Week 4 marks the middle of the session. We are more than halfway there and things are really starting to roll.
The surveys have continued to come in. I have already started using the feedback to guide my votes and I look forward to reviewing the questions and results at my town hall meeting.
Day 23 is the middle of the 45 day session. Between other meetings, I was interviewed by Get Gephardt from KUTV Channel 2 News about a bill I am working on. The story aired on the 10:00 PM news on Wednesday (link).
On Wednesday, I was able to present two of my bills to the House: HB 42 and HCR 13. Both of them passed the House.
On Friday, I was joined by a few different individuals on the floor of the House. I was joined by my niece, a third grader who is very interested in government, and Mayor Johnson from Taylorsville.
Weekly Fun Fact
My sweet wife, Vicki, has been my valentine for 42 wonderful years.
The weeks are starting to fly by. Week 3 was another busy and meeting-filled one here at the Capitol.
The Shining Light Commonwealth School brought their constitution class to the Capitol to have a tour and learn about my role as a legislator. They asked a lot of good questions.
Congressman Christ Stewart visited the Utah House and addressed Congress’ priorities for this year. Congressman Jason Chaffetz also came and visited the Majority Caucus to report on his meeting with the president.
It was good to talk with some passionate students about sexual assault and getting rape kits processed. Congressman Bishop also addressed the Utah House and discussed the importance of state input in federal decisions.
Weekly Fun Fact
I always smile when any of my four grandchildren are around.
The session is starting to quickly pick up speed. It has been a very busy second week at the Capitol.
After a controversial day on the floor, I headed to the Business and Labor standing committee that I chair. It is good to be back chairing that committee with Representative Marc Roberts.
On Tuesday, the Utah Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation met with Representative Dunnigan in his office in the Capitol. They are a student advocacy group interested in the potential of bringing nuclear energy production and use to Utah, which would provide employment, education, and other opportunities to our state. It was interesting to learn about possible energy production alternatives that could benefit our state.
Wednesday was the busiest day by far. I did a training session for my fellow representatives on procedures for standing committees, left that quickly to present my bill HCR 13 in committee, and then headed straight to the Business and Labor standing committee to chair it.
Thursday was my favorite day this week. A great surprise was planned for our Majority Caucus meeting. The head football coaches for all of the universities in Utah came and spoke to us and I had the pleasure of introducing Coach Whitt from the University of Utah. I enlisted the help of my Aggie intern in waving the flag that I keep in my office. Later that afternoon, I was able to guest lecture at the U, my alma mater, on the future of healthcare in Utah. It was a great Utah day.
Amid all of my other meetings on Friday, I was able to meet with some of my constituents and even have some of them join me on the floor. Thank you for coming to the Capitol, whether pictured or not.
Weekly Fun Fact
I keep a University of Utah flag in my office as well as a small football that plays the fight song.
The first week of the 2017 General Session was off to a busy start. I have been working hard to make sure that my bills are ready for committee and for Utah.
I was thrilled to have my wife with me on the House floor for the opening ceremony. My daughter, Jill, joined us. She has been to the opening day of every session. My son, Jason, and his family were also able to be there in the gallery. One of the best parts was getting to see two of my cute grandkids!
On City Youth Council Day on the Hill, the Taylorsville City Youth Council stopped by my office in the Capitol to say hello. It was great to talk with them about some of the issues that will be coming to the floor during this session. They are a smart group of kids and do good work for our community.
I was able to present my first bill in committee today: HJR 6. If it passes, it will help streamline the legislative process in both the House and the Senate.
Weekly Fun Fact
My favorite food group is ice cream, especially Cookies and Cream.
Below is a clarifying press release regarding ABU’s recent false claims regarding my vote to move the Utah State Prison. Thank you UAATP.
“The Utah Association of Addiction Treatment Providers strongly condemns the efforts of the Alliance for a Better Utah to distort the record of Representative Jim Dunnigan.
Through an independent expenditure campaign, ABU would let voters believe that Representative Dunnigan supported legislation to move the Utah State Prison to profit developers.
We at UAATP know nothing could be further from the truth. As an organization formed to fight for the rights of people with substance use disorders and mental health issues, UAATP approached representative Dunnigan to carry the message that any new facility must be built with the intention of serving needs of those suffering from these diagnoses in a therapeutic manner. It was only after our concerns were met that Representative Dunnigan agreed to support the legislation.
With that in mind we ask the voters to tell ABU to stop distorting Representative Dunnigan’s record.” – UAATP
Dear Fellow Utahn,
I am writing you today because my good friend, Republican Representative Jim Dunnigan, needs your support. Your vote matters on every level: federal, state, and local. If you don’t submit your ballot, we run the risk of Democrats picking up seats in Utah.
Jim has worked on the issues that matter most to Taylorsville and Kearns. He has fought to increase education funding by $275 million just this year without raising taxes. He supports our hardworking teachers and Utah’s most precious resource, our children.
Jim has fought the Obama agenda in order to defend states’ rights. He knows decisions are best made at the local level, not by Washington, D.C. bureaucrats. He has fought federal overreach in education and healthcare.
Jim is a small business owner right here in Taylorsville. He understands the struggles of running a business, making payroll and dealing with burdensome government regulations. Jim defends small business and champions economic development. His leadership has helped Utah become the best state for business.
I wholeheartedly support Jim Dunnigan and encourage you to do the same by mailing in your ballot.
Governor of Utah
This week I hosted a neighborhood meeting with Salt Lake County Council Member Aimee Winder Newton and Taylorsville City Council Member Brad Christopherson. We had the privilege of discussing healthcare law, education funding, and the upcoming presidential elections with Taylorsville constituents. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know those who attended and the causes they care most about.
If you missed this meeting, don’t worry. I’m hosting another neighborhood meeting with Mayor Johnson later this month. Follow this link to learn more. I’d love to hear about your questions and concerns.
There’s been a change in how voting is done this year in Utah. Here’s what you need to know:
1. All registered voters will now automatically receive a ballot in the mail. Haven’t registered yet? Follow this link to do so.
2. Fill out your ballot and sign it.
3. Return your ballot in the mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 7th.
4. A limited number of polling locations will still be open on Election Day: Taylorsville City Hall and Kearns Library.
Look for your ballot to arrive in the mail after Oct. 12th.
The Community Event this past weekend went incredibly well. I’m happy to report the rain didn’t keep the crowds away. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the giant inflatables, train rides, bocce ball, food, and more. Thanks to all those who came. I always enjoy talking with you and your families. I’d especially like to thank the many people who helped put the event together. To stay up-to-date on future Taylorsville and Kearns events, like and follow my Facebook page here.