Category: Press

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
February 16, 2018

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

Press conference to discuss abolishing the death penalty in Utah 

What:
Principles such as fiscal responsibility, limited government and the right to life, among others are inevitably leading many to the conclusion that the death penalty is a failed big government program that must end.

Rep. Gage Froerer, Speaker Greg Hughes and former U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah Brett Tolman to discuss HB 379, Death Penalty Amendments, which would prospectively end the death penalty in Utah.

Where:
Capitol Building, Presentation Room
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Tuesday, February 20, 9:30 a.m.

Who:
Rep. Gage Froerer, District 8
Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, District 51
Brett Tolman, former United States Attorney for the District of Utah

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New House Member Sworn in

Press Release
For Immediate Release
February 14, 2018

 

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

New House Member Sworn in

Salt Lake City – Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes administered the Oath of Office to the newest member of Utah House of Representatives, Rep. Travis Seegmiller on February 14, 2018.

“We’re excited to welcome Representative Seegmiller to the House,” said Speaker Hughes. “His experience in law, finance and public policy will serve him well as he jumps into his new legislative role.”

Rep. Seegmiller was selected in a special election to replace the vacant seat in House District 62. He will be assigned to House Business and Labor Committee, House Government Operations Committee and Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to represent the good people of District 62,” said Rep. Seegmiller.

Seegmiller is an associate professor of law, economics and management at Dixie State University. He has worked on presidential political campaigns and public policy issues since 1996, including service as a strategy staffer for Mitt Romney and as a Judiciary Committee staffer to Senator Orrin Hatch. He also worked as management strategy consultant and attorney in the areas of finance, investment, law and policy. After completing his undergraduate degree with departmental distinction at Yale University, Rep. Seegmiller received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, graduating cum laude from both universities.

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Reps. Schultz and Redd Receive AHRI Policy Leadership Award

News Release
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2018

Rep. Mike Schultz to Receive AHRI Policy Leadership Award
HVACR Trade Association Legislator’s Industry Support

On Monday, February 12, 2018, Utah State Representatives Mike Schultz and Edward Redd were presented with a Policy Leadership Award from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the national trade association for manufacturers of heating, cooling, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment.  Rep. Schultz will be recognized for his efforts to protect the ability of Utah businesses to continue to install and natural gas-fired commercial water heaters in the state.  The HVACR and water heating industry employs some 6,700 Utahans in manufacturing, distribution, installation, and maintenance.

“I really appreciate the efforts of AHRI to work together to implement Low NOx water heaters,” said Rep. Schultz. “This change will have a significant impact on improving the air quality in the state of Utah.”

“I am honored to receive this award, said Rep. Redd. “We worked collaboratively with AHRI representatives and legislators to get ultra-low NOx water heaters as the standard for new installations and replacement water heaters in the state of Utah. Ultra low-NOx water heaters put out 70 percent fewer nitrogen oxides emissions than current standard natural gas-fueled water heaters in Utah. This intervention will gradually help improve air quality long-term as current water heaters are replaced with ultra low-NOx water heaters.”

“Rep. Schultz’s efforts effectively preserved the ability of Utah businesses to have a choice in their water heater use,” said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek. “His common-sense amendment to HB 37 helped our industry and the Utah citizens we serve, while continuing to take the steps necessary to protect the environment and save energy.  We are very grateful for his work on this issue.”

AHRI Director of Government Relations Garrett McGuire presented Reps. Schultz and Redd their award at the Utah State Capitol at Monday, February 12 at 11 a.m.

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About AHRI

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is the trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, commercial refrigeration, and water heating equipment. An internationally recognized advocate for the industry, AHRI develops standards for and certifies the performance of many of these products. AHRI’s 300+ member companies manufacture quality, efficient, and innovative residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment and components for sale in North America and around the world.

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

 

Speaker Hughes statement about the passing of Jon Huntsman Sr.

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
February 2, 2018

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

Speaker Hughes statement about the passing of Jon Huntsman Sr.

Salt Lake City – Speaker Greg Hughes issued this statement following the death of Jon Huntsman Sr.:

I am devastated by the news of the passing of Jon Huntsman Sr. Mr. Huntsman has been a dear friend and an incredible mentor. He counseled me often and taught me the true meaning of service. To say I will miss him, his grit and his incredible compassion would be a gross understatement. My thoughts and prayers are with his great family at this time.

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Legislators to discuss bills that aim to increase transparency of local government

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
February 1, 2018

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

Legislators to discuss bills that aim to increase transparency of local government

 What:
Reps. Gage Froerer, Keven Stratton, Rep. Mike McKell and Sen. Curtis Bramble to talk about H.B. 224, County Government Change Election Amendments, which aims to return government to the citizens of Utah counties. And H.B. 175, Oversight Committee Creation, that would create a Joint Committee on Governmental Oversight to increase the transparency, efficiency of state and local governmental entities.

Where:
Capitol Building, Presentation Room
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Friday, February 2, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.

Who:
Rep. Gage Froerer, District 8
Rep. Keven Stratton, District 48
Rep. Mike McKell, District 66
Sen. Curtis Bramble, District 16

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Protecting children who have Down syndrome

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
January 18, 2018

Protecting children who have Down syndrome

What:
Representative Karianne Lisonbee and Senator Curt Bramble to discuss legislation that enacts important protections for children who have Down syndrome.

Who:
Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, District 14
Senator Curt Bramble, District 16
Bill Duncan, Senior Fellow, Sutherland Institute
Kathi Aultman, MD FACOG

Where:
Utah State Capitol – Hall of Governors
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

 When:
Monday, January 22, 2018, at 11:30 a.m.

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

Trauma-Informed Legislative Workgroup

Press Release
For Immediate Release
January 18, 2018

Standing Up for Trauma Victims in a Bipartisan Manner

SALT LAKE CITY – Representative Ken Ivory (R-West Jordan) and Senator Luz Escamilla (D-Salt Lake) announced their proposed bipartisan legislation, H.B. 177 Trauma-Informed Justice Provisions, that would enable and assist victims of crime, during the Trauma Informed Justice Solutions panel discussion on January 16, 2018. The mission of the workgroup is to eradicate re-traumatization of victims in Utah by establishing trauma-informed systems that are sensitive to and aware of the needs of victims.

“A traumatized person thinks differently than they did before,” said Jenny Livsey, crime survivor, and advocate. “The criminal justice system is a foreign place. My role as a victim is to survive, and I need someone to show me how.”

Under the current system, the workgroup says victims are often re-traumatized by their experiences with the criminal justice system. The workgroup is calling for a process that understands traumatized victims and carefully assists individuals seeking help.

“H.B. 177 is the first step in moving our state to trauma-informed practices that will help improve survivors’ experiences,” said Sen. Escamilla.

The goals of this proposed legislation include:

  • Reduced the likelihood of re-victimization, leading to less accumulative adverse childhood experiences, less behavioral risk-taking, fewer negative health impacts, and reduce state spending on healthcare
  • Increase the likelihood that victims will engage with the Criminal Justice System in the future by supporting a more positive experience, which in turn enables improved healing and coping skills by connecting victims with available resources

“I have learned from my constituents over the years that the way we treat traumatized victims matters tremendously for the effective, efficient and respectful administration of criminal justice,” said Rep. Ivory. “We can do a better job system-wide to protect the important role victims have in our criminal justice system.”

H.B. 177 will establish a Multi-Disciplinary Trauma-Informed Committee tasked with creating a trauma-informed justice program. The committee will conduct a study of current and

recommended trauma-informed policies, procedures, programs and practices in Utah’s criminal and juvenile justice system including:

  • The role of victim advocates and victim services in the criminal and juvenile justice system
  • How to implement the option of a comprehensive, seamless victim-advocate system that:
    • Is based on the best interests of victims
    • Assists victims throughout the criminal and juvenile justice system
    • Assist with the progress of recovering from trauma experienced as a result of being a victim of crime

“Victims are tasked with navigating a system for which they are simply not prepared to navigate,” said Amy Coombs, Masters in Social Work, Certified Social Work Manager. “The best way to evaluate how we operate systems of service in the criminal justice system is to ask crime victims/survivors for feedback. We should listen attentively to this feedback, and then react accordingly.”

“Many resources have been dedicated to worthy efforts such as the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and other efforts to enhance trauma-informed justice,” said Turner Bitton, Executive Director UCASA. “However, that process has often focused on offenders and not victims. This legislation is a critical first step in resolving that disparity and expanding the opportunities for victims of sexual assault. We are pleased to support this great legislation.”

Members of the workgroup include the Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice (CCJJ); The Utah Office for Victims of Crime (UOVC); The Office on Domestic and Sexual Violence; the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA); Turner Bitton, executive director at UCASA; Amy Coombs, M.S.W, CSWM; Jenny Livsey, crime victim/survivor; Rhiannon Livsey, crime victim/survivor; Donna Kelly, deputy district attorney, Salt Lake City; and Gary Scheller, director of the UOVC.

Sen. Escamilla and Rep. Ivory will continue to work on this bipartisan issue to pass legislation that will meet the expressed needs of survivors of crime victims, such as Jenny Livsey and her family, during the 2018 General Session.

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

Jon Hennington
Utah Senate
jhennington@le.utah.gov

 

 

Speaker Hughes statement about the new LDS president

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
January 16, 2018

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


Speaker Hughes statement about the new LDS president

Salt Lake City – Speaker Greg Hughes issued this statement following the announcement of Russell M. Nelson as the new president The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

“Russell M. Nelson has dedicated his life to serving others through his work as a renowned surgeon and medical researcher to diligently fulfilling his numerous callings,” said Speaker Greg Hughes. “I have the utmost confidence that he will fulfill his new role as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the same excellence as he has demonstrated time and time again.”

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Aiming to decrease prescription drug prices

Press Release
For Immediate Release
January 11, 2018

 

SALT LAKE CITY – Prescription drug prices have been on the rise, leaving some concerned how they will afford to refill their prescription. Representative Norm Thurston is sponsoring a bill, H.B. 163 Prescription Drug Importation Program, during the 2018 General Session, which aims to help alleviate some of the cost of prescription drugs for Utah residents by implementing a state-run prescription drug importation program that will create a safe, cost-effective, wholesale import for a select group of prescriptions.

On average, the price of prescription drugs in Canada is 30 percent less than in the United States. The legislation is designed to save Utahns a significant amount of money on their prescriptions, and it includes standards to ensure that the savings go directly into the pockets of Utahns.

“The United States is one of the largest, most loyal purchasers of prescription drugs, though, we are paying much more than other major purchasers,” said Thurston. “We need to take initiative to lower prescription drug costs for life-saving medicine. Utah is more than capable to administer a well-run state importation program.”

The U.S. drug market heavily relies on importation to supply the U.S. market. Currently:

  • 80 percent of raw ingredients for drugs made in the United States are imported from China and other countries;
  • 40 percent of finished drugs used in the United States are manufactured in other countries;
  • The S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had a cooperative agreement addressing drug regulatory matters with Canada for years, more than 30 Canadian drug manufacturers are FDA-registered to produce drugs for U.S. markets; and
  • About 20 percent of drugs licensed for the Canadian market are made in the United States.

“Rising pharmaceutical costs continue to be the most volatile part of the state budget in providing healthcare to its employees,” said Chet Loftis, managing director of PEHP Health & Benefits. “We deeply appreciate the opportunity to work with Rep. Thurston on H.B. 163, and policymakers in general, in lending our expertise on matters of public importance and actively exploring ways to reduce healthcare costs to the state.”

The safety and purity of the imported prescriptions is a crucial standard in the bill. The bill complies with federal regulations governing drug importation that require guarantees of drug safety and consumer savings. In addition, the legislation requires federal approval from the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The legislation will safeguard the quality and safety of imported drugs by:

  • Contracting with licensed, regulated drug wholesalers and distributors in Utah and Canada;
  • Importing only drugs licensed for sale in Canada;
  • Testing imported products for purity on a sample basis if needed; and
  • Limiting distribution of imported drugs to only Utah.

The legislation will deliver significant consumer savings by:

  • Monitoring market competition among Utah wholesalers;
  • Ensuring that consumers pay similar prices to those charged in Canada; and
  • Widely publicizing the prices of the imported products so consumers know what they can expect to pay.

Thurston assembled a working group of stakeholders, including state agencies, commercial health plans, pharmacists and community clinics in early 2017 to outline how a wholesale importation program should operate in Utah.

The bill is modeled after legislation developed by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), a nonpartisan group that works closely with state policymakers to develop state legislative and regulatory strategies to rein in pharmaceutical costs.

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

 Naturalization Ceremony to be held at the Capitol

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
January 10, 2018

 

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

 Naturalization Ceremony for Approximately 130 Citizenship Applicants 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, January 12 at the Utah State Capitol.

The keynote speaker, Bassam Salem, will share is his story of a becoming a U.S. citizen. Salem was born in Egypt, lived in France and England as a child then came to the U.S. as a teenager to attend university.

Rep. Norm Thurston will serve as master of ceremonies. Laura McNeer, field office director for USCIS, will administer the Oath of Allegiance. Cytel Schultz will perform the U.S. National Anthem. A video welcome message from President Donald Trump.

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

 Who:  
Rep. Norm Thurston, District 64
Bassam Salem, CEO at AtlasRTX
Laura McNeer, USCIS Field Office Director

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

When:
Friday, January 12, 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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