Utah Cap Haps Blog

Friday, January 30, 2015

Week One Review

Capitol Pic of the Day

The first week of the 2015 General Session of the Utah State Legislature is now complete. The new Speaker, Greg Hughes, was sworn in on opening day, January 26th. His remarks to the House of Representatives consisted of a challenge to fellow lawmakers to remain committed to addressing the most challenging and important issues facing our state.

Swearing in Speaker Greg Hughes

We spent most of our floor time reviewing bills that were in progress from the last general session, as well as bills that the various interim committees have been working on throughout 2014. You can listen to those discussions here.

The Legislature has eight appropriations subcommittees that are tasked with reviewing specific portions of the state budget. Out of these committees come various budget recommendations to the executive appropriations committee. This week, we reviewed base budgets. Each government department has been asked to represent to these committees what a two percent budget cut would look like and what types of adjustments they would make if a reduction were necessary. This exercise helps identify the critical areas and where there is flexibility to make potential changes.

Swearing in the new freshman class of the 2015 Legislature
Standing committees hear specific bills being considered during the session that relate to the area of expertise of a given committee. Some examples are Economic Development and Workforce Services, Transportation, or Political Subdivisions. If the bill originates from the House, it will be heard in a House standing committee first. If it originates from the Senate, it will be heard in a Senate standing committee first. These meetings are held in the afternoon and all citizens have the opportunity to attend, listen, and even participate in these meetings.

You can find my assigned committees on the right side of this blog page if you are interested in listening to the hearings and reviewing the materials that were presented.

Greeting the American Preparatory Academy
In the meantime, I have sent out a survey to obtain input from constituents. You can access this survey on my website, or in the top right corner of this blog. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.