Category: Press Release

Utah House Majority Selects 2017/18 Leadership Team

Utah House Majority Selects 2017/18 Leadership Team

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, the Utah House Majority elected their leadership team that will lead the caucus into the 2017 legislative session. They are as follows:

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Press Release: Opting Out of Daylight Saving Time – Rep. Norm Thurston

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Nov. 3, 2016

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


Opting Out of Daylight Saving Time

Rep. Norm Thurston’s proposed draft legislation for the upcoming session

SALT LAKE CITY – On Sunday, November 6, Daylight Saving Time will end, Utahns will turn their clocks back one-hour losing an hour of daylight in the evening. Rep. Norm Thurston, district 64, has drafted legislation for the upcoming 2017 General Session to allow the public to formally weigh in on ending the changing of the clocks ritual. The bill would send this issue directly to Utahns to vote on – in the next general election – whether to end participation in Daylight Saving Time or continue the bi-annual time switch.

“This is a perennial issue at the legislature and constituents want a definitive action taken,” said Rep. Thurston. “We have invested a lot of resources gathering public input, but have not mustered the political will to do anything. Now it is time to let Utahns voice their opinion in an official capacity so we can end this discussion once and for all.”

In a non-scientific survey conducted by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, 66.5 percent of respondents want to continually fall back and do away with changing the clocks. Only 15.4 percent of respondents wanted to keep the current system.

“Changing the clocks in the spring and fall has real impacts on physical and emotional health and productivity,” said Rep. Thurston. “This is the most frequently raised concern for my constituents and am I sure for many legislators. The people who are affected by the changing clocks really have a hard time and they make their voices heard. I hear most often from parents with special needs children and from adults with health issues that are sensitive to changes in routine.”

Daylight Saving Time was established throughout the United States by the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The law also granted each state the right to opt out of DST without federal approval and two have done so – Hawaii and Arizona. Lawmakers in Alaska and nearly a dozen other states are debating similar measures.

If Utah decides to join Arizona and opt out of Daylight Saving Time, the sun would come up earlier in the morning and set earlier in the evening during the summer season.

Rep. Thurston said, “Businesses, employers and others would be free to adjust their opening and closing times and work schedules to start and end earlier if they wish.”

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News stories:

Daylight Saving Time could be on the ballot in Utah in 2018 – Fox 13 News

This weekend’s time change could be one of Utah’s last – ABC 4 Utah

Legislator wants to do away with Daylight Saving Time in Utah – KUTV

Lawmaker wants Utahns to vote on dumping daylight saving time – SL Trib

Press Release: White House Releases State Call to Action Initiative on Non-Compete Agreements

Press Release
For Immediate Release
October 25, 2016

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

White House Releases State Call to Action Initiative on Non-Compete Agreements

SALT LAKE CITY – Today the White House released suggested policy objectives in their State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements. Included in these guidelines are suggestions from a working group convened earlier this year that Speaker Greg Hughes and Representative Mike Schultz were pleased to be a part of.  

“It was our honor to collaborate, in a bipartisan way, to help develop recommendations that will not only benefit employees in Utah but individual workers across the country,” said Speaker Greg Hughes. “Companies should not have the right to treat people as property and the elimination of most non-compete agreements makes such treatment significantly less likely. The result of state-level reforms will increase the free flow of the workforce and the competition within it.”

During the 2016 legislative session, Rep. Mike Schultz sponsored H.B. 251 that limited post-employment restrictive covenants, known as non-compete agreements, to one year and established that if a non-compete agreement is determined unenforceable through arbitration or civil action then the employer is liable for costs and damages to the employee. This bill will result in less abuse and misuse of non-compete agreements.  

“Here in Utah we strongly believe in the freedom of employers to hire and fire at will,” said Representative Mike Schultz. “We also must, just as vigorously, defend the rights of workers to pursue employment opportunities within their field of expertise. That is our free market economy in action. This state call to action framework will help us build on the progress we made in Utah to ensure employees are able to use their best skills to provide for their family.”

Entrepreneur Josh James, founder and CEO of the Utah-based technology company Domo, added his support: “Non-compete agreements, by their name, fly in the face of competition by stifling the free market for good talent, making it harder for companies to hire and discouraging entrepreneurs from starting new businesses,” said James. “I am encouraged by the national call to action for the elimination of non-competes across all states. Eliminating non-competes will make our economy stronger by requiring employers to up their game and build better companies and better products that attract and retain great talent.”

During the debate on H.B. 251, several stakeholders in Utah came together to form an informal working group on non-compete agreements. This group has been focused on gathering information and data to inform any future legislative action. The results of that effort, as well as the recommendations and reports coming from the White House, will bolster policy discussions and recommendations on post-employment restrictive covenants in Utah.

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ATTACHMENT:

State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements