Mike McKell’s Week One in Review of the 2015 General Legislative Session

Last Monday marked the start of the 2015 General Legislative Session. The new Speaker, Greg Hughes challenged the Utah House of Representatives to remain committed to addressing the most challenging and important issues facing our state.Last week, I sent out an email with a survey addressing many of these unique challenges. Your input is always appreciated as we craft necessary solutions. Some of our challenges include the gas tax, non-discrimination laws, moving the prison, income taxes, education funding, and the protection of religious liberties. If you have not completed the online survey, please consider doing so using the link below.

I have been chosen to serve as the House Chair of the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee. This committee reviews and discusses budgetary issues to help manage and protect Utah’s natural resources. These budget issues often provide the framework for policy decisions to protect the air, land, and water in Utah.

Our committee oversees budgets of the following agencies: Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture and Food, School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office, and the Office of Energy Development.

Some key issues addressed in our committee include: wildlife, fire suppression, parks, food safety, invasive species, endangered species, air quality, water quality, radiation control, public lands, school trust lands, and energy development.

Additionally, I will be working with Senator Deidre Henderson, Attorney General Sean Reyes, and the Governor’s Office to consider the creation of an Office of Inspector General for the State of Utah. This office would be established with the goal of rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in state government.

In the State of the State address Wednesday night, Governor Herbert threw his support behind the idea. He called for the creation of an office “that will act as an independent entity to elevate and ensure the highest levels of ethics and official conduct in state government.”

Please consider getting involved this session by attending a town hall meeting. The first town hall meeting will be held this Saturday morning and breakfast will be provided for FREE thanks to the generous support of Central Utah Clinic! Details are set forth below:

Bills and Bagels
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Location: Nebo School District Office Building
350 S Main, Spanish Fork, UT 84660

Thank you for the great privilege of representing House District 66. I look forward to a great session.  If you have any questions during the legislative session, please feel free to contact me any time. I can be reached on my cell phone at (801) 836-7597. If for any reason you are unable to contact me during the legislative session, my intern Matthew Hodgson can be reached at (916) 412-7661 or mhodgson@le.utah.gov.

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