The interim has been productive for the legislature. To keep up on committee reports, interim highlights, and interim schedules, visit the legislative website. Below, click the link to access the newsletter for the month of May, including thoughts about Memorial Day, a visit from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, clean air legislation passed during the general session and signed by Governor Herbert, and other highlights. Thank you for your continued support!
Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots organization within the state that advocates for economic freedom, tracked the votes of the legislature to develop a scorecard of individual legislators and their dedication to economic freedom in Utah. I received the Defender of Economic Freedom Award for voting for less government regulation and not voting for tax increases. It was a great honor for me. Click here for an article about this process and here to see the full scorecard.
I visited Coach Whitt with my son Jason and nephew Eric. He was very gracious with his time and it was great talking about the upcoming season. Go Utes!
An internet article published by the University of Utah talked about a new class promoting community engagement in the legislative process. I had the privilege of visiting with some of these students during the session when they came to Capitol Hill to advocate. Below is the link if you would like to read about their experience.
I would like to thank everyone who responded to my survey, either through mail or email, and the email helmet poll. I used the information to guide my votes during the session. Use the links below to view the results.
The 2017 General Legislative Session is officially over. 535 bills have been passed this session. A lot was accomplished over the seven weeks allotted us.
After the final committee meetings, HB 395 that aims to reduce balance billing for ER services passed the House 39-34 during evening floor time. I was very happy to have my wife, Vicki, with me for the presentation.
In the middle of a day full of floor time, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with a delegation from Angola and São Tomé about addressing public corruption. It was very good to meet with them and discuss recent investigations in Utah.
I also received a visit from a former intern. Sierra was my intern during the 2015 session. It was great to visit with her.
Day 45 was the final day of the session. I was happy to be joined by a constituent on the floor in the morning and be joined by my family in the evening.
After a long and fruitful day, the Legislature ended at midnight. Governor Gary Herbert spoke to the House, praising the hard work that was accomplished during the 45 day session. After his remarks and comments from House leadership, the Legislature adjourned sine die.
After the session, I attended the regional robotics competition at the Maverik Center with my family. It was great to see science and technology in action!
Weekly Fun Fact
My wife, Vicki, and I love hiking Bryce Canyon.
Crunch time is here. The board has been wiped, meaning that bills can be prioritized so that priority bills will have a better chance of being heard.
On Monday, the Red Cross was in the Capitol. My intern and I both volunteered to donate blood.
I also presented two of my bills during afternoon floor time: HB 336 Health Reform Amendments and 2HR 2 Resolution Modifying House Rules.
For Mardi Gras, a fellow representative brought beads for everyone. Fat Tuesday also marked the first day of evening floor time, giving us a taste of what Week 7 will be like.
After presenting bills and commenting on others, I had some fun with the Business and Labor committee that I chair. SB 159 Helmet Requirement Amendments would require people riding motorcycles to wear helmets up to age 21 rather than just 18 as dictated by current law.
Food Truck Friday came to the Capitol. My intern and I enjoyed eating outside in the nice weather and supporting small businesses.
HB 442 Alcohol Amendments also came to the floor to be debated. This bill adapts current alcohol law. While there are still concerns, many feel this is a step forward.
Weekly Fun Fact
I love playing volleyball and have been playing for years. I will be participating in the US Nationals this Spring.