Category: House News

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.

Happy New Year 2017

As 2016 comes to an end, with all its experiences, challenges and celebrations now just memories, we look forward to the opportunities of another year. New friendships, new encounters, new answers and hopefully new and greater accomplishments await each of us. May your 2017 be full of renewed hope, love, peace and joy.

Speaker Greg Hughes at the Bears Ears Press Conference in San Juan County

Speaker Greg Hughes at the Bears Ears Press Conference in San Juan County on Dec. 29, 2016

Nearly 70 percent of the land in Utah and 50 percent in the western United States is controlled by the federal government. The compact between the state of Utah and the federal government at the time of the formation of the state, provided for the feds to take stewardship over the land until it could be sold. This compact allowed them to keep 95 percent of the revenue from the sale but required they give 5 percent back to the state for use in education.

This has never been done.

The responsibility of the federal government was to “dispose of” the land; it was never meant for them to hold it in reserve for no productive purpose and cut off the ability of states to utilize it for their own growth and funding.

Because the citizens of Utah have no access to nearly 70% of their land for their own management or development, the burden is on all of the states, through federal expenditures, to upkeep and maintain the land. The federal government hasn’t even been very successful at that, though the cost to taxpayers of maintaining western lands is significant at about $13 billion per year.

Taxpayers will also be further on the hook for the $15 billion in deferred maintenance in the nation’s western national parks, all while the locked-up mineral value of these very lands is assessed at $150 trillion. Add to this the fact that when states manage lands, they’re able to turn that responsibility into revenue of $6.29 per acre, while federally managed lands cost taxpayers $1.86 per acre.

It’s time for the federal government to honor the promises made to the current western states, just as it eventually did for the previously “western” states of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. After Thomas Hart Benton, a Democrat U.S. senator from Missouri, pushed the federal government for many years to honor its commitments, they finally did and those states were freed from the constraints of federal land control policy.

Now is our time.

Rep. Kelly Miles Sworn In

Today, Speaker Greg Hughes administered the Oath of Office to the Utah House of Representatives newest member, Rep. Kelly Miles, District 11.Rep. Miles is an attorney and business owner for 27 years. A former chair of McKay-Dee Hospital Board, a board member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weber-Davis and the Ogden-Weber ATC Foundation. Received his bachelor’s degree in Business from Weber State University and an MBA/Law Degree from the University of Utah.We look forward to working with Rep. Miles.

See more pictures here.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

 

Speaker Hughes Season Greetings

Christmas is a time to remember that we are not alone in this world, that our actions have repercussions beyond ourselves and that each of us has a role to play in blessing the lives of others. Most people in the United States generally feel pretty happy, but according to the Center for Disease Control, 40 percent of Americans don’t feel a deep sense of purpose.

According to one recent study, Some Key Differences between a Happy Life and a Meaningful Life, while being happy and finding meaning in life overlap somewhat, there are significant differences. One that stands out is that “Happiness was linked to being a taker rather than a giver, whereas meaningfulness went with being a giver rather than a taker.” The authors of the study point out that those with more meaningful lives experience higher levels of stress and worry, even while feeling a greater sense of purpose.

Through our work here in the legislature, we have seen the sacrifices of many of our fellow-citizens, from the teachers in our schools to the policemen on our streets, to the parents in their homes, raising children with love and patience.

This Christmastime, as we reflect on the past year, may we each ask ourselves what it is we’re doing to build not only a happy life but a more meaningful life – for ourselves as well as for those around us.

Utah Representatives share their favorite holiday traditions.

 

Utah Officials Hold Rally Opposing a National Monument Designation

Today, local leaders from San Juan County and Utah elected officials from across the state held a rally to demonstrate a strong, unified front in opposition to a potential declaration of the Bears Ears National Monument.Speaker Hughes said we have a system and elected officials that can protect the land the right way.

San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally said her constituents do not want another national monument in the County. This monument would only represent division.

It is time we do this the right way through the congressional approach said, Congressman Rob Bishop.

Congresswoman Mia Love said she trust Utahns more than she trusts bureaucrats in Washington to preserve the Bears Ears area.

 

This flys in the face of the constitution said, Sen. Orrin Hatch. We need the consent of the people most affected,

The best way to protect Bears Ears is through a legislative process said, Gov. Gary Herbert

The people of this state oppose a unilateral designation of a national monument. According to a Utah Policy poll, 60 percent of Utahns are opposed to 1.9 million acres being declared federal land in the Bears Ears area in southeastern Utah.

A monument declaration is absent of local support with every elected official chosen to represent the people of San Juan County and the State of Utah.

San Juan Commissioner Rebecca M. Benally explains why her people do not want this monument. Watch the video here.

“Brothers and sisters, I stand here before you as a Native American woman, the first elected woman in San Juan County. I am here today to tell you that my constituents do not want a national monument in San Juan County, because it’s just another federal overreach with empty promises.

As a Native American, we understand what broken treaties mean and broken promises; we’ve lived it for the last 200 years. So what makes you think, President Obama, that you think you’re doing the right thing? All you’re doing is breaking up families using divide and conquer among my brothers and sisters, San Juan County residents, the State of Utah.

Your legacy I hope we can soon forget because you’re not doing it for the local people. So I’m here today to tell you that Grandma Jones, Grandma Ada Benally, they shed tears because this is a place of reverent spirituality where they gather medicinal plants, wood to heat their home and cook, hunt; you’re taking that away. There is no such a thing as a special proclamation that can be done by the president. This is a Congressional authority that has to happen.

You’ve been lied to by environmental groups. Environmental groups, I’m here to tell you: stop romanticizing and stop pretending. And stop pretending that you are doing this for Native American people. I’ve seen it time and time again. It is wrong and I’m tired of you using my people, talking for them, it is wrong that you do this. Come to San Juan County where we still have over 700 miles of dirt road and high high school dropout rates, unemployment. Put your mind and money to better use instead of making people work against one another. That’s wrong.

I want to tell you about trust. There is no trust. We as Native Americans do not trust the federal government. And so President Obama, why should you be any different? I’m here to tell you to look in the eye of Grandma Ada Benally and to the eye of Grandma Betty Jones, and you tell them that you’re doing this in their best interest. You’re not. You’re limiting access and you’re lying to them.

So today I want to thank everyone for being here, stewards of San Juan County and the Jones family, the Morris family and San Juan County residents, the State of Utah, the governor, lieutenant governor, commissioners and Utah delegation, state and congressional level, titleholders, I want to let you know that at a personal level it’s disheartening, it makes you want to cry. It hurts. Emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally, it has split families as I said. It has split San Juan County members. So this national monument, all it’s going to represent is a division. It’s not going to be a one mind, one voice, one heart movement. So today I’m going to tell you in this press conference, ‘no national monument.’ Thank you.”

Who attend the rally:

  • Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes
  • Utah State Representative Mike Noel
  • Senator Mike Lee
  • U.S. Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch
  • Governor Gary Herbert
  • San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams
  • Congressman Rob Bishop
  • Congressman Chris Stewart
  • Congresswoman Mia Love
  • Utah State Senator David Hinkins
  • San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman
  • Beaver County Commissioner Mark Whitney
  • Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes
  • Lt. Governor Spencer Cox
  • San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally

View more photos here.

Rep. Eliason – Naloxone

Utah ranks fourth in the nation for drug overdose deaths, with an average of 33 per month. Fortunately, there are interventions that can save lives and give a second chance to those struggling with addiction.

During the 2016 legislative session, Republican Rep. Steve Eliason sponsored a bill that would allow for the dispensing of naloxone for anyone at increased risk of opioid overdose without a prescription. Naloxone can reverse heroin and prescription opioid overdoses by blocking the drugs’ effects on the brain. The bill passed and on Dec. 8, the Utah Department of Health signed a standing order allowing for pharmacists to dispense the drug in accordance with the law.

Pharmacies may choose whether to participate in the standing order, but those that do must report annually to the Utah Department of Health the number of doses dispensed. Naloxone generally has no side effects and has no potential for abuse.

As opioid abuse becomes a bigger problem throughout the nation and in Utah, we as lawmakers are concerned for those in our communities who have found themselves struggling with the problem of substance abuse. This bill may mean the difference between life and death for those individuals, and we hope that the second chance naloxone can provide will help them step out of this destructive cycle once and for all.

Jonathan Ball Honored with Steven D. Gold Award

Utah Budgeteer Honored with Steven D. Gold Award

Washington, D.C. – The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) presented Jonathan Ball, the chief budget staffer for the Utah Legislature, with the Steven D. Gold Award at NCSL’s Capitol Forum in Washington on Thursday.

The Gold Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of state and local finance, especially those that erase boundaries between academics and public policy.

“Jonathan exemplifies what the Gold Award is all about,” said NCSL Executive Director William Pound. “He strives to bridge the worlds of academia and government so that citizens enjoy thoughtful, informed and practical laws and programs.”

Ball is the director of Utah’s Legislative Fiscal Analyst and leads a team of 25 economists, accountants, financial analysts and support staff who help legislators craft the state budget each year. He has contributed to several academic publications, is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities in Utah and regularly presents on budget issues for national organizations, including NCSL. He served as president of the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices and the Western States Legislative Fiscal Officers Association. He is currently staff co-chair of NCSL’s Standing Committees and a member of the NCSL Executive Committee.

“Legislative staffers typically prefer to toil away in anonymity,” said Ball, “but this recognition is welcome and especially meaningful because it reflects what my team and I strive for on a daily basis – objective, accurate and relevant budget advice. I’m humbled and honored to receive it on behalf of my family, friends and colleagues without whom it would not have happened.”

The award was established in 1997 in the memory of Steven D. Gold, an accomplished economist, academic and public finance expert. Gold was an active member of NCSL, the National Tax Association and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. It is given each year by one of these organizations on a three-year rotation.

Since its inception, Ball is the second Utahn to receive the Gold Award. The National Tax Association presented it to Brigham Young University professor Gary Corina in 2006. It is the second national award Utah has been given for good fiscal management in recent months. Governing Magazine named Kristen Cox, budget director for Governor Gary Herbert, Public Servant of the Year in November.

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75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. On that day, nearly 2,500 American sailors lost their lives, over 1,000 were injured and the U.S. was pulled into World War II. We remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice as they fought for our freedom. And we thank all of our current veterans and active military members for their dedication and sacrifice in defending this great nation.

Press Release: Utah House Announces Extended Leadership Team and 2017/18 Committee Assignments

Press Release
For Immediate Release
December 6, 2016

 Utah House Announces Extended Leadership Team and 2017/18 Committee Assignments

Salt Lake City – After a comprehensive review of upcoming policy objectives and expertise of house members, Speaker Hughes announced the 2017/2018 extended majority leadership team and committee appointments. The new committee chair assignments have been well received as an opportunity to grow and tackle an aggressive agenda. The committee appointments are based on interest and expertise of members and, in some instances, will allow a fresh perspective on issues in all areas that will benefit the State.

“The work ahead of us is too important for this to be a status-quo session,” said Speaker Hughes. “This was a comprehensive effort made to ensure we make significant progress for our constituents and to have Utah continue to lead the nation. I am proud of the work we do in the House and that we let good information drive good decisions.  We are prepared to address the challenges and opportunities facing our state.”

Speaker Hughes reappointed Rep. Dean Sanpei to continue to serve as Chair of Executive Appropriations, he appointed Rep. Brad Last to serve as Executive Appropriations Vice-Chair and reappointed Rep. Michael Noel to continue in his role as Rules Committee Chair.

The two-year assignments will begin January 1st, 2017.

Utah House of Representatives New Standing and Appropriations Committee members for the upcoming legislative session are as follows:

House of Representatives 2017/18 Standing Committees

A Committees

Business & Labor

  • Jim Dunnigan, Chair
  • Marc Roberts, Vice Chair
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Gage Froerer
  • Adam Gardiner
  • Tim Hawkes
  • John Knotwell
  • Mike McKell
  • Jeremy Peterson
  • Mike Schultz
  • Jon Stanard
  • Curt Webb
  • Mark Wheatley
  • Brad Wilson

Health & Human Services

  • Brad Daw, Chair
  • Mike Kennedy, Vice Chair
  • Stewart Barlow
  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck
  • Craig Hall
  • Sandra Hollins
  • Kelly Miles
  • Paul Ray
  • Ed Redd
  • Robert Spendlove
  • Norm Thurston
  • Ray Ward

Education

  • Val Peterson, Chair
  • Kim Coleman, Vice Chair
  • LaVar Christensen
  • Bruce Cutler
  • Justin Fawson
  • Francis Gibson
  • Eric Hutchings
  • Brad Last
  • Dan McCay
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Mike Noel
  • Derrin Owens
  • Marie Poulson
  • Lowry Snow

Public Utilities & Technology

  • Steve Handy, Chair
  • Merrill Nelson, Vice Chair
  • Carl Albrecht
  • Patrice Arent
  • Walt Brooks
  • Scott Chew
  • Kay Christofferson
  • Keith Grover
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • Cory Maloy
  • Keven Stratton

B Committees

Judiciary

  • Mike McKell, Chair
  • Lowry Snow, Vice Chair
  • Kim Coleman
  • Bruce Cutler
  • Brian Greene
  • Ken Ivory
  • Brian King
  • Karianne Lisonbee
  • Dixon Pitcher
  • Susan Pulsipher
  • Tim Quinn
  • Mark Wheatley

Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice

  • Lee Perry, Chair
  • Ed Redd, Vice Chair
  • Becky Edwards
  • Steve Eliason
  • Adam Gardiner
  • Sandra Hollins
  • Eric Hutchings
  • Kelly Miles
  • Paul Ray
  • Angela Romero
  • Elizabeth Weight
  • Mike Winder

Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment

  • Keven Stratton, Chair
  • Stewart Barlow, Vice Chair
  • Joel Briscoe
  • Scott Chew
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Steve Handy
  • Tim Hawkes
  • Mike Noel
  • Derrin Owens
  • Doug Sagers
  • Scott Sandall
  • Christine Watkins
  • Logan Wilde

Transportation

  • Mike Schultz, Chair
  • Kay Christofferson, Vice Chair
  • Walt Brooks
  • Justin Fawson
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • Mike Kennedy
  • John Knotwell
  • Karen Kwan
  • Jeff Moss
  • Val Potter
  • Robert Spendlove
  • John Westwood

C Committees

Government Operations

  • Jeremy Peterson, Chair
  • Norm Thurston, Vice Chair
  • Patrice Arent
  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck
  • Brad Daw
  • Dan McCay
  • Merrill Nelson
  • Lee Perry
  • Val Peterson
  • Dean Sanpei

Political Subdivisions

  • Dixon Pitcher, Chair
  • Craig Hall, Vice Chair
  • Jim Dunnigan
  • Keith Grover
  • Karen Kwan
  • Val Potter
  • Marie Poulson
  • Susan Pulsipher
  • Marc Roberts
  • Ray Ward
  • Curt Webb
  • Elizabeth Weight
  • Logan Wilde

Revenue & Taxation

  • Steve Eliason, Chair
  • Doug Sagers, Vice Chair
  • Joel Briscoe
  • Gage Froerer
  • Brian Greene
  • Ken Ivory
  • Brian King
  • Karianne Lisonbee
  • Jeff Moss
  • Tim Quinn
  • Jon Stanard
  • Brad Wilson

Economic Development & Workforce Services

  • Becky Edwards, Chair
  • John Westwood, Vice Chair
  • Carl Albrecht
  • LaVar Christensen
  • Cory Maloy
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Angela Romero
  • Scott Sandall
  • Christine Watkins
  • Mike Winder

Other Standing Committees

Rules

  • Mike Noel, Chair
  • Jon Stanard, Vice Chair
  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck
  • Justin Fawson
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Val Peterson
  • Mike Schultz
  • Christine Watkins

Ethics

  • Doug Sagers, Chair
  • Patrice Arent, Co-Chair
  • Jim Dunnigan
  • Keith Grover
  • Mike Noel
  • Marie Poulson
  • Angela Romero
  • Mark Wheatley

Administrative Rules

  • Brian Greene, Chair
  • Kim Coleman
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Curt Webb
  • Mark Wheatley

Retirement & Independent Entities

  • LaVar Christensen, Chair
  • Tim Hawkes, Vice Chair
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Steve Eliason
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • Dan McCay
  • Jeff Moss
  • Lee Perry
  • Marie Poulson

House of Representatives 2017/18 Appropriations Subcommittees

Executive Appropriations

  • Dean Sanpei, Chair
  • Brad Last, Vice Chair
  • Greg Hughes
  • Brad Wilson
  • Francis Gibson
  • John Knotwell
  • Brian King
  • Joel Briscoe
  • Angela Romero
  • Sandra Hollins

Business, Economic Development & Labor

  • Curt Webb, Chair
  • Scott Sandall, Vice Chair
  • Stewart Barlow
  • Adam Gardiner
  • Carol Spackman Moss
  • Jeremy Peterson
  • Val Peterson
  • Elizabeth Weight
  • John Westwood
  • Brad Wilson

Social Services

  • Paul Ray, Chair
  • Ray Ward, Vice Chair
  • Carl Albrecht
  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck
  • Becky Edwards
  • Sandra Hollins
  • Mike Kennedy
  • Ed Redd
  • Christine Watkins

Executive Offices & Criminal Justice

  • Eric Hutchings, Chair
  • Bruce Cutler, Vice Chair
  • Jim Dunnigan
  • Brian King
  • Merrill Nelson
  • Tim Quinn
  • Angela Romero
  • Lowry Snow
  • Logan Wilde

Higher Education

  • Keith Grover, Chair
  • Derrin Owens, Vice Chair
  • Kim Coleman
  • Brad Daw
  • Karen Kwan
  • Kelly Miles
  • Val Potter
  • Jon Stanard
  • Mark Wheatley
  • Mike Winder

Public Education

  • Dan McCay, Chair
  • Robert Spendlove, Vice Chair
  • Patrice Arent
  • Joel Briscoe
  • LaVar Christensen
  • Steve Eliason
  • Justin Fawson
  • Francis Gibson
  • Brad Last
  • Karianne Lisonbee
  • Jeff Moss
  • Susan Pulsipher
  • Norm Thurston

Infrastructure & General Government

  • Gage Froerer, Chair
  • Walt Brooks, Vice Chair
  • Craig Hall
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • John Knotwell
  • Cory Maloy
  • Mike McKell
  • Dixon Pitcher
  • Marie Poulson
  • Doug Sagers
  • Mike Schultz

Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environmental Quality

  • Ken Ivory, Chair
  • Scott Chew, Vice Chair
  • Kay Christofferson
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Brian Greene
  • Steve Handy
  • Timothy Hawkes
  • Karen Kwan
  • Mike Noel
  • Lee Perry
  • Marc Roberts
  • Keven Stratton

Retirement & Independent Entities

  • LaVar Christensen, Chair
  • Tim Hawkes, Vice Chair
  • Susan Duckworth
  • Steve Eliason
  • Lynn Hemingway
  • Dan McCay
  • Jeff Moss
  • Lee Perry
  • Marie Poulson

*Updated 12/12/2016

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