Trib: Putting a lid on out-of-state trips
Legislator Pay Cut
Remember Utah State Legislators rejected last year's recommendation
from the Legislative Compensation Commission? They went even further and cut their own salary by 10 percent.
I don't know who Get the Facts People
is but he (or she) makes it easy to respond to this dumb frenzy
This one seems apt as well:
Love in the Senate
So, it appears Big Love
's Bill Henrickson is contemplating a run
for the Utah State Senate (see 4th paragraph). Best of luck to him.
Every senator in Utah serves with a strong, supportive spouse at their side. Mr. Henrickson - it appears - has at least that much going for him.
2010 Budget Work
We met yesterday to wrap our heads around the budget situation and start the work of the 2010 session. The next round of revenue estimates will be available in February and we'll post them here on the Senate Site. In the meantime we're going to budget just a little tighter than we hope our income will be, just to be safe.
Robert Gehrke and Bob Bernick have the key details, here
KCPW posted a good quick analysis
of the Exec Approps meeting, with insight from our budget chairs, Representative Bigelow and Senator Hillyard.
Senator Steve Urquhart :: All Star Blogger
Live Stream: Governor Herbert's budget proposal
The work of the next legislative session kicks into a higher gear Friday when Governor Herbert announces his budget proposals. 11:00 a.m. You can watch the live-stream here:
Or go to UtahSenate.org
and click the video tab. Would love to hear your comments on the proposal. If you tweet, use the #utpol
tag so we can hear you.
Senate seeks public comment on Fourth District Judicial Nominee
MEDIA ADVISORYFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2009
Senate to Consider Confirmation of Mr. Thomas L. Low as a Judge of the Fourth District Court
The governor has appointed Mr. Thomas L. Low as a Judge of the Fourth District Court.
Senate Rule 24.04.1 establishes the procedures of the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee. That rule requires the committee to hold public meetings prior to full Senate action. To assist in determining the scope of that public hearing, Senator Scott K. Jenkins, Chair of the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee, is seeking public comment regarding the appointment of Mr. Low.
Anyone desiring to submit comment on this appointee is invited to contact Mr. Jerry D. Howe at the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah State Capitol Complex, House Building, Suite W210, P.O. Box 145210, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-5210, by 5:00 p.m., Thursday, December 31, 2009. Statements from the public should include the presenter's name, telephone number, and mailing address.
In addition to Chair Jenkins (R-Plain City), the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee is comprised of four other members: Senator Jon J. Greiner (R-Ogden), Senator Lyle W. Hillyard (R-Logan), Senator Karen Mayne (D-West Valley City), and Senator Michael G. Waddoups (R-West Jordan).
President Waddoups on the Budget Outlook
"Tomorrow, Governor Gary Herbert will release his 2011 budget proposal. If he’s true to his word, it will contain no tax or fee increases. But how much will that influence the legislature, which has to do most of the heavy lifting on the budget during the legislative session from January to March?"
KCPW’s Jeff Robinson spoke with President Michael Waddoups
about the possibility of a tax hike. Click here
to read the whole article and listen to the audio.
I-15 Reconstruction: Lehi to Spanish Fork
More bang for your buck. Originally we (you) were going to fund and build I-15 from American Fork to Provo for $1.7 Billion. Now - due to the economy and other factors - UDOT can build it from Lehi to Spanish fork for the same price. It might even be done by Christmas, 2012.
Go to the project web site for more information. UDOT press release:
UDOT Announces Next Milestone for I-15 CORE Expansion Project
Provo River Constructors Selected to Reconstruct I-15 from Lehi Main Street to Spanish Fork Main Street; Construction to Begin this Spring
SALT LAKE CITY (Dec. 9, 2009) - UDOT today announced the contractor team that will build the Utah County I-15 Corridor Expansion (I-15 CORE), which will include improvements from the Lehi Main Street interchange to the Spanish Fork Main Street interchange.
Provo River Constructors (PRC), a consortium of expert local, regional and national contractors and engineers, proposed the greatest value solution within the fixed budget. The team is headed by Fluor Corporation, Ames Construction Company, Inc., Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Company, Inc. and Wadsworth Brothers Construction Company, Inc., who all have experience working on large transportation projects in Utah and other areas of the country.
“Each proposal was meticulously reviewed and rated in areas of project scope, schedule and plan for mitigating traffic inconveniences during construction,” said Dal Hawks, I-15 CORE project director. “PRC proposed innovative and creative strategies, while upholding UDOT’s quality, mobility and safety standards.”
I-15 CORE expands the freeway by two lanes in both directions from Lehi Main Street to Spanish Fork Main; extends the express lane from University Parkway in Orem to Spanish Fork; rebuilds and reconfigures 10 freeway interchanges; replaces and restores 55 bridges; and provides additional improvements that will meet or exceed travel demands through the year 2030 including using 40-year concrete pavement along the entire corridor.
The contractor team also set an aggressive timeline designed to minimize inconvenience to the public. PRC anticipates starting construction in spring 2010 and completing construction as early as December 2012. PRC will maintain the current number of lanes of traffic open both southbound and northbound during the majority of construction.
The 2009 Utah State Legislature approved a $1.725 billion bond to expand and rebuild I-15 CORE.
RESOURCES (Available after 2 p.m. today): Additional I-15 CORE information can be found on the project Web site, www.i15core.utah.gov
, including project maps and a video flyover of the project area.
Rubber Hits the Road
The Governor releases his proposed budget this Friday.
Here's Max Roth
re: The 2010 Question (taxes v. cuts) and the latest UPD Insiders Poll
Senator Urquhart talks budget and makes a case for no new taxes
Because Utah balances its budget, the money is real. A dollar really is a dollar. Depending on tax policy, each dollar can either be in the pocket of the person who earned it, or it can be collected and shifted to someone else. Utah already takes too many dollars out of people's pockets. Each additional dollar we take is one less dollar that the worker could have spent on food, shelter, charity, business development, etc. Government simply does not multiply the benefits of a dollar like the owner of a dollar does. Thus, while taking additional dollars out of people's pockets could work to shore up the State's budget issues, it would not be in the long-term best interests of Utah's citizens or economy.Read the comments too
Senator Dayton: What the Jobs Summit Missed
By Margaret Dayton
Utah State Senator
On Thursday I attended the ribbon cutting
for APX Alarm
's new cooperate headquarters and conference center. It was interesting to me that the event coincided with the so-called Job Summit being held by the White House. As I looked around the room, I realized that there could easily be more brains and expertise at the APX event than were gathered at the White House. While this may sound presumptuous, I truly think it is reasonable to say that private business, entrepreneurs, and the hard working ambitious individual Americans have much more effect on the job market than the federal govt.
The jobs government is best at creating are more govt and bureaucratic jobs which impede
growth of the economy. The federal government doesn't - and shouldn't - manufacture, build homes, or create businesses. So when the impressive leaders at APX had economic-guru Mitt Romney attending their event, and the governor representing a state that does not function in the red - but promotes a business friendly environment, it is realistic to say that the White House Job Summit folks could have learned a lot at yesterdays event!Pictured, above, are Todd Petersen (the man who, frustrated at being turned down as a salesman, focused his frustration on creating his own company - which now employees several thousand people), Governor Herbert, Mitt Romney, myself - a proud promoter of less govt regulation and lower taxes, President Matt Holland of UVU, VP Val Hale of UVU who helps to promote the UVU Small Business Development Center, Provo's mayor-elect John Curtis and Deputy Mayor Cory Norman.
New Senator for District Two
Senator McCoy resignation was effective 36 minutes ago.
So. . . people living in Senate District Two now need a senator. Word from the SLCounty Dems says that election will take place:
Saturday, December 19th, 2009County delegates for the Democratic Party who live in Senate District 2 (all 164 of you) are eligible to vote.
2:00 p.m. (Doors open at 1:30)
Salt Lake County Council Chambers
2001 S State St, North Building
Anyone with questions can Email Justin Miller
or call him at 801-573-8810
Mechanics from the Democrat Party’s Constitution:
“If two candidates are on the ballot and one candidate receives sixty percent (60%) of the votes, that person shall be declared the nominee. If two or more candidates are on the ballot, and no candidates receive at least sixty percent (60%) of the vote, a second vote will take place between the two (2) candidates receiving the highest number of votes. The candidate with a majority of votes on the second ballot shall be declared the nominee.” The name chosen will then be sent to the Governor. He'll send us an appointment letter and we'll and then we'll swear the new senator in.
Worth thinking about: People used to fight small wars over transfers of power like this. Now we get together, listen, think, and vote.
Here's the press release.
Senator Hillyard: Commercial Value of Utah’s Biodiversity
By Lyle Hillyard
Utah State Senator, District 25
Dr. Ned Weinshenker, who is the Vice President of Strategic Ventures and Economic Development at USU and oversees USU’s USTAR program, brought to my attention the importance of protecting the commercial value of the unique organisms present in Utah on public lands.
Plants and microbes found in some of the harsh conditions in Utah (e.g. Great Salt Lake, deserts, salt flats and oil shale) have unusual properties and have been found useful for production of high value chemicals such as biodiesel and jet fuel. Ned raised a concern that these organisms are so unique and helpful that it would be a great financial loss to Utah if they were developed out of state in competition to our efforts.
His initial thought was that we should enact legislation to have collectors of such organisms register their efforts and if a commercial product results, royalties would be paid back to the State. If they were to develop them in Utah, no royalty would be necessary. Ned has set up a Scientific Advisory Committee to help with drafting the concept. I have accepted his advice and will probably be filing a bill to accomplish this in the upcoming session.
As I become better acquainted with the research going on at USU and the U of U, thanks in large part to our USTAR investment, I like to wonder what people will think in 20 years from now when these cutting edge research initiatives are complete and the processes and products they produce are common place.
Got Talent? Tenacity? Reckless Idealism?
The Utah Senate is looking for a good communications assistant/intern
for the upcoming legislative session.
Ideally, we're looking for someone who can fly the New Media sky like a falcon and write politics like Jim Morrison. This internship fixates on the tools at hand
to educate and engage Utah citizens in the legislative process.
It's a eight week gig, January to March. Full time. The pay is marginal but the experience is solid.
Call me at 801-538-1035 or send an Email message
Sen. Buttars: Don't believe everything you hear
By Chris Buttars
Utah State Senator, District 10
Contrary to recent reports
by the media, I am not considering co-sponsoring any of the "common ground" legislation brought forth by Equality Utah or it’s supporters.
I will continue to defend traditional marriage. I am totally committed to preserve the fundamental political and moral principles that have made this nation strong. And I would strongly oppose any bills that challenge those principles.
Senator McCoy to Resign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2009
SENATOR SCOTT McCOY TO RESIGN FROM THE UTAH STATE SENATE
Citing the need to focus on his legal career and earn a living for his family, Senator will resign post Friday
SALT LAKE CITY - Today Senator Scott McCoy confirmed that he will resign his position in the Utah Senate, effective Friday, December 4th. This afternoon McCoy issued the following statement to explain his decision to the residents of his district.
"I’ve been honored to serve the citizens of Utah and of District 2 for the last four years. My time in the Senate has been profoundly rewarding, but also an enormous personal sacrifice. The senators and representatives of Utah really make a terrific commitment of their time for the benefit of this state. It’s not just during the 45 days of the session. It’s every day and night. It’s during interims and constituent phone calls. My hat is off to my 103 colleagues who make this sacrifice day in and day out, every year.
"I’ve personally come to a crossroads in my career where I need to devote my full time and energy to the practice of law. To do any less is a disservice to my firm and my family. Unfortunately, I simply cannot find the necessary time to be a successful attorney and give the time and energy to fully represent the residents of my district.
"I’m very proud of the work I was able to accomplish as a Senator. We changed important policies, opened many minds, and broke down many barriers. Certainly, there is much more to be done. But for now, I need to leave that work in other capable hands."
Senator Scott McCoy has represented Senate District 2, which includes Downtown Salt Lake City, Capitol Hill and the Avenues, for the past 4 years.
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