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.



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.


Medicaid Expansion

Rep.  Robert Spendlove ran a bill during the 2018 legislative session, that requires the Utah Department of Health to submit a waiver request to expand Medicaid in Utah. HB 472, Medicaid Expansion Revisions, passed the Utah Legislature and was signed by Governor Gary Herbert signed into law on March 27, 2018.

HB 472 has an enrollment cap, which limits the state’s liability while offering coverage to those under 100 percent of the federal poverty level, who make too little to qualify for the ACA exchange, and without access to employer-based health insurance.

HB 472 has the potential to expand Medicaid coverage to about 60,000 Utahns with no new state funds. Rather, it shifts state money from already existing programs to this one with a greater, 90 percent federal match rate. This legislation includes a work requirement component, as well as a safeguard to automatically sunset the program if federal funding drops below the 90 percent match.

This Medicaid expansion would provide care through a managed-care model and focuses on the health of the patient rather than the number of services provided, seeking to reduce costs and increase quality of care.


Combating Violence with Kindness

For Immediate Release
March 13, 2018 


Combating Violence with Kindness
Utah Legislature Passed a Resolution Designating April as #MSDkindness Month

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Legislature passed HCR 22, Concurrent Resolution Designating April as #MSDkindness Month, which aims to pay tribute to the victims who lost their lives in the senseless act of violence that was committed against students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray (R-Clinton) and Sen. Daniel Thatcher (R-West Valley), designates April as Act of Kindness month to encourage Utahns to perform random acts of humanity to honor the victims of Parkland, Florida. In honor of #MSDKindness, a feature was added to the SafeUT so users could report acts of kindness in addition to incidents of crisis. People are encouraged to report their acts of kindness during April through SafeUT, which has been designed to improve school safety and help students access critical mental health resources. These acts of kindness will highlight the good of the community while engaging students in using an app that aims to help prevent future acts of violence.

“It is my goal to makes sure that my daughter’s legacy is remembered as one not of tragedy, but of hope, service, and love,” said Ryan Petty, the father of 14-year-old Alaina who lost her life during the recent attack in Florida. “It is also my goal to make sure this time will be different because we are going to focus on school safety initiatives to prevent anyone else from going through what we have gone through these past few weeks. I am grateful to the sponsors and supporters of this initiative who are working diligently to accomplish both of these goals.”

“The purpose of this resolution is to focus on the hope that comes from the strength of families, like the Petty’s,” said Rep. Ray. “Their determination is an example to us all on how to persevere through challenging times and bring about positive change to school safety. My heart goes out to families during this time of unthinkable loss. Utah is ready to lead by taking actions to promote acts of kindness as well as developing the Davis School District mental wellness program that can serve as a model for schools around the state and nation.”

“With the noise of the world getting louder every day, simple acts of kindness are the best way to get to the root of the problem,” said Sen. Thatcher. “In fact, it may be the only way.”

“My heart also goes out to the perpetrator of this evil and senseless act,” said Petty. “And I wonder if somebody had put their arms around this young man a few months ago or a few years ago, would his life have been different? How much would the lives of the 17 families who have been impacted by the choices he made be different.”

SafeUT was launched in January 2016, following the passage of SB 175, School Safety and Crisis Line. Attorney General Sean Reyes, chair, and Rep. Steve Eliason and Sen. Thatcher are on the SafeUT Commission, which serves as a powerful tool for dealing with school safety, teen suicide and the opioid epidemic. The Pettys have publicly encouraged Florida Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi for the adoption of a version of the SafeUT in the Sunshine State.

“By designating April Kindness month, we want to encourage a little kindness to go a long way,” said Attorney General Reyes. “One small act of kindness can change the trajectory of a life. In doing this we honor the legacy of those children and families in Parkland, Florida, many of whom were dedicated to acts of kindness and service and all of whom deserved more years to accomplish them. By celebrating their lives, we hopefully remind ourselves that we are all part of one large human family. We hope our challenge to other states continues a wave of kindness that will cascade over the nation and turn such tragedy into a little bit of light. Thank you to the Petty family for being an inspiration to us. Alaina has become one of our heroes for her kindness.”

Reyes Family Foundation, The Grand America Hotel and M. Peterson Consulting hosted the Petty Family while they were in Utah.

The resolution also challenges other states to claim the remaining months in the year to carry on the legacy of kindness and service left by those who lost their lives in this tragic incident. Two cities in Washington, Camas and Washougal, have already declared March as their month of kindness to honor the victims of this singular act of violence.


Watch the press conference here.

Aundrea Peterson
Utah House of Representatives

Bryan Smith
Utah State Senate

Cindy Reinhard
Utah Attorney General’s Office















Legislature reaches an agreement with Our Schools Now on education funding

March 9, 2018

Bryan Smith
Deputy Chief of Staff
Utah State Senate

Aundrea Peterson
Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives

Austin Cox
Executive Director
Our Schools Now

Legislature reaches an agreement with Our Schools Now on education funding

Salt Lake City – The Utah Legislature and Our Schools Now have successfully worked together to find common ground in their efforts to better fund education for the schoolchildren of Utah. It has been agreed that the best path forward is to not only increase education funding now, but to also fix the significant structural issues in the tax system that have led to our current education funding imbalance.

Education in Utah will receive an additional $292 million this year. As a result of the discussions with Our Schools Now, the Legislature has committed to a make a number of tax changes and place a question on the ballot that together could lead to an additional $845 per pupil by 2023.

“This compromise is a win-win for the future of Utah. Education has always been my number one priority,” Gov. Herbert said. “This major investment in per-student spending is going to make a noticeable difference for student success in Utah. This solution also allows us to invest in local road needs and make significant progress toward reducing some of the imbalances in our tax code. I appreciate Our Schools Now for bringing this issue to the forefront and the Legislature for responding to the encouragement of the public, and look forward to working to pass the November ballot question and implementing the will of the voters.”

“I appreciate Senator Adams, Our Schools Now, and all the stakeholders who have come together to address these crucial issues,” said Senate President Wayne Niederhauser. “These changes will not only result in more money going to education now but a more stable and sustainable tax structure to continue to support education and future growth in the state.”

“The Legislature has shown their commitment to education with historic levels of funding over the last three years. This year we renewed that commitment,” said House Speaker Greg Hughes. “We appreciate Our Schools Now and their efforts to generate better ideas for education reform.”

Statement from Gail Miller, Scott Anderson and Ron Jibson: “This is the year of education in Utah. The actions of this legislature can lead to an $845 increase in per-pupil spending. It’s gratifying that we can come together with the Governor and the Legislature to take such a major step to improve outcomes for our students. We look forward to reaching out to voters across the state for the benefit of our children, and our state, in support of the November ballot proposal.”

These efforts which will replace the Teacher and Student Success Act ballot initiative are detailed below:

  1. Creation of the Teacher and Student Success Account

This account will be used to directly fund schools at the local level and will include specific guidelines, management and oversight. In the first year of the program, the equivalent of 1.5 percent WPU will be deposited into the fund, which at this time is equivalent to approximately $47 million, and will pass through the local education agency (LEA). Distributions from this account will begin in 2020 directly to schools through the TSSA.

  1. Establishing a Working Group

The Legislature will work with Our Schools Now and other education stakeholders to determine the administration of the Teacher and Student Success Account. The working group will review and make recommendations to the Legislature on equal distribution, local control, transparency, performance improvement, accountability and approved areas of investment.

  1. 10-Cent Gas Tax Ballot Question

HB 491 authorizes a non-binding question to go on the ballot. HJR 20 directs the Lt. Governor to place a question on the ballot that would ask voters if the state should increase the gas tax by the equivalent of 10 cents per gallon, indexed for inflation.

Implementing a 10-cent per gallon tax would generate approximately $170 million in new revenue for the Transportation Fund in the first year. Thirty percent would be dedicated to local roads and the remaining 70 percent would be used to offset an equivalent cut in funding for transportation, that would then go toward education. Of these new education funds, 80 percent is intended for the Teacher and Student Success Account for K-12 and 20 percent for higher education performance funding.

  1. Freezing the Basic Rate and Indexing the Basic Levy

HB 293 freezes the state basic property tax rate for 5 years and uses new revenue to equalize student spending among all LEAs. It also indexes the basic levy and places new revenue into the Teacher and Student Success Account subject to periodic review.

  1. Amendments to Education Rainy Day Fund

During the interim, the Legislature will work to change the statute to allow the use of Rainy Day Funds to continue the tradition of funding student enrollment growth and inflation even in economic downturns.

  1. Local Funding of Technology

SB144 Authorizes a local school board to unlock significant new revenue sources for technology and infrastructure projects and programs in our schools.

# # #

Speaker Hughes to hold media availability

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
March 8, 2018

Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives

Speaker Hughes to hold media availability

Speaker Greg Hughes will host media availability to answer questions about the 2018 General Session.

Speaker Greg Hughes

Thursday, March 8, 2018, at 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Utah State Capitol, Office of the Speaker of the House
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111




Press conference to discuss UTA Transportation Governance Amendments

March 8, 2018

Aundrea Peterson
Utah House of Representatives

Legislature to hold a press conference to UTA discuss Transportation Governance Amendments

President Wayne Niederhauser, Speaker Greg Hughes, Senator Wayne Harper and Representative Mike Schultz will hold a press conference to discuss the passage of S.B. 136 Transportation Governance Amendments.

President Wayne Niederhauser
Speaker Greg Hughes
Senator Wayne Harper
Representative Mike Schultz
UTA Board Members

Thursday, March 8, 2018, at 11:00 am

Utah State Capitol, Presentation Room
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111