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

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

Press Release
For Immediate Release
October 25, 2016

Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Coordinator
Utah House of Representatives

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.



State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements

Utah Board of Education Debate Series

The Utah Education Debate Coalition will be hosting the Utah Board of Education Debate Series for the candidates running for the state school board from September 13-29, 2016.

These events are an opportunity for constituents to engage in the discussion about the principles and policy of public education in Utah, as well as become informed about who is running to represent the state school board in your area.

There are 15 state school board districts that represent over 150,000 people each. Find what state school board district you live in, here.

To locate the school board candidate debate in your area, visit as well as to see the debate dates, times, locations and candidate profiles.

You can also watch the Education Debate Coalition Video, here. Audio recordings of each debate will be published on

Members of the Utah Education Debate Coalition include Sutherland Institute, University of Utah Hinckley Institute of Politics, Utah Association of Public Charter Schools, United Way of Salt Lake and News.

Remembering September 11th

As we look back at the 15 years that have passed since the largest and most devastating terror attack ever to take place on U.S. soil, let us remember that only in unity can we achieve victory against such evil. We are living in a time of tremendous turmoil—both within our country and around the world. Much of that turmoil has been caused by those who seek to destroy the spirit of freedom that is the bedrock of this great American experiment.

After receiving the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1858, and speaking of the need of the nation to overcome one of the greatest evils of that time, Abraham Lincoln declared, “Did we brave all then to falter now? … The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail – if we stand firm, we shall not fail.”

But he warned, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

If we will move forward with a firm resolve, working together and united in our belief in the promise of America, then rest assured, liberty will again triumph.

Firearm Suicide Prevention Initiative

Media Alert
For Immediate Release
Aug. 30, 2016

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.”

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.


Legislature Funds New Fair Park Arena

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
July 13, 2016

Elizabeth Converse
Communications Director
Utah House Democratic Caucus

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.