Completing the legislative session
Over the last seven weeks, my colleagues and I have passed meaningful legislation that will greatly benefit every member of my district. I am deeply honored for the privilege I have to represent each of you.
Though this year’s legislative session has come to an end, I will continue to serve you all year long and look forward to sending you monthly updates.
The Utah Way Together
At the start of this legislative session, we set out to pass significant legislation that would safeguard our natural resources, keep Utah affordable, and invest in our future. I am proud to say we accomplished all three of these goals. We passed over 500 bills, each of which will make a meaningful difference in the life of all Utahns.
$29 Billion State Budget
Crafting the state budget each year is one of the most important constitutional responsibilities given to the legislature.
The finalized state budget for fiscal year 2023-24 appropriates a total of $29 billion towards essential state needs including investments in education, social services, water, and transportation. A few highlights include:
- Historic teacher pay raise – $6,000 per teacher
- Largest tax cut in state history – a total of $400 million with the income tax rate going from 4.85% to 4.65%,
Social Security Tax Exemptions up to $75,000, Earned Income Tax Credit up to 20% of the Federal Credit, and Tax Exemption for Newborns and Credit for Childcare. Also, the sales tax on food will be removed if the Education Earmark passes the Legislature.
- $500 million invested in water resources
- Over $2 billion invested in transportation
Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month. I am blessed to work with many wonderful female colleagues in the legislature and admire each of their examples. I had a wonderful female intern from BYU and cannot forget my very supportive and loving wife.
North Sevier High School Interns
Earlier this week, my intern and I were pleased to have Brooklyn Butler and Adrianna Dearden, seniors from North Sevier High School, shadow us on the Hill for a few days. These students are extremely engaged, intelligent, and involved.
They sat in on committee meetings and with me during floor time. Our country and state need more leaders like Brooklyn and Adrianna, and I know they have bright futures ahead of them.
My Bill Report
The House has passed over 120 more bills this week! All of my bills have now passed both the House and Senate chambers and have been sent to the governor to be signed. Next, they are off to benefit rural Utah. You can read about the bills I have passed this session at le.utah.gov. They include:
- H.B. 144 High Cost Infrastructure Development Tax Credit Amendments
- H.B. 184 Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment Program
- H.B. 150 Emergency Water Shortages Amendments
- H.B. 370 Utility Infrastructure Amendments
- H.B. 114 Theft Defense Amendments
- H.B. 33 Water Related Liability Amendments
- H.B. 93 Outdoor Recreation Modifications
- H.B. 112 State Fish Hatchery Maintenance Account Amendments
- H.B. 237 Hunting Mentoring Amendments
It was my privilege to co-chair the rural caucus every Friday this session as well as to sit in on the rural educators meeting every Thursday. The budget has been finalized. This session I ran eight Requests for Appropriations in the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee and two in the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee this session. Most of my requests received funding including the Snow College Rural Technological Outreach Program, the ROI E-Commerce funding, Watershed Restoration funding, the Loa Fish Hatchery funding, the Grazing Improvement Program, and the Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment Program.
These appropriations requests will be highly beneficial for providing support and funds to much needed programs in rural Utah.
Education In Utah
Education inspires upward mobility, fosters innovation, and opens the doors of the future. I am committed to ensuring our classrooms remain a place of learning and safety. As a legislature, we have made education a priority throughout this session.
You can learn more about some of the education policies we have passed by listening to this week’s episode of our House podcast. Listen on Spotify.
Reports from the Legislature and Newsletters
Now that the session is over I will be meeting with various groups and organizations to review the session with them. If you would like to join my email list for weekly newsletters, enter your email at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UTHOUSER/signup/32064.
You may contact me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (435)-979-6578. I value your opinions and appreciate your concerns for rural Utah. Thank you for letting me serve you.