Utah Cap Haps Blog

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Week Five Review

Capitol Pic of the Day


The town halls have been a way to get involved and stay up to speed about the happenings on Capitol Hill. Last Saturday was a the fifth town hall of the session. There will be one more on March 19th where I will provide a post session update of the 2016 general session. It will be held at 2:00pm at the WVC Family Fitness Center.


The long anticipated Medicaid expansion proposals are now surfacing. There are several bills that take a variety of different approaches to addressing the issue of health care access. Some of the variables that make this issue complicated include funding, federal waivers that must be approved by the federal government, and maximizing the amount of people to be covered. Each proposal will have pros and cons related to these areas. Below is a summary of a few of bills that are garnering the most attention.

SB 77, Medicaid Expansion Proposal in line with the Affordable Care Act, is designed to allow everyone who is eligible, coverage and access to the health care that they need. It also gives the governor the power to go to Washington to negotiate on behalf of the state for medicaid. The difficulty lies in how to fund this. This bill was heard in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, February 23rd. It passed out of committee with a favorable recommendation (vote: 5-1-1), and is now on the senate second reading calendar. To listen to the full committee discussion, click here.    

HB 302, Utah Medicaid Amendments expands the existing Medicaid program to individuals who are below the 138% of the federal poverty level. This bill would apply to those who are medically frail, whether or not they have employer sponsored insurance. It provides a funding mechanism for Medicaid expansion and creates the Medicaid Expansion Fund, made up of electronic smoking device taxes, savings attributable to expansion, grants, gifts, donation, private funding, and state appropriations. This bill is currently being held in the rules committee, waiting for a standing committee assignment.        

HB 411, Utah Medicaid Reform Amendments amends the existing state Medicaid program to allow for a partial expansion under certain conditions. This bill states that the department can receive approval for a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services between January 1, 2017-July 1, 2017. This waiver would allow for implementation of Medicaid expansion in the state. This includes: expanding Medicaid coverage to an individual who is below 100% of the federal poverty line, obtaining maximum federal financial participation, reimbursing providers based on Medicare rates, and including a work requirement for able-bodied adults. With this waiver, it also allows the state to adjust the specific benefits. This bill is currently in the house rules committee and is waiting to be assigned to a house standing committee.    

HB 437, Health Care Revisions is a similar to last year's Utah Cares proposal with the 70/30 federal/state match, however, the hospitals would share the 30% state share. It seeks a federal waiver and provides a funding mechanism for the waiver program. This bill seeks to target individuals whom are homeless, transitioning out of jails, or have substance abuse and mental health issues. Coverage would apply to adults with no kids in extreme poverty, as well as the adults with children that fall in 40% to 55% of poverty. The plan provides budget certainty by adjusting the designated income level in subsequent budget years according to state appropriations. It also provides rapid re-activiation for previously eligible enrollees who are exiting incarceration. This bill will be heard in the House Business and Labor Committee Monday, Feb. 29th. Click here for agenda.

Another topic that is generating a lot of interest are the two bills that call for a constitutional amendment. HJR 8, Joint Resolution Calling for a Convention to Amend the Constitution of the United States, pertains to the targeted issues of 1) fiscal restraints on the federal government, 2) limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and 3) limiting the terms of office for members of Congress. HJR 16, Joint Resolution Rescinding the Call for a Constitutional Convention rescinds past applications made by the State of Utah to Congress for a constitutional convention.


HB 289 s1, Charter School Closure Amendments passed out of the house with 66 yes votes, zero no votes, nine absent. It is now headed to the senate to be heard in the education committee.    

HB 351, Attorney General Fiscal Amendments was heard in the House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday, February 23rd. It passed out with eight yes votes and zero no votes. It is currently on the house third reading calendar and will be voted on at the beginning of next week.

HB 397, Department of Administrative Services was sent to the House Government Operations committee and will be heard on Monday morning at 8:00 AM in House room 30.  Here is a link to the agenda with more information.

SB 56, Nurse Practice Act passed out of the senate on Monday, February 22nd with 27 yes votes, zero no votes, two absent.  It was then sent to the house education committee and is waiting to be put on an agenda.


Salt Lake County Caucus

This week, the Salt Lake County Caucus discussed the topic of Health Care and listened to the various proposals in this area. Below is a summary of some of the bills we discussed.

HB 323 Continuing Care Retirement Community Amendments: This bill outlines the structure of continuing care retirement communities (CCRC). These facilities have different sections such as memory care facilities, retirement homes, and assisted living centers.  There is a $200,000-$300,000 entrance fee as well as monthly payments of about $2500. When a person leaves the community and another individual fills their spot, they may receive almost all of their entrance cost money back. Take a look at the map of the number of CCRC’s across the country. This bill is currently on the house third reading calendar and should be heard early next week.  

SCR 11 Concurrent Resolution Urging the Rescheduling of Marijuana: In 1970 congress passed the Controlled Substance Abuse Act, which also formed the DEA and the five schedules of drugs.  Under current law, it is a felony to do research on Schedule One drugs, such as cannabis. This resolution is urging congress to change to scheduling of cannabis to a Schedule Two drug so that we can do research legally. The University of Utah medical schools and other research institutions are ready to begin research as soon as the scheduling changes. There are already plans in place on how to conduct the research. This bill passed out of the Senate and is now in the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee.
In 2011 there was a measles outbreak at a certain area of a Utah school district. This small outbreak ended up costing the health department about $200,000. Last summer, the Legislature put together a working group, which consisted of pediatricians, nurses, and school officials.  Lately there has been an increase in the number of unimmunized kids. This bill seeks to address a public safety concern, while honoring parents who do not want to immunize their kids. For parents who opt out, there is a requirement to watch a 20 minute online video. The purpose of the video is to teach parents how to protect their children if there is an outbreak. This includes taking the child out of school and quarantining them for up to three weeks. The intent of the bill is not to increase the number of immunized kids, but rather it is to teach parents and kids about what to do if there is an outbreak. This bill is currently on the house third reading calendar.    
HB 308 Disease Prevention and Substance Abuse Reduction Amendments: Opioid abuse has become a nation wide epidemic. This bill amends the Utah Health Code to authorize the operation of syringe exchange programs in the state. This bill does not encourage substance abuse; instead it gives those who are already addicted safe ways to make more informed decisions. Those who are already addicted tend to use a needle more than once, which leads to Hepatitis C and AIDS which is a substantial cost within Utah's existing Medicaid program. When an addict comes in to exchange needles, they are given an educational pamphlet and verbally informed about disease information and treatment options. The goal of this program is to reduce disease and get people into treatment. This bill has the potential to save our Medicaid budget millions of dollars. There is no fiscal note on this bill because numerous nonprofits have volunteered to fund this program.


This week in the transportation committee, we reviewed SB 64, Special Group License Plate Amendments.  This bill creates the National Professional Men’s Soccer Team Support of Building Communities license plate. These license plates support a program that strengthens youth soccer, builds communities, and promotes environmental sustainability.  This special license plate would require applicants to make a $25 annual donation to the National Professional Men’s Soccer Team Support of Building Communities Restricted Account.  This account is funded by these said contributions, private contributions, and donations or grants from public or private entities.  This bill passed out of the senate and is currently on the house time certain calendar.  If this bill passes, it has an effective date of October 1, 2016.

To listen to other bills heard in my assigned committees, click on the interested committee below:

House Transportation Standing Committee


We received updated revenue estimates and learned that we have even less General Fund dollars than we had estimated last December. There was a slight growth in Education Fund, however. This means the legislature should be able to accommodate more education-related needs, and will struggle to meet needs that requested General Fund dollars.

Something to keep in mind is that student growth alone is in the budgetary range of $58M, and one percent of the WPU is approximately $27M. If you'd like to get a better sense of the state budget and how the money is spent, take a look at this link.

We will begin ranking budget items next week and expect the Executive Appropriations Committee to meet soon.


On Friday, February 26th, Speaker Hughes presented SCR 13, Concurrent Resolution Honoring Randy Horiuchi. Randy Horiuchi was an institution in Salt Lake County government.  Randy spent 22 years on the Salt Lake County Council and he also served as chairman of the Utah Democratic Party. His love and enthusiasm for politics was contagious and his public service will forever be marked by his passion and unending optimism. Many legislators shared their heartfelt memories of Randy, and his family was presented a citation in recognition of his service.

Over the past few weeks, we've heard presentations from members of our federal delegation. Here is a summary from a couple of our congressional delegation.
Congresswoman Mia Love made her annual address to the Utah Legislature on Monday, February 22. During her visit, she described how the Utah Constitution is helping guide her policymaking endeavors in the U.S. House of Representatives. During her speech to the Utah House, she thanked legislators for a good, common-sense approach to legislation by limiting bills to one subject at a time as Utah lawmakers do. She acknowledged how difficult it is to implement that approach in Congress. Rep. Love went on to say, “it takes a lot of courage to do what you do. It takes a lot of courage to be able to stand on your own and make something happen. I admire you…you have been an example to me.” The Utah House of Representatives appreciates Congresswoman Love’s time and kind words. Click here to watch her remarks (begins at 12 mins).

On Friday February 19, Congressman Jason Chaffetz made his annual report to the Utah Legislature. During his visit he addressed the medical marijuana debate, saying he would like to remove federal prohibitions on the medical use of cannabidiol, an extract believed to fight against seizures that is low in the hallucinogenic chemical, THC. Rep. Chaffetz voiced his concerns related to recreational use and said he hopes to be able to provide more clarity from the federal perspective and allow for a legally transparent way that those who have a medical need for treatment can get it. Click here to watch his remarks (begins at 19 mins).

On Fridays of each week, we've had visitors from the education community, from UEA to the PTA. It's been great to visit with our educators and parent volunteers. I had the privilege of recognizing Mrs. Debbie Gatrell who teaches Social Studies at Hunter High. She recently earned her National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification and was recognized on the House floor for her achievement.

Visiting with the PTA, discussing education
I also had the opportunity to visit with members of the PTA and visited with a few constituents from the district.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Week Four Review

Capitol Pic of the Day

Medical Marijuana Update:

SB 89, Medical Cannabidiol Amendments passed the senate second reading with 26 to 3 and is now on the senate third reading calendar where it will be up for final passage. This bill provides limited access to the plant and requires the medical cannabidiol to be high in CBD and low in THC. If this bill passes, it would allow for five dispensaries throughout the state. These dispensaries would have the capacity to serve 10,000 to 20,000 people. Each dispensaries would also have a consultant pharmacist to ensure all aspects of the medical qualities of the dispensaries and their products. It is important to note that if this bill passes, change will not happen overnight. It is estimated that it would take about 18 months before the locations are fully functional. This could be a benefit to the legislature because that means there would be time to study the potential flaws, and then also time to make minor changes in the next session.       

SB 73, Medical Canabis Act is currently circled on the senate second reading calendar, after a robust debate that ran out of time. This bill would allow for broader access to the marijuana plant.  

SCR 11, Concurrent Resolution Urging the Rescheduling of Marijuana.  This resolution urges Congress and the federal government to change the scheduling of marijuana from a schedule I drug to a schedule II drug.  This change would allow more research about the potential benefits of marijuana. Utah has nationally respected research and healthcare facilities, which would allow for this type of research. 


HB 151, Acupuncture Licensing Board Amendments was heard on the Senate floor on Wednesday, and it passed out unanimously. It is now heading to the Governor for his signature.  

HB 289, Charter School Closure Amendments was heard in the House Education committee on Thursday. This vote passed out of the committee unanimously and is now #63 on the House third reading calendar.  This bill will likely be heard on the house floor sometime next week.

HB 351, Attorney General Fiscal Amendments was sent to the Government Operations committee and will most likely be heard sometime early next week.    

HB 397, Department of Administrative Services Revisions was recently numbered and sent to the fiscal analyst's office where it will receive a fiscal note.   

I had the opportunity to chair this week's Salt Lake County Caucus meeting where we previewed the various bills related to air quality. Below is a summary of each bill we discussed.

1. HB 305 Water Rights and Resources Amendments: This bill focuses on the accuracy of water use data. In May 2015, the Utah Division of Water Resources published their water audit for the year, which raised numerous concerns. This bill allows the Division of Water Rights, the Division of Water Resources, and the Division of Drinking Water to work cooperatively to collect and validate water use data. This bill also gives the Division of Water Rights the ability (through rules) to outline the specific process of validating the data.  For now, this bill is currently still in the house rules committee and is waiting to be sent to a standing committee.   

2. HB 237 Income Tax Contribution for Clean Air: This bill establishes the Clean Air Fund where residents and nonresidents who fill out an individual tax return have the option to make a contribution to this fund. The purpose of this fund is to provide grant money for individuals or organizations (in the state) to use towards activities or education programs that help to improve air quality in the state. This bill is currently on the house third reading calendar.            

3. HB 87 Clean Fuel Conversion Amendments: This bill creates the Conversion to Alternative Fuel Grant Program Fund.  This fund consists of both appropriations as well as public and private donations. Grant money is available to a person who installs conversion equipment on an eligible vehicle. The requirements for an eligible vehicle are also outlined in the bill. This bill passed out of the House with 41 yes votes and 28 no votes (6 absent). This bill is currently in the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Committee and will be heard on Monday, February 22nd at 8:00 AM in Capitol Room 415.       

4. HB 121 Building Code Amendments: This bill amends provisions relating the State Constitution Code as well as provides an alternative means of complying with the Energy Conservation Code. This bill is largely supported by a broad group of stakeholders and is currently in the house rules committee, waiting to be sent to a standing committee.        

5. SB 49 Statute of Limitations on Environmental Code Violations: This bill extends the statute of limitations for Title 19 of the Environmental Quality Code. This bill extends the statute of limitations for evaluating and investigating complaints from one year to two years.  This bill passed the Senate and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee where it will likely be heard next week.    

6. SB 66 Environmental Code Fines: This bill increases the civil penalties for a person who violates the Air Conservation Act. The fine amount has not been changed since 1983, so this bill increases the penalties taking into account inflation rates. This bill is currently being held in the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Committee.  

7. HB 250 Air Quality Amendment: This bill allows only ultra low-Nox emissions water heaters to be sold in the state of Utah. These low-Nox water heaters typically cost between $50-150 more than “normal” water heaters and typically last 10-15 years.  If this bill passes, it will apply to all installations and replacements starting July 1, 2018. This bill will be heard in the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality committee.       

8. Air quality appropriations: Bryce Bird (Executive Director, Division of Air Quality) met with the caucus to discuss the importance of the air quality appropriations requests. There are currently five air quality appropriations which include money for research, monitoring, and grants. Here is a chart with the status of all of the appropriations (as of 2/17/16).  

Amount Requested
Appropriations Sub Committee
Rep. Hall
Lab for Dept. of Environmental Quality
Monitoring is the foundation of an effective air quality program.  It is the means by which we evaluate health impacts and protect the public, establish compliance, and measure progress toward our air quality goals.  A modern, dedicated Technical Support Center will help improve the efficiency and reliability of our air monitoring program, while protecting the security of sensitive monitoring equipment and the safety of those who work there.
$6.2 million one-time
Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee
Appropriations Committee recommended $6,208,700
Sen. Jenkins
Air Quality Monitoring
Funding will be used to replace extremely outdated monitoring equipment, that is well beyond its useful life and does not meet EPA requirements, and add new monitoring sites necessary to meet federal monitoring requirements and state planning needs. Request includes ongoing funds for 1 FTE to to cover the operation of these new sites and ongoing equipment replacements and maintenance.
$400,000 ongoing, $2.2  million one-time
Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee
Appropriations Committee recommended $1 million one-time and $200,000 ongoing
Rep. Noel
Funding will be used to replace old and inefficient on and off-road equipment with new technology to reduce emissions of air pollutants. It is anticipated the money will be divided between School Bus, Heavy Diesel and Small Engine replacement projects. Projects are determined by the cost per ton of removing pollutants from our air.
$500,000 one-time
Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee
Not prioritized by the appropriations subcommittee
Rep. Redd and Rep. Arent
Air Quality Research
Funding is for a pilot program to screen for volatile organic compounds (VOC) leaking from oil and gas- condensate storage tanks. This will be done in partnership agreement with Tri-County Health Department and Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center. The goal is to determine a simple, straightforward method to help improve air quality in the Uinta Basin.
$250,000 one-time
Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee
Appropriations Committee recommended $100,000 one-time
Rep. Handy
Clean Fuel Bus Conversion
Continuing an initiative begun two years ago, the request for $10 million (General Fund) would be matched through a grant process administered by USOE to districts who apply. There are 308 "dirty diesel buses" in the state school system that are 2002 and older. This $20 million clean air initiative would replace 119 school buses.
$10 million one-time
Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee


There have only been a few bills heard in committee this week. I anticipate many more next week. One of the four bills addressing homelessness was heard this week and passed out favorably. The four bills are part of the $27M package proposed by the stakeholders who worked together to address homeless issues over the past couple of years.

To see a list of the bills heard in my assigned committees, click on the committee respective page below.

House Transportation Standing Committee


Our appropriations subcommittees are finished meeting and this week, the chairs of each of the nine subcommittees presented their budget recommendations to the Executive Appropriations Committee. Please note that these reports reflect recommendations only. The final numbers and budget items that get funded may or many not reflect these recommendations. This is because these recommendations are based off of last Fall's revenue estimates. Updated, revised estimates will dictate how much is available to appropriate.

Here is a list of each of the committee's reports:

1. Retirement and Independent Entities
2. Business, Economic Development and Labor
3. Social Services
4. Public Education
5. Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality
6. Infrastructure and General Government
7. Executive Offices and Criminal Justice
8. Higher Education
9. Executive Appropriations Committee Assigned Agencies

Next week, the newly revised revenue estimates will be published and the new number will represent the number against which all requests must balance. New prioritized lists will then follow. I will post them here once they become available.


On Tuesday, February 16th, the house and senate took time to recognize the families of fallen officer Doug Barney, as well as Officer Jon Richey.  Every member of the house and senate wore blue and black ribbons that day in their honor.  We also presented Officer Barney’s family and Officer Jon Richey with a citation.  Our law enforcement officers and their families sacrifice a lot in order to keep us safe, so it was an honor to be able to recognize them.  

 Wednesday, February 17th, was Multicultural Youth Leadership Day on the hill.  I was lucky enough to present an award to Dr. Kyle Reyes from Utah Valley University.  

On Thursday, February 18th, some colleagues and I were able to meet with a group of students from Weber State University. The students asked questions about our particular bills, as well as the legislative process as a whole.      

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week Three Review

Capitol Pic of the Day
House mural reflects a monumental event that occurred on Valentine's Day:
Seraph Young casts a first ballot by a woman in 1870 when women first gained the right to vote in Utah. 


I thought it might be helpful to review how a bill becomes law. In a nutshell, proposed bills come from many sources. Bills come from constituent concerns, requested clean-up language from previously passed legislation, bills that ran out of time in the previous session, policy changes desired by impacted stakeholders or interest groups, desired initiatives, etc.

In Utah we have a bicameral legislature, which is comprised of a House and Senate. In order for a bill to pass, it must be approved by each body. House bills are generated by representatives in the House, while senate bills are generated by senators in the Senate.

All bills must be approved by both chambers before going to the governor for final passage or to be vetoed. In other words, House bills must be approved in the House before being passed in the Senate, and Senate bills must be passed in the Senate before being approved by the House. The movement of a House bill would look something like this:

HB is drafted --> HB goes to House Standing Committee where it passes or fails --> if passed, HB goes to entire House chamber where all members vote on it --> if passed, HB goes to Senate Standing Committee where it passes or fails --> if passed, HB goes to entire Senate chamber where all members vote on it --> if passed, HB is signed by Senate President and sent back to House for Speaker signature --> HB is sent to governor for approval or veto --> if no veto, HB is enacted into law

If the bill originates from the Senate, it would begin in the Senate and follow the same path. A bill can die at any stage of the process. This filtering process allows proposed legislation to be reviewed and scrutinized multiple times before being enacted into law.

Here are some additional sites and clips to outline the process:

Utah Legislature | click here.

Utah Citizen Network | click here.

If you prefer to learn through video, here is a oldy but a goody.

Last but not least, here is the School House Rocks video.


HB 151, Acupuncture Licensing Board Amendments was heard by the Senate Business and Labor Standing Committee on February 10th, where it passed unanimously. It is now on the Senate's consent calendar and will likely be voted on this upcoming week. If the Senate passes the bill, it will go the Governor for his signature and be enacted into law.

HB 289, Charter School Closure Amendments will likely be heard in a House Education Standing Committee later this week. I have been working with the Utah State Office of Education and the Charter School Board to develop a substitute that will improve the first draft. I will include the substitute in next week's update.

HB 351, Attorney General Fiscal Amendments  I have been working with the drafter and the Attorney General's Office on the language of this bill over the past couple of weeks. This bill addresses an audit recommendation to re-evaluate the way the office bills other state agencies for provided legal services.

HB???, Department of Administrative Services Rivisions will also be numbered and available in the next week or two. This is a clean-up bill that repeals unnecessary and antiquated accounts that are no longer used.

Capitol Pic of the Day

Salt Lake County Caucus

This week we talked about the various education bills being heard this session. Here is a summary of the bills we discussed.

HB 200, Student Assessment Modifications: This bill allows districts and charters the choice to eliminate the year end assessment for the 11th grade. This would allow more time for college preparation.

HB 201, Student Testing Amendments: This bill eliminates the use of year end assessments as an evaluation for teachers. This proposal stems from teachers being held accountable for circumstances beyond their control. Additionally, this has added to the challenge of teacher retention and recruitment.

HB 28, Grants for Educator Professional Learning: This bill provides resources to teachers in schools for professional development. If this passes, it will free up money in the WPU for schools to use to address other needs.

SB 67, Partnerships for Student Success: This bill establishes a public-private partnership that targets schools with at risk students.

HB 42, Optional Enhanced Kindergarten Amendments: This bill adds to the existing Optional Enhanced Kindergarten (OEK) program which currently has about 214 participating schools. This bill would increase the level of participating schools to about 500. Many studies indicate that high school success can be predicted by reading proficiency at the third grade and that the best place to start for achieving proficiency by the third grade is at the kindergarten level.

HB 301 School Bus Route Grant Program: In order for school busses to run routes, there must be a 1.5 or 2 mile distance between the school and the route stops. This bill creates a grant program to provide additional routes in cases where the existing walking route is unsafe.

This upcoming Thursday, we will talk about air quality and water infrastructure and hear from bill sponsors proposing legislation in this area. Health care will likely be heard next week. Watch for updates in next week's blog update.

House GOP Caucus

During this week's meetings, we heard various presentations from House members regarding their proposed bills. Our recent meetings have been used as a forum to get more in depth on some of the bills that are up for debate. This helps save time on the floor as a lot of our questions will be already be answered.

Here is a snapshot of where we are with the volume of bills this session.

Source: Legislative Research and General Counsel


Click on the committee meetings below to see the list of bills we discussed in committee.

House Transportation Standing Committee


This week, our appropriations subcommittees prioritized budget requests. The final prioritized lists of each committee will be presented by the chairs to the Executive Appropriations Committee (EAC) in the coming weeks. EAC is made up of the leadership of both parties and both House and Senate. If you're interested in watching these appropriations items, you can attend in person or listen in on the discussions online.

EAC will hear from all nine subcommittees (EAC represents its own as well), and after the new revenue estimates are announced, we will know how much money is available (or not) to appropriate to the requested needs. Once the new revenue estimates are presented, EAC will begin prioritizing these budget items and a newly revised list will be presented.

To see the Elected Officials and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee's final prioritized list, click here.

To see the Retirement and Independent Entities Appropriations Subcommittee's final prioritized list,  click here.


This past Saturday, I was invited to speak to a group called Kava Talks. This is a group made up of Pacific Islander men who are being certified as advocates to address the issue of domestic violence. I was impressed by the level of grass roots community engagement that is occurring in West Valley City, as well as the commitment and passion directed towards strengthening the future generation of Pacific Islanders in the valley.

This week, we had a few notable visitors on the House floor. We were visited by Taya Kyle, wife of Navy Seal and American hero Chris Kyle, Mark Geist, co-author and American hero of the tragic story behind the film 13 hours, and Donald Trump Jr.

Friday was PTA Day at the Capitol. I was able to speak to members at the UEA lunch and was pleasantly surprised to see my 8th grade art teacher in the room. This was the highlight of the session so far. It was also fun to have my daughter sit on the House floor with me and to run into teachers from her school.

Hearing from constituents is important to me. Please fill out my survey and help me better represent the district. I would like to get as much input as I can over the next two weeks. Please share with your family members and neighbors as well. Additionally, I am hosting a few more town halls in the coming weeks: February 20th, February 27th and March 19th. I will share the final results of the survey on my blog and at the March 19th town hall.