Category: Press

Speaker Hughes statement on the death of Draper Firefighter

SALT LAKE CITY –  Speaker Greg Hughes issued this statement following the death of Draper Fire Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, who passed away Monday, August 13, 2018, due to injuries sustained fighting the Mendocino Complex Fire in California:

“There is a special place in heaven reserved for those who sacrifice all in the service of others. My sincerest condolences go out to the family of Matt Burchett, we owe them a debt that we will never be able to repay.”

 

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

Naturalization Ceremony to be Held at the Capitol

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
August 2, 2018

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

Naturalization Ceremony to be Held at the Capitol

What:
Representative Norm Thurston, in partnership with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will host a naturalization ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, August 3 at the Utah State Capitol.

Congresswomen Mia Love will give the welcoming remarks. Chris Mann will deliver the keynote. Chris is a business owner, designer and recently became a U.S. citizen.

Rep. Norm Thurston will serve as master of ceremonies. Laura McNeer, field office director for USCIS, will administer the Oath of Allegiance.

A video welcome message from President Donald Trump.  Cytel Schults will sing the national anthem.

Following the ceremony, on-site voter registration will be available for the new U.S. citizens.

Who:
Rep. Norm Thurston, District 64
Congresswoman Mia Love, District 4
Chris Mann, business owner and designer
Laura McNeer, USCIS Field Office Director

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

When:
Friday, August 3, 2018, at 10 a.m.

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

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Utah Safe Schools Commission to hold a press conference

For Immediate Release
June 18, 2018

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

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

What:
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.

Where:
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.

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

Who:
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

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Speaker Hughes and Senator Dabakis to host a news conference to discuss the inland port

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
June 4, 2018

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

Speaker Hughes and Senator Dabakis to host a news conference to discuss the inland port

What:
Speaker Greg Hughes and Senator Jim Dabakis will host a press conference to discuss a compromise framework for SB 234Utah Inland Port Authority, and the future inland port in the Northwest Quadrant of Salt Lake County.

Who:
Speaker Greg Hughes
Senator Jim Dabakis

When:
Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.

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

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Utah Legislature Recognizes Contributions of Confucius Institutes

For Immediate Release
May 24, 2018

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

Bryan Smith
Deputy Chief of Staff
Utah State Senate
bsmith@le.utah.gov

Utah Legislature Recognizes Contributions of Confucius Institutes
University of Utah, Southern Utah University and Davis County Public Schools Receive Commendations  

Salt Lake City – Confucius Institutes across the state were honored by the Utah legislature at the state capitol on May 17. The legislature presented a citation of honors to a delegation from the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing (Hanban) attending the Eleventh National Chinese Language Conference. Senator Curtis Bramble (R – District 16) said that this citation recognizes the efforts of the people of Utah to advance Chinese language programs with the support of Confucius Institutes.

At the conference opening ceremony, Utah Governor Gary Herbert affirmed his commitment to advancing Utah’s Chinese dual language immersion program, citing the value of Chinese language education for Utah’s economic development and workforce employability.

Since the establishment of the first Confucius Institute in Utah in 2007, more than 13,000 students have participated in Chinese language classes. Supported by Confucius Institutes, Utah’s dual language initiative has become a leading program in American immersion language instruction, preparing Utahns to thrive in a globalized society. In his meeting with Utah students and educators, Senator Orrin Hatch (R) called the Confucius Institutes’ programming “really critical and crucial” and said “learning [Chinese] … is in [the US’] best interest.”

Senator Howard Stephenson (R – District 11) said that “the success of Utah’s Chinese language program would not have happened without the Confucius Institutes and the caliber of teachers provided through these partnerships.” He added, “I have never seen more dedicated teachers than those from the Confucius Institute.” An advocate for dual language immersion in Utah, Sen. Stephenson claims “monolingualism is the illiteracy of the 21st Century.”

Memorandum of Understanding Signed

Following the recognition, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Hanban and the Utah State Board of Education on May 18. The MOU recognized Utah’s dual language Chinese immersion education program and the role of the Confucius Institutes in promoting people-to-people exchanges between the US and China. Hanban pledged ongoing support of Confucius Institutes to meet Utah’s growing demand for Chinese language and culture classes.

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The Confucius Institute U.S. Center is a nonprofit organization that supports the teaching of Chinese language and culture in the United States and fosters educational exchanges between China and the United States.

 

Rep. Schultz and Sen. Harper ask UTA to hold on rebranding UTA

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2018

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

Bryan Smith
Deputy Chief of Staff
Utah State Senate
bsmith@le.utah.gov

 Sen. Harper and Rep. Schultz ask UTA to hold on rebranding UTA

Salt Lake City – Due to confusion and misinformation surrounding SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments, bill sponsors Senator Wayne Harper and Representative Mike Schultz request Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to not proceed with the request for proposal (RFP) and rebranding. The Legislature will continue to study this issue and work with the new UTA board once it is in place, to decide the best path forward.

“We want all to focus on the new day of multimodal transportations, better utilization of resources, improved land use and planning and adequate funding,” said Sen. Wayne Harper. “A plan for the next 40 years.”

“The name change was a minimal aspect of the bill. No money was appropriated to rebrand UTA,” said Rep. Mike Schultz. “The purpose of this legislation is to revamp the transit agency by increasing transparency, improving checks and balances and providing local governments with the necessary tools to assist with the growing demand for multimodal transportation. It is now time for stakeholders to come together to further enhance Utah’s transportation system and set clear directives that will lead to better efficiencies and oversight and ultimately benefit all Utahns.”

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Watch the press conference from May 16, 2018, here.

Read highlights of SB 136 here.

 

 

 

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.

 

Former Representative Carl Duckworth

Media Statement
For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2018

House Democrats Mourn the Passing of Former Representative Carl Duckworth

SALT LAKE CITY – Today Utah House Democrats offered their condolences to Representative Susan Duckworth and her family upon hearing news of the passing of her husband and former Democratic Representative Carl Duckworth.

Representative Carol Spackman Moss said, “Carl was always kind and friendly, and never appeared to be in a bad mood. He had a quiet demeanor, but as a legislator he was always engaged and followed everything closely.  If ever I had a question during a floor debate I could always ask Carl and he knew the answer.”

Representative Patrice Arent said, “Carl was truly someone who cared about his community.  He was a wonderful friend and he cared about his colleagues. I truly enjoyed serving with him.”

Representative Mark Wheatley said, “Besides being a nice guy, Carl was a strong advocate for unions. He worked to ensure people received equal pay for equal work. He wanted people to have a livable wage with health benefits. In that sense, he was true Democrat who fought for hardworking Utahns.”

Rhoda Struhs, who was Administrative Assistant for the House Democrats while Rep. Carl Duckworth served, said, “Carl was a quiet champion. He very seldom spoke up, but instead chose to work behind the scenes. He wasn’t one to pontificate.  But when he did, the whole floor would get quiet. Carl would stand and speak very articulately and calmly about a bill, and everyone would stop and listen. That almost never happens at the legislature, and I thought it was so powerful.  Everyone heard the words he was saying when he spoke.”

Former Representative Carl Duckworth served the state of Utah as a legislator for 10 years, from January 1, 1999 until December 31, 2008.

Contact:
Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Minority Caucus
 rosschambless@le.utah.gov

Representative Susan Duckworth Statement

Media Statement
For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2018 

SALT LAKE CITY – Today Representative Susan Duckworth gave this statement on the passing of her husband, former Democratic Representative Carl Duckworth:

“Carl Duckworth lived a full life and passed away on Monday, May 1, surrounded by his family. Carl loved his family and the gospel. He married his sweetheart, Sue Duckworth on June 15, 1973. They are blessed with four children and eight grandchildren.  His service to the State of Utah spanned 1999 through 2008, where he served in the House of Representatives. Carl enjoyed his work in the House and is grateful for the experiences and the lifetime of friendships made there.”

Former Representative Carl Duckworth was 63.

Contact:
Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Minority Caucus
 rosschambless@le.utah.gov

Speaker Greg Hughes statement about the passing of Former Rep. Carl Duckworth

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
May 1, 2018

 Speaker Greg Hughes statement about the passing of Former Rep. Carl Duckworth

Salt Lake City – Speaker Greg Hughes issued this statement following the death of former Representative Carl Duckworth:

“I served with Representative Carl Duckworth. He was a committed public servant who quietly went about the People’s business without pause and never for praise. Carl’s diagnosis of cancer and the attending health complications meant it would not be possible for him to run for re-election. Carl’s exuberant wife, Sue, became our colleague when she was elected to his seat in the next election. That was a decade ago, and this incredible couple have been a dear part of our lives ever since.

“During this most recent General Session, an emotional highlight for the House was when Carl, still quietly battling for his health after all of these years, joined me on the Dais during our Floor time. In that moment, there wasn’t a dry eye in our Arena.

“We love Sue Duckworth and will dearly miss Carl. The House extends its heartfelt condolences. The Duckworth’s are family to Utah’s House of Representatives. We are sorry for the loss that is felt among family and our community as a whole.”

 

 Former Representative Duckworth served in the Utah House of Representatives from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2008.

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