Media Advisory: One hundred twenty-seven people to take the Oath of Allegiance at the Utah State Capitol

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
March 20, 2017

 

Contact:
                                 Aundrea Peterson
Majority Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

One hundred twenty-seven people to take the Oath of Allegiance at the Utah State Capitol                        

Salt Lake City – Representative Norm Thurston, in partnership with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will host a naturalization ceremony for approximately 127 people from 43 countries at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 22 at the Utah State Capitol.

Utah Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and former Utah State Representative Sophia DiCaro will deliver remarks at the ceremony. Rep. Norm Thurston will serve as master of ceremonies. Laura McNeer, field office director for USCIS, will administer the Oath of Allegiance.

Sharlee Hendricks, violinist, will play the national anthem. “America, My Home” will be sung as a surprise by an international lyric tenor-baritone who is a relative of a person naturalizing.

On-site voter registration will be available following the ceremony. 

Who: 
Speaker Greg Hughes, Utah House of Representatives
Rep. Norm Thurston, District 64
Sophia DiCaro, Former Utah State Representative for District 31
Laura McNeer, USCIS Field Office Director
Sharlee Hendricks, Violinist

What:
U.S. Naturalization Ceremony

Where:
Utah State Capitol ­– Rotunda
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at 10 a.m.

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Notes:
New citizens will be available for interviews immediately following the ceremony. When photographing someone with their certificate, have the person cover up their alien number (top right) to protect their privacy.

 

Press Release: Next steps for addressing Utah homeless crisis announced

Press Release
For Immediate Release
February 24, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Majority Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Next steps for addressing Utah homeless crisis announced

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Speaker of the House, state leadership and the mayors of Salt Lake County and City announced the next steps to address the homelessness crisis in Utah. The plan includes a new direction of the shelter model that breaks up the one-size-fits-all model into three resource centers— two in Salt Lake City and one located outside the city but in Salt Lake County.

“This proposal will allow us to move forward in our efforts to better serve those experiencing homelessness in Utah and relieves some of the pressure on Salt Lake City in providing those services. While the location and size of resource centers are changing slightly, what remains the same is the unprecedented level of cooperation and dedication among City, County, and State leaders in working with service providers to compassionately address this issue,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

“At the state’s request, we will provide options for locating a homeless resource center outside of Salt Lake City. We believe the framework of this plan as outlined today will make it possible to reach our Collective Impact goal of minimizing homelessness, enhancing public safety, meeting the needs of those in crisis and helping them return to stable and independent lives,” said Mayor Ben McAdams.

Next steps include:

  • Improvements in coordinating resources across the housing and homelessness delivery system.
  • Two facilities in Salt Lake City. Each facility will serve up to 200 individuals.
  • One facility to be located outside of Salt Lake City is scheduled to be selected by March 30, 2017.
  • The current downtown shelter is anticipated to close by June 30, 2019.

A new bill sponsored by Rep. Francis Gibson will be presented to finalize funding for the new centers, which will utilize the process created under H.B. 436 Housing and Homelessness Reform Initiative from 2016. Under the direction of the State Homeless Coordinating Committee, the Department of Workforce Services will continue to work closely with the County and City to ensure funds are used as directed by the legislation and the approved plan.

“As I mentioned in my opening day remarks at the start of this session I’m drawing a line in the sand.  Homelessness and the criminal element that is preying on the most vulnerable amongst us is a statewide issue. One city, one county and the state alone can’t take this on by itself. We’ve come together in a collaborative effort, we’ve listened to concerns, and we’ve come up with a unified plan to reform this issue and address this crisis. It hasn’t been easy, and we are just getting started, but together we are committed to make this right and reform the way we address this crisis,” said Speaker Greg Hughes.

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NOTES:

  1. The homelessness proposal can be found here: http://www.utahreps.net/press/homelessness-proposal

 

 

 

 

Homelessness Proposal – 2017 Utah State Legislative Session February 24, 2017

Homelessness Proposal
2017 Utah State Legislative Session February 24, 2017

Over the last two years, stakeholders from all sectors — public, private, and nonprofit — have been working to responsibly address the homelessness crisis we face in our state. Through this work, we have developed a plan to break up the ‘one-size-fits-all’ shelter model and reorient the system to minimize homelessness.

Plan Overview

This plan has four primary components:

  • A redesigned shelter model that breaks up the one-size-fits-all emergency shelter into four resource centers, tailoring services to population needs. There will be a family resource center in Midvale, two facilities in Salt Lake City capped at 200 beds each, and another resource center located in an area outside Salt Lake City. These resource centers will serve distinct populations of adult women, adult men and a gender-segregated facility serving both adult men and women. Population locations will be determined at a later date. No additional facility for families with children is anticipated at this time, as the intent is to divert and prevent these families from entering homelessness through the alternatives discussed below.
  • Alternatives to shelter will continue to be pursued to draw down demand for emergency shelter. Efforts include Salt Lake County’s Pay for Success initiative which targets persistently homeless individuals, more affordable housing, behavioral healthcare treatment facilities, increased diversion, additional e orts to reduce length of stay at a shelter and prevent repeat stays, motel vouchers and other alternatives to meet shelter demand.
  • System improvements that more efficiently coordinate resources across the housing and homelessness delivery system, including a coordinated entry and assessment system.
  • A public safety and treatment initiative, similar to Operation Diversion launched last fall, to ensure neighborhoods are safe and individuals have access to treatment.

Full funding for the above plan is anticipated to move forward this legislative session.

Next Steps 

Utilizing the process created by last year’s HB436 Housing and Homelessness Reform Initiative, funds will be distributed to achieve the above plan. At the request of the state, through a process facilitated by Salt Lake County, stakeholders will identify possible sites for a resource center located in an area outside Salt Lake City for consideration and approval by the State Homeless Coordinating Committee by March 30, 2017. If implemented, the state anticipates being able to responsibly close the downtown emergency shelter by June 30, 2019.

Speaker Hughes, state officials and Salt Lake County and City mayors to announce next steps on homeless plan

Media Alert
For Immediate Release
February 24, 2017

Contact:
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

 Speaker Hughes, state officials and Salt Lake County and City mayors to announce next steps on homeless plan

What:
Press conference announcing progress on the collaborative effort among the State, Salt Lake County and City on the homeless resource centers and the legislation to move the plan forward.

 Where:
State Capitol – Presentation Room, First Floor
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

 When:
TODAY, February 24, 2017, at 11:00 AM

 Who:
Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, District 51
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, District 9
Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox
Jonathan Hardy, Department of Workforce Services

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Media Alert: Rep. Steve Eliason to Raise Awareness of Suicide with Shoe Display

Media Alert
For Immediate Release
February 21, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Rep. Steve Eliason to Raise Awareness of Suicide with Shoe Display

What:
Rep. Steve Eliason to hold a press conference with the Utah Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to raise awareness about suicide. A display of combat boots from the National Guard and shoes from Deseret Industries to represent the more than 600 (74 servicemen and women) lives lost to suicide in Utah last year.

Where:
Utah State Capitol – South Steps
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Today, February 21, immediately following floor time at approximately 12:00 PM. The display of shoes and combat boots will begin at 9:00 AM

Who:
Representative Steve Eliason, District 45
Utah Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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Media Advisory: Bill to Lower Blood Alcohol Content Levels to be Heard in Committee

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
February 9, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Majority Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Bill to Lower Blood Alcohol Content Levels to be Heard in Committee

Salt Lake City – Rep. Norm Thurston’s bill, H.B. 155, to lower the state’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels for driving under the influence from 0.08 to 0.05 for the general population will be heard in House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice on Friday.

Dr. T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, will present data and answer questions about the bill.

“Utah can lead the way as the first state to lower the legal limit to 0.05 for the general population,” said Rep. Thurston. “It is well known that impairment begins with the first drink, but many drivers don’t realize that even low levels of BAC can degrade skills and increase the risk of vehicle crashes. Decreasing the legal limit will help reduce deaths, injuries and losses related to alcohol-impaired driving.”

 Who:
Representative Norm Thurston, District 64
Dr. T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, Vice Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board

What:
Hearing on H.B. 155 – Driving Under the Influence and Public Safety Revisions 

Where:
House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee
House Building, Room 30
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Friday, February 10, 2017, beginning at 3:00 p.m.  

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Daily Buzz: January 25, 2017

Overview of the Day:

Governor Gary Herbert gave his State of the State address tonight in the Utah House Chamber. He discussed the following specific issues: homelessness, education, alcohol regulations, air quality, and the economy. Governor Herbert declared “the state of our state is truly exceptional.” We look forward to continuing to work alongside the governor this session.

Annual Capitol Event: Maps on the Hill

Maps on the Hill takes place each year in the State Capitol Rotunda during our Utah Legislative Session. The Utah Geographic Information Council (UGIC) and AGRC put on the event. Students and professional topographers teach elected officials and the general public about maps and new mapping technologies. These presentations also demonstrate how mapping technologies can be used to support lawmakers in their decisions.

Tomorrow’s Legislative Schedule

8:00 AM: Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee

8:00 AM: Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee

8:00 AM: Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee

8:00 AM: Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee

11:00 AM: House Chamber, House Floor Time

2:00 PM: House Judiciary Committee REVISED

2:00 PM: House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee

2:00 PM: House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee

2:00 PM: House Transportation Committee REVISED

4:00 PM: Legislative Audit Subcommittee

5:00 PM: Point of the Mountain Development Commission

5:30 PM: Executive Appropriations Committee REVISED

 

Daily Buzz: January 24, 2017

Overview of the Day:

The Utah House of Representatives met on the floor to debate eight bills this morning. House Bill 12, sponsored by Representative Steve Eliason, stirred the most discussion on the House Floor before being successfully passed.

This bill ensures the inclusion of a place for voters to write an email address and phone number on absentee ballot return envelopes. Poll workers will use this contact information if a returned ballot is rejected. A poll worker will then contact a voter via email or text, and the voter will be permitted to correct their rejected ballot.

Meet a New Representative: Susan Pulsipher

Representative Susan Pulsipher now represents District 50 in South Jordan. She received her B.S. degree in education and went on to get her Master’s in education leadership with an emphasis in policy from BYU. She has been both a member and the president of the Jordan School District Board. Rep. Pulsipher’s two heroes are Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female state legislator in the US and also Utah, and Abraham Lincoln. She’s a great addition to the House!

Legislative Schedule – Wed., January 25, 2017

8:00 AM: Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee

8:00 AM: Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee

8:00 AM: Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

8:00 AM: Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee

11:00 AM: House Chamber, House Floor Time

2:00 PM: House Business and Labor Committee

2:00 PM: House Education Committee

2:00 PM: House Health and Human Services Committee REVISED

2:00 PM: Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee

2:00 PM: Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee

2:00 PM: Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee

6:30 PM: Governor’s State of State Address (House Chambers)

 

Daily Buzz: January 23, 2017

Overview of the Day:

As part of the opening ceremonies for the 2017 Legislative Session today, Speaker of the House Greg Hughes gave an impactful speech after being sworn in. Listen in here to learn what current legislation Speaker Hughes finds most important to improve upon and change this year.

Justice Reform Initiative Success Story: Brandon Kitchen

After being convicted of a federal crime in another state and spending 21 years in the Utah State Prison, Brandon Kitchen was released into a strange city – homeless, jobless and unsure of where to go next.

Brandon just happened to meet a woman who told him about the Road Home, and that is where he spent his first night of freedom. He still recalls the palpable feelings of despair that permeated the facility and its inhabitants.

At one point, Brandon recalls, he faced losing his bed at the shelter as a consequence of having a job; he was told there was no way for him to have both because leaving to work a job kept him from standing in line all day for a bed. Eventually, through the efforts of the Pioneer Park Coalition, a workers’ bed program was instituted to help those like Brandon, who were trying to become self-reliant.

The morning after he arrived at the shelter, Brandon met Salt Lake City Police Deputy Chief Fred Ross, who told him about the department’s Homeless Outreach Service Team (HOST) program. This program allowed him to secure a job and within three weeks, Brandon worked his way out of the shelter and into transitional housing. Soon after, he moved into his own apartment and is now living with his partner, Heather, and their twin boys, born June 9th.

Despite his past, Brandon understands that self-reliance is the path his future will follow. As he will tell you, Fred Ross, Scott Howell, HOST, the Pioneer Park Coalition and others, they showed me the way. They gave me hope. Not a handout, but a hand-up. That’s the key.

Legislative Schedule for Jan. 24, 2016

8:00 AM: Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee REVISED

8:00 AM: Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee

8:00 AM: Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee

8:00 AM: Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee

11:00 AM: House Chamber, House Floor Time

2:00 PM: House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee REVISED

2:00 PM: House Government Operations Committee REVISED

2:00 PM: House Political Subdivisions Committee

2:00 PM: House Revenue and Taxation Committee

Martin Luther King, Jr. Message

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who faced vitriol, anger and persecution throughout his life stood up to declare truth, and in so doing changed the course of history.

We are again living in a time of increasing division and unrest. The solutions are simple, but elusive. And if we fail to find and embrace them, we risk leaving our children with a world far more bleak than that which we’ve inhabited. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Be the light. Show your love. Change the world.