Fireworks

Fourth of July and Pioneer Day celebrations complete with fireworks is fast approaching. Though fireworks bring an element of excitement, they are also a fire and safety hazard. Now is a good time to review safety tips, discharge dates and local restrictions before the festivities begin!

Nearly 75 percent of fires this year have been man caused. Review the 2017 local fireworks restricted and non-restricted areas here. (The list of fireworks restrictions is not comprehensive. Check with your local fire authority to see if the use of fireworks is allowed in your area).

Safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them
  • Always have water handy – a hose or buckets of water
  • Never re-light a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water
  • The person lighting the fireworks should wear safety glasses
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix! Have a “designated” person light fireworks

See the more here.

Class “C” fireworks can be sold June 23 through July 27 and discharge July 1-7 and July 21-27 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. unless otherwise noted. See additional information here.

 

Media Advisory: House members to meet to discuss separation of powers concerns

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
June 19, 2017

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

     Elizabeth Converse
House Minority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
801-835-7087 | econverse@le.utah.gov

House members to meet to discuss separation of powers concerns

What:
Majority and Minority House members will meet Tuesday, June 20 at noon to discuss concerns related to separation of powers.

Where:
Utah State Capitol – House Building, Room 30

When:
Tuesday, June 20, 2017, beginning at 12:00 p.m.

Media availability immediately following in the House lobby (1st floor of the House Building) at approximately 1:20 p.m.

Who:
Members of the Utah House of Representatives
John Fellows, General Counsel, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

 

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Flag Day

We celebrate Flag Day to commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777. Throughout our history, the American flag has served as a symbol of freedom and opportunity that exist in this great democracy.

Both President Woodrow Wilson, in 1916, and President Calvin Coolidge, in 1927, issued proclamations of national observation of Flag Day. Though, it didn’t become official until President Harry Truman signed the joint resolution approved by the U.S. Congress August of 1949 proclaiming June 14 as Flag Day.

The U.S. Army also celebrates its birthday on this day as well.

Media Statement: UTAH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS REACT TO INTERIOR SECRETARY ZINKE’S ANNOUNCEMENT ON BEAR EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2017

UTAH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS REACT TO INTERIOR SECRETARY ZINKE’S ANNOUNCEMENT ON BEAR EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Utah legislative leaders expressed support for U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s initial review and recommendations on the Bears Ears National Monument. Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and President of the Senate Wayne Niederhauser issued the following statement:

This year, in response to President Obama’s devastating unilateral overstep declaring the Bears Ears National Monument, the Utah Legislature encouraged the federal government to give the state more stewardship of our lands. We sponsored H.C.R. 11, which asked the new administration to rescind the 1.35-million-acre monument designated in December of 2016. While today’s announcement does not rescind the monument, it is a movement in the right direction.

The people of the American West are frustrated with heavy-handed land management decisions from Washington D.C. The priorities and local knowledge of Western people have too often been ignored. It is incredibly refreshing to interact with an administration that values collaboration with those closest to the land.

We also commend Secretary Zinke’s recognition of the limits of executive power. He asked Congress to authorize tribal co-management, review optimal land use designations for the Bears Ears area, and clarify intent where national monument and wilderness designations seem to conflict. In doing so, Secretary Zinke appropriately recognized that the executive branch is not a monarchy, and that the legislative branch has a vital role to play. We value our working relationship with Utah’s congressional delegation and appreciate their willingness to partner on land use solutions. We encourage them to follow up quickly on the secretary’s request, and stand ready to assist.

We also encourage Congress to narrow future presidents’ ability to misuse the Antiquities Act for purposes beyond its original intent. We hope congressional action will put an end to the abuse of executive power that has been used as a weapon against the people and economy of the American West.

We look forward to the ongoing partnership with the Department of the Interior to preserve our lands, protect traditional use, increase local management, and secure economic opportunity for all Utah citizens.

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CONTACTS

Greg Hartley
House Chief of Staff

Ric Cantrell
Senate Chief of Staff

See the Utah House Leaders statement here.

See the U.S. Department of the Interior press release here.

Press Release: Utah House Leaders Commend Secretary Zinke’s Interim Report on the Bears Ears National Monument

Press Release
For Immediate Release
June 12, 2017

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

Utah House Leaders Commend Secretary Zinke’s Interim Report on the Bears Ears National Monument

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, the Trump Administration and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke released their interim report on the Bears Ears National Monument.

Utah House leaders commend President Trump’s leadership, in tasking Secretary Zinke with a review of national monument designations under the Antiquities Act over the past two decades.

“It is refreshing to have an Administration that desires to collaborate with local officials, tribal leaders and citizens to generate optimum methods to manage our lands,” said Speaker Greg Hughes. “Western states have often been overlooked and ignored, but that has changed drastically since January.”

The new Administration welcomes the input of Utahns to discuss empirical alternatives to preserve our lands, while providing economic opportunities for those living in the area. This was demonstrated during Secretary Zinke’s recent four-day listening tour of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

Earlier this year, the Utah Legislature led efforts to encourage the federal government to allow more state control in the management of our lands. Speaker Hughes sponsored H.C.R. 11Concurrent Resolution Urging the President to Rescind the Bears Ears National Monument Designation, which urged the new administration to rescind the 1.35 million acre monument created by the previous administration in December 2016. Rep. Mike Noel sponsored H.C.R. 12Concurrent Resolution Urging Federal Legislation to Reduce or Modify the Boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, to allow greater use of the lands for locals and recreationists.

“Utah took a bold step in the fight to take back management control of our public lands,” said Rep. Noel. “As a result, Utahns were provided an opportunity to give their input, through public comment and meetings, on how to manage our lands in the future.”

The status of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is still under review. Public comment to the Department of the Interior is open until July 10.

The Utah State Legislature continues to work to preserve our lands through increased local management. Local control renders communities with the ability to enhance their economies in a sustainable way and adequately support residents and their families, provide a better education system, protect historic and culturally significant sites and reduce restrictions on recreational use of the land.

The Trump administration is taking steps to reduce federal overreach and bring some control back to state and local governments.

On June 8, 2017, Secretary Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353, which aims to improve sage-grouse conservation and increase collaboration, cooperation and communication between federal and Western state governments. One-size-fits-all protection of sage grouse does not work because of the vastly different habitats in which the bird can be found. The review of the sage grouse plan provides states, and those closest to the issue, the opportunity to devise solutions that protect the ground-nesting bird without hindering local economic opportunities.

We were thrilled that Utah was able to add yet another strong official to this administration with the appointment of Greg Sheehan as the new Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sheehan has a proven record and more than 25 years of experience in wildlife and natural resource management. He has earned respect from conservation organizations for his leadership, advocacy and dedication to preserving wildlife, and will be an effective leader in Washington.

We are excited to continue to work with Secretary Zinke and the rest of President Trump’s administration in this effort to preserve our lands, increase local management and provide economic prosperity for all citizens of Utah.

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Watch: Rep. McCay’s Discussing Education Funding on Fox 13 News

The Utah Legislature significantly increase education funding during the 2017 General Session without raising taxes. Including:

  • About 60% of new revenue this year went to public education, the largest share in recent memory
  • 4% increase in WPU ($115,452,200), putting money where it can allow for greater flexibility and local control
  • 6.7% funding increase over last year
Watch Rep. Dan McCay’s interview with Ben Winslow on Fox 13 News here.

“Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, said lawmakers have already pushed more money toward education. Even though Utah is last in per-pupil spending, Rep. McCay said they are seeing positive results.”

 

ICYMI: U.S. News Recently ranked Utah 9th in the nation in overall education.  Read more here.

 

Watch: Speaker’s & Minority Leader’s Interview on Inside Utah Politics

Watch Speaker Greg Hughes and Minority Leader Brian King interview with Glen Mills on ABC 4 Good for Utah here.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – To debate some of the biggest stories of the week, Speaker Greg Hughes (R) District 51, and Rep. Brian King (D) Minority Leader, joined the Inside Utah Politics Panel.

Lead by Chief Political Correspondent Glen Mills, the panel discussed the validity of Utah’s special election to fill Rep. Jason Chaffetz’ soon-to-be-vacated 3rd Congressional District seat, and if there’s room to negotiate on Senate Bill 54.

“The Democrats and the house and the senate have been pretty strongly in favor of SB54 in the sense that we support an alternative method to the primary ballot and we’ve seen attempts at times in the house and the senate to undermine that process a little bit,” said King. “…There are some people that want to figure out a way to put more power in the caucus and convention system that exists right now, and there are other people that will die on the hill of making sure that there’s an alternative method to the primary ballot as SB54 puts in place.”

“I think we need to go back and see why was the county my vote issue even before us? I think people in the Republican party, and I’m not sure the Democrats had as strong of a voice in this, but they wanted to see more primaries and less of these candidates decided in convention. I think if that was the goal, if SB54 was to create an alternative route to the ballot so that we could see primaries, so that a broader swath of people can have a voice, I think that’s worth talking about. What I think the downside is to SB54, that I think all sides agreed, but we’ve never resolved years later is plurality,” added Hughes.

 

 

 

June 2017 Legislative Calendar

Stay in the know about what is happening at the Utah State Legislature.  Here is a list of June’s meetings. Click the committee to see the agenda, meeting materials and listen to live and past audio* of meetings.

Thursday, June 1
8:30 a.m. Retirement and Independent Entities Interim Committee

Tuesday, June 6
9:00 a.m. Veterans’ and Military Affairs Commission

Thursday, June 8
1:00 p.m. Health Reform Task Force

Monday, June 12
3:30 p.m. State Fair Park Committee

Tuesday, June 13
9:00 a.m. Administrative Rules Review Committee

Wednesday, June 14
1:00 p.m. Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force

Tuesday, June 20
8:30 a.m. Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee
8:30 a.m. Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee
8:30 a.m. Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee
8:30 a.m. Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee
1:15 p.m. Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee
1:15 p.m. Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee
1:15 p.m. Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee
1:15 p.m. Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee
3:00 p.m. Legislative Audit Subcommittee
4:00 p.m. Senate Education Confirmation Committee
4:00 p.m. Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands

Wednesday, June 21
8:30 a.m. Business and Labor Interim Committee
8:30 a.m. Education Interim Committee
8:30 a.m. Government Operations Interim Committee
8:30 a.m. Political Subdivisions Interim Committee
8:30 a.m. Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Interim Committee
1:15 p.m. Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee
1:15 p.m. Judiciary Interim Committee
1:15 p.m. Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee
1:15 p.m. Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee
1:15 p.m. Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee
1:15 p.m. Transportation Interim Committee
5:00 p.m. Commission on Federalism

 Tuesday, June 27
9:00 a.m. Veterans’ and Military Affairs Commission
2:00 p.m. Utah Tax Review Commission

*Not all meetings are streamed online.

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, we are once again reminded of the great sacrifices made throughout the history of our nation that have allowed us to live as we do—in freedom and prosperity. The blessing of freedom is granted through the sacrifices of those who have served with honor and devotion. We are forever grateful to our service members and their families, and express to them our deepest gratitude

Legislative Leaders Issue Statement on Separation of Powers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2017

Legislative leaders issue statement on separation of powers 

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Utah legislative leaders expressed concern with executive branch overreach.  Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, House Minority Leader Brian King, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, and Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis issued the following statement: 

“We express our concern with Governor Herbert’s decision to call an election without allowing the legislature to exercise its clear constitutional responsibility. Establishing election procedures in law is clearly a role given to the legislature by the U.S. Constitution.  Separation of powers is one of the most fundamental principles of our government and a vigilant guard against abuse of power. Nowhere is the executive branch given the authority to establish election procedures.”

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Infographics

The infographics below compare timelines, the process of filling other vacant offices in Utah, and review how other states fill vacancies.

 

Joint Op-Ed: Separation of Powers

Utah House Representatives Speaker Greg Hughes, Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, House Minority Leader Brian King and Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis joint op-ed in Utah Policy.

When a vacancy occurs in the U.S House of Representatives an election of the people must occur. The U.S. Constitution states that the times, places and manner of elections will be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof (Article 1, Section 4). Further, U.S. Code Title 2, Section 8(a) says, “ … the time for holding elections … to fill a vacancy…may be prescribed by the laws of the several States… ”

It is clearly the role of the Legislature to establish election procedures and “prescribe them by law.” Nowhere is the executive branch given the authority to establish these procedures; the governor’s legal role is to issue a formal writ declaring that an election will take place.

The separation of powers is one of the most fundamental principles of our government, and protects all of us from abuses inherent in concentrations of power.

It is without question the duty of the Legislature to put in place the parameters of an election. It is equally without question the governor’s job to call a special session to allow us to fulfill this responsibility. For the executive branch to fail to do so, and to then purport to establish “The Times, Places and Manner” outside of the legislative process is an inappropriate breach of his constitutionally defined power.

Utah is one of only three states that do not yet have statutory provisions for a U.S. House of Representatives special election to fill a vacancy. We now face a congressional vacancy and have no process established by law to provide a replacement. But we could, in just a few days, if the governor called us into special session.

The timeline matters. These are historic days in Washington. Major issues hang in the balance. Congress is grappling with issues of great consequence—tax reform, health care and public lands, among others. Every day in Congress in which Utahns are not represented disenfranchises the citizens of the Third District. For as long as the vacancy persists, twenty-five percent of Utahns are left without a voice.

The governor has a clear responsibility to call the Legislature into special session. The state constitution, ratified by the legislature and the people, says that only he can do that. We wouldn’t assert a non-constitutional authority to call ourselves into session, just as he should not assert a non-constitutional authority to commandeer the time, place, and manner of an election process. Again, elections are constitutionally and statutorily placed in the hands of the Legislature.

We need to hold an election of the people and it must be done expeditiously. Governor Herbert’s decision to call an election without allowing the Legislature to perform its legal and constitutional duty is disappointing and exposes the vacancy election process to unnecessary legal and political risks.

 

Statements

  • Read Utah House of Representatives Chief of Staff Greg Hartley’s statement on the Utah’s 3rd Congressional District Vacancy here.

 

  • Read House Minority Leader Brian King’s statement declaring his support for a special session to detail the laws guiding special elections in Utah here.