I hope this newsletter finds you well after a long President’s Day weekend. As I reflect on the many great presidents, I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln who said: “[g]ive me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Balancing the state budget is like chopping down a large tree. The process takes significant work and preparation. We sharpen the axe prior to the legislative session as our analysts work directly with department heads to make sure we are prepared to appropriately balance the state budget during the session.
During the first three weeks of the session, we have met with our appropriations subcommittees designing our base budgets. There has been tremendous debate and discussion in each committee, and at this point, we have passed our base budgets for all appropriation subcommittees. Unlike the federal government, our base budgets are all balanced based on projected revenue to our state. I am very proud of the work my colleagues have achieved during the first three weeks of the session.
Thank you to those who completed my legislative survey. To date, I have received 472 responses, with another sizable stack being tallied even as you read this. Answers are still coming in, but here are some of the results thus far.
- There is a general lack of support to change to partisan school board elections (14%). Of the five options presented, (68%) supported use of non-partisan school board elections.
- There is a general lack of support to repeal SB 54 (22%). SB 54 was passed last year as a compromise with supporters of Count My Vote. Of the options presented, (62%) supported options which would allow a party candidate a route to the primary election by gathering signatures instead of going through party conventions.
- There is strong opposition (66%) to a law that would make not wearing a seat belt a primary offense.
- There is growing support (58%) to pass a non-discrimination law which would make it illegal to discriminate based upon sexual identity and orientation in housing and employment across the state of Utah. Of those who responded to the survey only (23%) oppose this legislation.
While I will always do my best to study issues carefully and draw my own conclusions, it is helpful to know what those in our district think about key topics. Thank you for providing your input.
This week I have a new survey for you to consider dealing with day daylight savings. Please take the poll below and share your thoughts with me.
Thank you for the great privilege of representing House District 66. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.