Category: House News

Utah Safe Schools Commission to hold a press conference

For Immediate Release
June 18, 2018

Aundrea Peterson
Utah House of Representatives 

Utah Safe Schools Commission to hold a press conference to present recommendations to increase safety measures in Utah schools 

The Utah Safe Schools Commission to present recommendations of how to improve school safety.

The uncompensated commission reviewed policies and programs directed at increasing safety in schools in Utah. Dialog among elected officials, stakeholders, parents, teachers, community members and students helped develop solutions that will increase safety measures to protect children across the state.

During the press conference, members of the commission, elected officials and stakeholders will review their findings.

Capitol Building, Gold Room
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

This event will also be live-streamed on the Utah House of Representatives Facebook Page.

Wednesday, June 20, 11:45 a.m.

Rep. Ray Ward
Rep. Steve Handy
Rep. Mike Kennedy
Speaker Greg Hughes
Members of the Utah School Safety Commission

Members of the Utah Safe Schools Commission:
Clark Aposhian, chairman of the board of the Utah Shooting Sports Council
Dallas Earnshaw, superintendent at Utah State Hospital
John Hoffmann, professor of sociology at Brigham Young University
Terryl Warner, member of the Utah State Board of Education
Keith Squires, commissioner for the Utah Department of Public Safety
Bryan Turner, director of Architectural Services at Davis School District
Heidi Matthews, president of Utah Education Association
Elizabeth Love, student representative – West High School
Isaac Reese, student representative – Brighton High School
Brian Nelson, director at Utah Division of Risk Management
Captain Justin Chapman of the Sandy City Police Department and School Resource Officer (SRO) instructor



Utah Honor Flight

Veterans are some of our nation’s greatest heroes. They served during times of war, not knowing if they would ever return. An immeasurable debt is owed to those who served in harm’s way to defend the freedoms we enjoy today. We have a responsibility to show gratitude to our nation’s veterans.

Members of the Utah House of Representatives raised over $13,000 of their own money for the Utah Honor Flight program, which sends veterans to our nation’s capital to tour war memorials built in memory of their service. The trip for some veterans may be the only opportunity to visit the memorials as well as pay their respects to friends lost in combat. Veterans who participate in the Honor Flight program do so at no cost to them.

Rep. Carl Albrecht invited the Utah Honor Flight Chairman Mike Turner and a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran Ron Thorn to visit the majority caucus to share information about the program during the 2018 session.

Each year, the Utah Honor Flight program sends veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to the conflicts they fought in. Including the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial at the National Mall.

“Sending servicemen and women to D.C. to visit their memorials is a great cause,” said Rep. Albrecht. “It’s the least we can do to honor the sacrifice they have given to our country to preserve our freedoms.”

The money raised was given to Turner.

Thank you to all veterans for serving our country and protecting our freedoms. We are grateful for your service, sacrifice and dedication.

Learn more about the program here.


June 2018 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 7
9:30 a.m. – Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands – Emery County

10:00 a.m. – Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee

Friday, June 8
9:00 a.m. – Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands –  Emery County

Tuesday, June 12
10:00 a.m. – Veterans and Military Affairs Commission

Wednesday, June 13
1:00 p.m. – Child Welfare Legislative Oversight Panel

Friday, June 15
1:00 p.m. – Child Welfare Legislative Oversight Panel

Monday, June 18
9:00 a.m. – Administrative Rules Review Committee

2:00 p.m. – Point of the Mountain Development Commission

Tuesday, June 19
8:30 a.m. – Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee

8:30 a.m. – Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee

8:30 a.m. – Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee 

8:30 a.m. – Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands

1:15 p.m. – Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations

1:15 p.m. – Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee

Wednesday, June 20
7:30 a.m.  – Victim Advocate Confidentiality Task Force

8:30 a.m. – Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee

8:30 a.m. – Judiciary Interim Committee

8:30 a.m. – Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee

8:30 a.m. – Natural Resources, Agriculture, & Environment Interim Committee

8:30 a.m. – Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee

8:30 a.m. – Transportation Interim Committee

1:15 p.m. – Business and Labor Interim Committee

1:15 p.m. – Education Interim Committee

1:15 p.m. – Government Operations Interim Committee

1:15 p.m. – Health and Human Services Interim Committee

1:15 p.m. – Political Subdivisions Interim Committee

1:15 p.m. – Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Interim Committee

Monday, June 25
10:00 a.m. – Federal Funds Commission

*Not all meetings are streamed online.

Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, we are reminded of the great sacrifices made throughout the history of our nation that have allowed us to live in freedom. This blessing is granted through the sacrifices of those who have served with honor and devotion. Thank you to the brave men and women for their services defending our nation.

SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments

During the recent session, the Utah Legislature passed SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments. The purpose of the bill was to reform the governance of Utah Transit Authority (UTA), provide tools for local governments to support the rising demand for multimodal transportation, improve checks and balances, and increase transparency. It also included a rebranding component. Though no money was appropriated to rebrand, due to confusion and misinformation, bill sponsors requested that the agency not proceed with that aspect of the bill.

UTA has been recognized across the country as one of the best models to emulate; however, issues of transparency and trust have overshadowed much of the good work that they’ve done. Last year, the Legislature formed the Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force to investigate potential changes to the governance and funding of UTA. Since May of 2017, the task force has met and during the 2018 legislative session, put forward well-researched solutions for the future of the agency.

The passage of SB 136 will allow UTA to operate with better structure and greater accountability and efficiency, which will benefit everyone. Putting the name change aside ensures that the focus remain on the other, more important aspects of the legislation.

UTA should now work just as hard on promoting the successes of their agency as they have on creating a false narrative related to the costs of the name change.

The Legislature will work with the new UTA board once it is in place in November to decide the best path forward.

Read highlights of SB 136 here.



Speaker Hughes Attends WH State House Speakers Conference

Speaker Greg Hughes attended the White House State House Speakers Conference on May 21, 2018. The conference brings together state house speakers from across the country to receive an update on the President’s policy initiatives.

Several administration officials meet with the group including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, senior staff members and intergovernmental directors from more than 20 federal agencies. During the conference, they discussed an extensive range of topics including federalism, housing, opioids, homelessness, deregulation, workforce development, the farm bill, rural businesses, broadband, opportunity zones, veterans’ legislation, infrastructure, treatment, health care and foreign trade.

Transportation Reform

Utah’s population is expected to double within the next 50 years and we will need to continue to plan and prepare for this future growth. Utah is recognized nationwide for its innovative transportation systems and collaboration. SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments, restructures the governance of the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), enhances the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), creates a new fund for transportation and transit and modifies some of the funding sources.

Highlights of SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments

 UTA Governance

  • Creates a three-member full-time board of trustees that will oversee the agency.
  • Board members will be nominated by counties, appointed by the governor with consent from the Senate:
    • Salt Lake County – 1
    • Utah county with Tooele County – 1
    • Davis County and Weber County with Box Elder County – 1
  • Board members will serve three year, staggered terms that will be at-will, under the governor.
  • Creates a nine-member advisory board.
  • Must have approval from State Bonding Authority before issuance of any new bonds.
  • Requires the State Attorney General’s Office to provide legal counsel.

UDOT Governance

  • Restructures UDOT to accommodate an increased role in multimodal planning and capital development.
  • Creates a Planning and Investment Division.

Investment Fund

  • Creates a structure to form future Transit Transportation Investment Funds (TTIF), which will require at least 40 percent non-state funding.
  • Permits political subdivisions to create Transportation Reinvestment Zones to capture increases in property taxes around transportation infrastructure improvements.

Fair Share

  • As more people have switched from traditional vehicles to electric and hybrid, the gas tax has lagged behind.
  • SB 136 implements a three-year phase-in of fees for these vehicles. The purpose is to start working towards every driver paying a fair share for the use of the roads.

Provides Local Governments with Key Tools

  • Expands and clarifies counties’ authority to implement a local sales tax option of .20% for public transit after July 1, 2019.

Restructures State Transportation Planning

  • Directs UDOT to develop statewide strategic initiatives for planning and coordinating multimodal transportation.



Bills that pass the Utah Legislature go into effect 60 days following adjournment of the general session, unless another date is specified in the legislation. See a full list of bills that became law on May 8, 2018, here.




More than 2,000 high-school students, teachers and volunteers filled the Eccles Theater to participate in Hamilton Education Program (EduHam) on May 4, 2018. Students from across the state participated in the unique opportunity of performing Hamilton-inspired musical or spoken numbers on center stage.  Utah definitely has talent.

Every student who attended created their own performance. The top 15 performances from different schools were selected to present at the theater.  Each act (solo or group) presented a rap, song, poem or spoken for their  classmates.

Additionally, the cast of Hamilton answered student’s questions. Then the day concluded with a special matinee performance of the Tony-Award winning musical.

Check out the news coverage of the event here:

Northern Utah students join others at special ‘Hamilton’ show in Salt Lake City – Ogden Standard Examiner

Utah students rap and sing their way onto the ‘Hamilton’ stage – Salt Lake Tribune

‘It’s like going to Disneyland’: Utah high school students react to seeing ‘Hamilton’ – Deseret News

LISTEN: Utah Students Take The ‘Hamilton’ Stage – KUER

EduHam, ‘Hamilton’ education program, shows Utah students exciting side of history – KUTV

Utah High School Students To Enjoy Private Hamilton Performance – Utah Public Radio 

Northern Utah students join others at special ‘Hamilton’ show in Salt Lake City – Ogden Standard Examiner 

Provo students learn U.S. history through ‘Hamilton’ curriculum – Provo Daily Herald

Provo students have their eyes on history through ‘Hamilton’ – AP News


What is an interim?

During the 45-day general session, many items that do not make it through committee are put on a master study list. The committee chairs then prioritize what should be studied over the interim period based on this list and input from committee members.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Senate President and committee chairs meet to collectively determine the final list. The Legislative Management Committee then votes to adopt interim study items and the schedule for the year. Due to the limited number of meetings, committees focus on those issues that are a top priority to help ensure a proper vetting.

Interim committees then study the identified key issues facing the state. They listen to expert and public testimony to determine whether or not to recommend legislation, and they vote to prioritize particular bills for the upcoming general session and occasionally for future special sessions.

Unlike during the general session, when the Senate and House each have standing committees comprised of only their own members, interim committees are made up of both senators and representatives.

These meetings are held throughout the year, generally the third Wednesday of the month, and are open to the public, can be streamed live or listened to at a later date at

See the list of potential 2018 interim study items here. A list of committees and schedules can be found here.