Category: Media Statement

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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Speaker Hughes statement about the passing of LDS president and prophet

Speaker Hughes statement about the passing of LDS president and prophet

Salt Lake City – Speaker Greg Hughes issued this statement following the passing of Thomas S. Monson, president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

I was saddened to learn that President Thomas Monson has passed away. While we mourn the loss of an exceptional man, we also honor his remarkable life that he dedicated to serving others. When he spoke, people all over Utah, the country and the world listened. He truly understood that when you are in the service of your fellow man you are in the service of God. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and members of the LDS church during this time.

Speaker Hughes statement on the nomination of Dr. Harris to serve as U.S. Marshal for the District of Utah

For Immediate Release
November 17, 2017

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

Speaker Hughes statement on the nomination of Dr. Matthew Harris to serve as U.S. Marshal for the District of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY –  Speaker Greg Hughes issued the following statement following President Trump’s announcement to nominate Dr. Matthew D. Harris to serve as the United States Marshal for the District of Utah:

“Dr. Matthew Harris is an excellent choice to serve as U.S. Marshal for the District of Utah. He has advised me on various law enforcement issues as well as public policy recommendations related to waste fraud and abuse. He is highly qualified to serve in this role.

“I appreciate President Trump’s selection of a topnotch expert to serve in our great state and Senator Orrin Hatch for his influence and confidence in recommending Dr. Harris for this important position. I look forward to working closely with him in his new capacity.”

Dr. Harris, formerly of Utah, is currently an Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General. Dr. Harris previously served as a Senior Special Agent and Assistant Director for criminal investigations at the United States Government Accountability Office. Dr. Harris served in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Salt Lake City from 2000 to 2006 and in the New York State Office of Inspector General from 1999 to 2000.

His federal law enforcement career began in 1997 with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Since 2003, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Salt Lake Community College.

Dr. Harris holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Northcentral University, a Master of Public Administration from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and Criminal Justice from Kutztown University.

Notes:
The White House press release can be found here: President Donald J. Trump Announces Ninth Wave of United States Attorney Nominations and Third Wave of United States Marshal Nominations

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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.

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.

Statement: Utah House of Representatives Chief of Staff Statement on Utah’s 3rd Congressional District Vacancy

For Immediate Release
May 18, 2017 

 

Utah House of Representatives Cheif of Staff Statement on Utah’s 3rd Congressional District Vacancy

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Utah House of Representatives Chief of Staff Greg Hartley issued the following statement on the resignation of Congressman Jason Chaffetz:

“Article 1 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Code Title 2 clearly state that the Legislature is responsible for prescribing the process for elections. This is a separation of powers issue. The House and Senate Majority caucuses are unanimous in their support for a special session.

“House Minority Leader Brian King has made it clear, as have the Chairs of the Republican and Democrat parties – the Legislature is responsible for defining how elections are run. Speaker Hughes remains committed to defending the legislative process and calls on Governor Herbert to convene a special session of the Legislature to vote a clearly defined process into law.”

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Media Statement: Democratic Leader Supports Special Session on Elections Guidelines

Media Statement
For Immediate Release: May 17, 2017

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

Democratic Leader Supports Special Session on Elections Guidelines

Salt Lake City – House Democratic Leader Brian King released a statement today declaring his support for a special session to detail the laws guiding special elections in Utah.

He said, “We are talking about the fundamentals of our government – checks and balances. Defining how elections are run is a legislative power. We may have a lot in common with how the Governor would like a special election to run, but it is not his prerogative. The legislature is responsible for those decisions.

There is a need to provide clarity in our current law. There is an imminent special election. Why should Utah lose a seat at the table when critical decisions are being made about our lands and our water? There is urgency here and the legislature should address it. I support a special session.”

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Joint Statement: Utah House and Senate Applauds Executive Order to Review Antiquates Act

 

Joint Statement
For Immediate Release
May 1, 2017

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

 Utah House and Senate Applauds Executive Order to Review Antiquates Act

SALT LAKE CITY – Last week President Donald Trump signed an executive order to review National Monument designations, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah. Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, Reps. Keven Stratton and Mike Noel and Sens. David Hinkins and Margaret Dayton are pleased to release the following joint statement:

We applaud President Trump’s executive order calling for a review of his predecessors’ use of the Antiquities Act, including the designations of Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National monuments in flagrant violation of the will of the people in those areas. The order acknowledges and respects the resolutions passed by the Utah State Legislature during the 2017 General Session, urging action to correct this blatant executive overreach by rescinding or reducing the designations.

Utah has endured more than 20 years with the devastating consequences of these unilateral decisions that have restricted access, weakened local economies and corroded our rural communities. Such is the result when a president, far removed from the repercussions of his decisions, ignores input from those most impacted by local land management policies – the very people who know and love these lands the most. We are confident that as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visits our state and applies the criteria specified in the recent executive order, he will see that reducing or rescinding these monuments is both appropriate and necessary. We look forward to Secretary Zinke’s visit and further action by President Trump on Utah’s national monuments.

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Speaker Hughes statement in support of Salt Lake County press conference concerning jail beds

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2017

Speaker Hughes statement in support of Salt Lake County press conference concerning jail beds

SALT LAKE CITY –  Speaker Greg Hughes issued the following statement regarding the Salt Lake County press conference to announce funding for jail beds.

“As I stated in my opening remarks this past legislative session, homelessness is a statewide issue and every community has a role to play. We must protect the most vulnerable amongst us by arresting the wolves who prey upon them. Today’s announcement is another key step to address this issue. I’m encouraged and supportive of the plan to address the jail bed situation in Salt Lake County and remain a committed partner in solving this crisis.” – Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes.

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Media Statement: Historic Milestone as Legislature Opens 2017 General Session

Media Statement
For Immediate Release:
January 23, 2017

Contact:
Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director
Utah House Minority Caucus
801-835-7087 | econverse@le.utah.gov

Historic Milestone as Legislature Opens 2017 General Session

 Salt Lake City – For the first time in Utah legislative history, the two most senior members of the House of Representatives are both women and Democrats. Representatives Patrice Arent and Carol Spackman Moss hold the distinction of having served 16 sessions at the legislature. 

Representative Arent said, “This is a historic time for women in Utah for many reasons. We will see the largest march at the Utah Capitol today led by women and for women’s rights. Women are a vital part of our state’s economy. Women are vital to the very fabric that created our beautiful state. We are proud to serve as legislators and continue the work.” 

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