The Issues


"I have known Dean both professionally, politically, and personally for years and I know that he will be a great asset to the district and will represent us well. We'll do more than well to have him representing us."

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Perspectives from the House

2012 Session Week 1

Our first week of this year’s session has concluded. The start of the session feels to me a bit like there's a raging river and with little hesitation we all jump in.  My focus this year will again be around the budget, keeping the state fiscally responsible, ensuring we have a competitive business climate, and showing our continued commitment to our public education and higher education. 

Some specific highlights of the first week: After hearing from constituents about complaints over fireworks being discharged in the late hours of the night, the House passed a bill that alters the time in which fireworks can be discharged. There were also a couple of bills that passed the house that altered future political boundaries to ensure that voting precinct size is kept relatively close to those around it. These passed bills now protect voter privacy of those within smaller precincts. We also established a bill that creates a task force that would create recommendations on how to make the state more economically competitive, and how to drive high paying job creators into Utah.

Finally - my bill clarifying that is up to the city to decide on clarifying language as to where / if the single family limit should apply separately to legal accessory apartments passed the house unanimously. 

These 45 days go very quickly. Please contact me anytime to share your comments and questions. I look forward to serving you.

2012 Session Week 2

Week Two is now behind us, and there is plenty of good news to report. Committee work is moving bills along, and this Session is flowing smoothly. We have passed a number of bills that ensure our core beliefs, including our commitment to funding education, and ensuring Utah remains economically strong and vibrant.

We’ve passed a number of base budgets, including public and higher education. We can now look at adding new money into some programs including public education, thanks to the growth of Utah’s strengthening economy. I will continue to work hard to ensure the success of our kids, and the prosperity of the state.

This week was officially the last time to request bills, so it's interesting to see the workload we’re dealing with at the Capitol.  As of February 2nd there have been 1,106 bill requests.    

2012 Session Weeks 3 - 5

This session has been a whirlwind of activity.  We have debated everything from severance taxes on energy, to paternal rights, to budget priorities, to medicaid reforms.  We have consistently passed bills that still maintain our held beliefs. We are still striving to ensure Utah’s fiscal responsibility, to keep Utah as one of the most competitive states, as well as fully funding education.

Committees are continuing to get their work completed in a timely manner. This lively debate ensures we create the best policy for the state. It’s a privilege to participate in these discussions.

Along with policy, over the past week we have honored many different groups on the House Floor. Over the past few weeks, we honored fallen Utah soldiers, those members of the Weber County law enforcement that participated in the drug bust in January, and members of the Utah Highway Patrol. We cannot thank these servicemen and women enough for what they do.

We have also heard from all the members of our delegation in Washington, D.C. We heard from Senators Hatch and Lee, and Congressmen Bishop and Matheson. They reported back to us on their work and progress in Washington. You can listen to all of these addresses on our website, Just click on “House Floor”, underneath the “streaming” banner.

Our next week is sure to be jam-packed with many bills, including setting the budget. I promise not to incur any new debt, and to not increase your tax burden.

2012 Post Session Wrap Up

We've done a lot of great work this year.  There are, of course, thousands of documents and hundreds of hours of audio and video of what we've done available at if you'd like to really get into the detail.  However, I will try to cover some of the highlights.

First, our $12.8 billion budget has been a major undertaking, and subsequently a great achievement this Session. We made sure that our public education system is being fully funded.  Senate Bill 2 appropriates money to not only fund the 12,500 new students in our public education system, but also increases per pupil funding. The numbers actually reflect an overall 1.15% gain per student, which equates to roughly $200.  Our $400 million-plus overall budget increase is a great indicator of the strength of Utah’s economy and fiscal policies.

Over the 45 day session, the Legislature passed 478 bills, while 764 were introduced. All the bills passed correlate with our priorities to: 1) fully fund education, 2) have no tax increases, 3) address the structural imbalance, and 4) paying down the debt.

Next up for the legislature is moving onto those interim committee meetings, which are held about once a month. These hearings are to receive updates on different aspects within the state and to submit legislation to be discussed over the next general session. You can check in on the dates and times for these meetings on our state legislative website.

As always, if you do have any questions or comments about our legislative process, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.