Dear Friends in Senate 15 ~ Today is the last Friday of the Legislature!
Today is not the last day since we meet next week- but we will, by Constitutional directive, adjournon Thursday next.
There continues to be serious budget discussions – and while many may not find budget discussions to be griping, these issues determine what happens to the money taxed away from Utah taxpayers.
The majority of our state budget goes to education and the rest of the budget is divided among social services, health and human services, courts and corrections, economic development, natural resources issues (state parks, wildlife, water) military affairs and other state government needs. All legislators are involved in reviewing portions of the budget – and it will be finalized the early part of next week. The state budget, also by Constitutional directive, will be a balanced budget.
Speaking of money issues, Senator Hillyard presented an issue this week with the support of the Utah State Treasurer. His bill addresses the enforcement of the responsibilities and requirements for abandoned or unclaimed property. He reminds us to check this link: http://new.mycash.utah.gov/ to see if we have unclaimed funds that would come to us. Financial issues have always been a priority of the state.
A picture of my intern by one of the original safes placed in the Capitol over 100 years ago.
We continue to take time to recognize visitors to the Senate:
Pictured here with Senator Escamilla is a RSL Forward Jordan Allen – who, besides his passion and expertise in soccer, visited the Senate because of his interest in politics. Jordan and the ReAl Salt Lake team will kick off the 2017 season at home versus Toronto FC this Saturday, March 4, at2:30 in Rio Tinto Stadium.
Another brief pause of recognition was given to advertise the upcoming Sports Hall of Fame event to be held later this year. Pictured are Hall of Famers – Chad Lewis and his wife Michele, Ron McBride (who – btw – hugged this cougar fan!!), Dick Rosetta (former Tribune Sports writer), and Vic Deauvono with the Sports Commission.
Not all visitors to the Capitol are athletes – the Cat in the Hat also visited to promote reading
And earlier this week I was delighted to meet with and hold a mock committee meeting with Girl Scouts from my district.
We have had many energy discussions this session. Some groups oppose all development of our natural resources. SITLA (School Institutional Trust Lands Administration) has responsibility for generating funds for education on the parcels of trust lands deeded to them at statehood. In conjunction with the State Office of Energy, SITLA leaders are developing education programs and advertisements to help our citizens better understand the benefits of wise resource development. You can view one of those preliminary infomercials here:
As always – you can listen to committees or watch the Senate (or House) debate live or archived by going here: http://le.utah.gov/. The tabs on the left of this site will allow you to access various legislators, bills, and committees. The ‘Audio · Video’ tab in the middle of the screen will allow you to listen or watch live and past committee meetings if you do not have the opportunity to visit the Capitol. The House and Senate Floor while the ‘Calendar’ tab will show the times and locations of these meetings.
It is my honor to represent District 15 – the best district in the best state in the best nation in the world.
Yours for freedom ~