Gender on the Hill

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.

GENDER ON THE HILL

Constituent Survey and Poll Results

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.

Constituent Survey Handout

Helmet Poll Results

Week 7 Update: End of Session

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.

Monday

Happy to have my wife, Vicki, with me for the presentation of HB 395

Presenting HB 395

HB 395 passed the House 39-34

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.

Tuesday

Meeting with a delegation from Angola and São Tomé

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.

Thursday

Great to have Andy join me on the House floor

My wife and my daughter’s family joined me in the Capitol for the final day of the session

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.

Governor Gary Herbert praises the Legislature for their hard work during the session

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.

Saturday

Fun with robots and my family

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.

Week 6 Update

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.

Monday

Pausing in the Capitol to give blood

My intern and I saving lives

On Monday, the Red Cross was in the Capitol. My intern and I both volunteered to donate blood.

I was kept busy on the Floor this afternoon

I also presented two of my bills during afternoon floor time: HB 336 Health Reform Amendments and 2HR 2 Resolution Modifying House Rules.

Tuesday

Mardi Gras!

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.

Thursday

“Business and Labor, let’s ride!”

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.

Friday

Happy for food trucks and nice weather

Food Truck Friday came to the Capitol. My intern and I enjoyed eating outside in the nice weather and supporting small businesses.

Representative Dunnigan asking the sponsor some questions about HB 442 Alcohol Amendments

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.

Week 5 Update

With Washington and Lincoln Day on Monday, it was a short week here on the Hill. There was still much to do in the four days that we did have.

Tuesday

Presenting HB 395 with some individuals who have been affected by balance billing

On Tuesday, I had my hands full with presenting two bills in the committee that I also chair right before running over into my town hall meeting. HB 395 targeting emergency room balance billing was again featured on the news with different information from last week’s news story (link). I also presented HB 376.

Meeting with constituents at my town hall

Good turnout and great comments at my town hall

After both committee presentations, I rushed over to my town hall meeting. It was great to review the results of survey, talk about hot topics and concerns, and get to know some of my constituents a little better.

Wednesday

I love cookies and cream ice cream!

Aggie Ice Cream Day is my favorite day here at the Capitol. I look forward to it all session.

Thursday

During floor time, we received a visit from Mark Eaton, a former Utah Jazz player. It’s interesting to not be the tallest one in the room.

Visiting with residents of the Haven

I was also very pleased to meet with some of the residents of the Haven. It is great that our state gives many people opportunities for a second chance.

Weekly Fun Fact

I am 6’5″. Ronald McDonald must be too!

Week 4 Update

Week 4 marks the middle of the session. We are more than halfway there and things are really starting to roll.

Monday

The surveys I have received (as of February 10)

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.

Tuesday

Being interviewed by Matt Gephardt about a bill I’m working on

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).

Wednesday

Presenting one of my bills to the House

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.

Friday

I enjoyed a visit from my niece, Emily.

Mayor Johnson sitting with me on the floor

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.

Week 3 Update

The weeks are starting to fly by. Week 3 was another busy and meeting-filled one here at the Capitol.

Tuesday

Shining Light Commonwealth School

Teaching the students about the legislative process

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.

Thursday

Congressman Stewart addresses the House

Congressman Chaffetz speaks to the Majority Caucus

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.

Friday

Visiting with students about processing rape test kits

Me, Gender on the Hill students, and my intern

Congressman Bishop visits the Utah House

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.

Week 2 Update

The session is starting to quickly pick up speed. It has been a very busy second week at the Capitol.

Monday

Getting ready for a Business and Labor standing committee meeting

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.

Tuesday

Meeting with the Utah Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation

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

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

Coach Kalani (BYU), Coach Whittingham (Utah), Coach Warren (SUU), Coach McClure (Dixie), Coach Hill (Weber), Coach Wells (USU)

My intern waving the Utah flag for me and getting a fist bump for it from Coach Whitt

Coach Whitt discussing his program at the U

Coach Whitt and I

Guest lecturing at the U about healthcare in Utah

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.

Friday

Meeting with some of my constituents

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.

2017 General Session Week 1

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.

Monday

My wife, Vicki, and the Speaker of the House

Taking the oath of office

My cute grandkids and I

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!

Wednesday

The Taylorsville City Youth Council

Visiting with the youth about their policy passions

It was great to let them know what is going on in the legislature this session

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.

Friday

Presenting HJR 6 in committee

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.