollins secured a $10,000,000 investment from the state legislature for a new fair park arena today in a special session. The bill, H.B. 3002, approved funding for the creation of a 10,000 seat stadium to be built by July of next year.

Representative Sandra Hollins said, “This is a hard-fought victory for the west side, and for our state as a whole. The legislature recognizes the benefit of building this arena, and the economic driver it will be. The future of the fair park has been in jeopardy for 20 years. The ability to host large scale events with this new arena will make the fair park and surrounding businesses more sustainable for the future. We have a plan and we are executing it now.”

The passed legislation includes a private-public partnership with financial commitments from the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County and private donors. The new venue is expected to host the Days of ‘47 Rodeo and many other events.

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