Utah House of Representatives Podcast
By Utah House of Representatives
Utah House of Representatives PodcastDec 14, 2022
With elections just around the corner, Utahns are filling out their ballots and rushing to the polls. As Americans, the ability to vote is one of our greatest privileges, which is why it is critical we ensure our state has safe, secure, and reliable elections. In Utah, we are fortunate to have incredibly efficient and reliable election systems and joining us today to discuss what sets our system apart from other states, as well as what’s being done to protect against voter fraud in Utah, is the state Director of Elections, Ryan Cowley and Senior Audit Supervisor Jake Dinsdale with the Office of the Legislative Auditor General.
Get to know the Inland Port Authority
Ever since the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, Utah has had a proud history as the crossroads of the west. As such, Utah is uniquely positioned for major long-term economic development. With this vision in mind, the Legislature established the Utah Inland Port Authority, to oversee the expansion and proper use of Utah’s trade infrastructure. Joining us today to discuss more about the purpose of the Inland Port and their vision for Utah is Executive Director of the Inland Port, Ben Hart.
This morning, the Legislative Audit subcommittee met to hear presentations regarding the two most recent legislative audits. Most consequently, Legislative auditors presented findings from a report examining the Intermountain Power Plant in Millard County and potential risks and vulnerabilities within the governance of the plant. Joining us today to discuss the findings of these audits is the Legislative Auditor General, Kade Minchey, and audit manager Brian Dean
Long-Term Planning Conference Recap
As the fastest growing state in the Nation, it’s crucial that we are continuously planning for our growth. Last month, the Legislature met in St George for a biennial Long-Term Planning Conference, where they heard expert presentations and discussed the future needs of the state. Joining us in this episode to give a recap of this conference and share what the Legislature learned from this conference is the co-chair of the conference Representative Brady Brammer
This afternoon, the Legislative audit subcommittee met to discuss the findings of two recently completed audit reports. The first focuses on the Park City School District and the second helps identify 12 key issues facing the state.
The Teen Center Project
Across the state, hundreds of thousands of students are heading back to school. But for those students who may be experiencing homelessness or other economic disadvantages, this can be a particularly trying time. To help better address the needs of these students, the Legislature has allocated funding that can be used towards the creation of “Teen Centers” within schools. One of the leading organizations behind this movement is the Utah based advocacy group, the Policy Project. Joining us in this episode to discuss how these teen centers will help students is the Director of Policy for the Policy Project, Mary Catherine Perry.
The Future of Utah Energy
Utah’s measured, all-of-the-above energy policy has powered decades of prosperity by providing some of the most reliable and affordable energy in the country. Recently, the Utah Legislature has been applying common sense solutions to push back on federal regulatory overreach that threatens our ability to provide power to our state, fuel our economy, and maintain a high quality of life for the people of our state. Joining us today to discuss some of the challenges we are facing in our energy sector, is the Chair of the Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Interim Committee, Representative Carl Albrecht.
Each year during the general legislative session, college students from schools across the state are selected to intern for our Representatives. This is a unique experience that allows them to get an up close and personal look at the legislative process while working on-on-one with their assigned Representatives. Joining us today to talk more about this experience are two of our House interns from this previous session, Clara Eccles and Anna Van Noy.
The Future of the Utah State Capitol
Utah is fortunate to have one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in the country. Though it serves many purposes, ultimately this building belongs to the people of our state — and there is a whole team of dedicated civil servants working behind the scenes to make sure our citizens can continue to enjoy this building for generations to come. Recently, our Capitol plaza has undergone some changes, including the ongoing construction of the newly reimagined North Building. Joining us in this episode to discuss the future of our Capitol Complex is the Director of the Capitol Preservation Board, Dana Jones and the Assistant Director over Special Projects, Michael Ambre.
Big League Utah
Want to learn more about the future of Utah baseball? In this episode of our House podcast, Rep Ryan Wilcox and CEO of the Larry H Miller Company, Steve Starks, join us to discuss the possibility of a Major League Baseball team moving to Utah.
Special Session Recap - Addressing the Upcoming Special Election
The recent announcement of Congressman Chris Stewart’s intention to resign his seat in Utah’s 2nd Congressional district will result in a vacancy in Utah’s federal delegation. To address this vacancy and ensure Utah remains fully represented in Washington, this month the Legislature convened in a special session, where they voted to pass a bill which establishes election processes and protocols for a Special Election this fall. Joining us in this episode to discuss what changes were made to this year’s election process is the bill’s sponsor, Representative Cal Mussleman.
Get to Know LRGC Part 2
Given the fast-paced nature of the Legislative Session, our lawmakers rely heavily on the help and support from Legislative Staff Offices to answer policy and legal questions in the bill drafting process. Today, we are taking another look into the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel. This office is responsible for drafting and processing all legislation, performing policy analysis, providing legal counsel, and staffing legislative committees on Capitol Hill. Joining us in this episode to talk about the lifecycle of legislation, as well as his role in the office of Legislative Research, is our managing associate general counsel, Michael Curtis.
Special Session Recap
Here in Utah, we have a part time citizen Legislature, with our general sessions lasting just 45 days. Although those 7 weeks are extremely productive, sometimes unique circumstances arise that require the Legislature to convene in special session to address pressing needs of the state. Last week, our legislators met for one such special session and passed a series of bills necessary to deal with challenges that have arisen since the end of the General Session in early March. Joining us in this episode to give a recap of that special session and shed some light on why the Legislature and the Governor believed it to be necessary is Representative Val Peterson.
This past winter has defied all expectations and broken every known record of precipitation here in Utah. While we are grateful for this much needed moisture, it brings with it an increased chance of flooding. Many Utahns have already experienced firsthand the potential dangers this additional spring runoff brings. Joining us today to talk more about the risks we face and what this flooding means for the state is Director of the Utah Division of Water Resources, Candice Hasenyager and our Utah State Engineer, Teresa Wilhelmsen.
Get to Know LRGC
Though our annual general legislative session is only 45 days long, there is a team of staff working year-round in preparation for that 7 week sprint. There are many behind-the-scenes payers who are instrumental in the process needed to craft good legislation. The Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel is responsible for drafting and processing all bill files during the session, performing policy research, providing legal counsel, and acting as staff support for legislative committees. Joining us today to do a deep dive into the role of LRGC, is policy analyst Adam Sweet.
Utah’s rapid growth comes as no surprise to those who have long called Utah home. Our top-ranked economy, natural wonders, and creative problem-solving not only attracts new people to our state but motivates Utahns to continue calling this great place home. This year, the legislature is working together to meet the demands of our growing State by prioritizing policies aimed at improving our current transportation infrastructure and preparing Utah for the technological innovations coming to the transportation sector. Here to talk to us about these generational investments is the Utah House Majority Leader, Representative Mike Schultz.
This afternoon, the Legislative audit subcommittee met and heard presentations from legislative auditors about several independent audit reports into various aspects of the State government, including our prison healthcare systems and 911 call response times of Salt Lake county. In this episode, the Legislative Auditor General and his team join us to discuss the findings of these audits.
Utah Banking Industry
Over the last several weeks, news cycles have been devoted to coverage of the recent banking crisis and collapse of prominent financial institutions. Understandably, this has left many Utahns feeling nervous about what economic uncertainties are in store. Joining us in this episode to discuss the current state of our financial markets and what it means for Utah’s economy is Vice Chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee, Representative Robert Spendlove.
2023 General Session Recap
Utah has the shortest legislative session in the country - just 45 calendar days. Over the course of those 7 weeks, our lawmakers work tirelessly to pass meaningful legislation that will impact the lives of all Utahns. This session in particular could perhaps be called the most consequential in our State’s history. With so much packed into such a short amount of time, it can be difficult for those outside the process to keep up with all that goes on. Joining us in this episode to provide an overview of what exactly was accomplished during this past session, is Chief of Staff for the House of Representatives, Abby Osborne.
Education inspires upward mobility, fosters innovation, and opens doors to countless future opportunities. Here in Utah, public education remains a key priority for the Legislature. This legislative session, we have made record breaking investments in our public education system to ensure that our classrooms remain a place of safety and learning, that our teachers have the support they need to educate our students, and that each child has the opportunity to learn in a way that best fits their individual needs. Here today to discuss this year's education policy priorities, is Representative Karen Peterson.
Utah Tax Plan
The Utah legislature knows that the best way to ensure Utahns can continue to call Utah home is to lower the cost of living and allow citizens to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. Over the past several years, the Utah legislature has reduced taxes by nearly $300 million. To continue Utah’s commitment to low taxes and a family and business-friendly environment, the House Majority caucus has proposed the largest tax cut in state history – an additional $400 million in tax relief for the citizens of our state. Joining us in this episode to talk more about this plan is the Chair of the House Revenue and Tax Committee, Representative Steve Eliason.
Utah is known around the world for its beautiful landscapes and amazing outdoor recreation opportunities. With the greatest snow on Earth in the Wasatch Mountains to the red rock canyons of Southern Utah, we are truly blessed to call this incredible State home. This is why preserving our natural resources so future generations can continue to get out and experience all Utah has to offer is one of policy priorities for the majority caucus this session. Here today to talk to our efforts to develop and improve outdoor recreation, is Representative Jeff Stenquist.
In recent years, policy makers throughout the country have seen a tragic rise of incidents involving student safety in our K-12 institutions. As such, school safety has become a growing concern for many parents and students throughout Utah. To address these concerns, lawmakers from all sides have come together to work on solutions which address student safety in our schools. Joining us today to talk more about these issues, is Representative Ryan Wilcox.
Utah Water Ways
Utah is rich with resources and natural wonders that inspire, provide recreation, fuel industries, and create economic vitality. Responsibly using and safeguarding our natural resources is critical to ensure that current and future generations of Utahns can continue to enjoy the natural abundance we know and love. As such, the House majority caucus has made proper stewardship of our natural resources one of its main policy priorities for the 2023 general session. Joining us to talk to us about our water, energy, and natural resource policies is the Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, Walt Brooks.
As we close out 2022 and look forward to the new year, economic uncertainties loom large on the minds of Utah citizens and State policy makers alike. After several years of chaotic financial markets, record breaking inflation, and rumors of an impending recession, many people are wondering what 2023 might bring. In this episode, we have Representative Robert Spendlove here with us to discuss where current economic indicators are pointing and what Utahns might be able to expect over the coming year.
2023 Legislative Priorities
Each year, the house majority caucus comes together to identify the most important policy challenges facing our State. The blueprint for the 2023 general legislative session, entitled "The Utah Way Together", was recently released to the public. This plan outlines the majority caucus' top policy priorities and how the Utah House plans to address some of the current challenges facing our State. Joining us to talk about these priorities for the upcoming session is Speaker of the House Brad Wilson.
Rising inflation and economic turbulence at the National level has impacted nearly every aspect of life here in Utah. One of the most affected areas has been the housing market. Many Utahns are struggling to find available housing that fits within their budgets. Some Utahns are finding the ‘American Dream’ of home ownership unattainable. As such, the affordability of housing will be a key issue during this legislative session. This week, Representative Stephen Whyte joins us to talk about how we got here, why this issue matters, and what is being done to address it.
House Rules Committee
With the holiday season winding down, legislators and staff are beginning to ramp their work for the upcoming Legislative Session. With only a few weeks until the start of the 2023 General Session, representatives are in the process of drafting bills they intend to run, and new committee and leadership assignments are being made to members of Utah’s 65th Legislature. Joining us today is Representative Casey Snider to talk about his experience with the Legislature, his goals with the upcoming Session, and to share his perspective on the legislative process in Utah.
This afternoon, the legislative audit subcommittee met and heard presentations from legislative auditors about a recently completed independent audit report into the security of Utah's elections. This report was a result of a nearly year long investigation into the controls and safe guards used in Utah's election process. In this episode, our legislative Auditor General, Kade Minchey, and his team join us to discuss the results of this audit in detail.
Earlier today, the legislative audit subcommittee met to discuss the findings of three recently completed independent audit reports surrounding the organization, structure, and effectiveness of Utah's public safety entities. They had a specific emphasis on the adult probation and parole program as well as the board or pardons and parole. This week, Legislative Auditor General Kade Minchey and his team join us to discuss these reports further.
Great Salt Lake Summit Review
Last month, Speaker Brad Wilson hosted the second annual Great Salt Lake Summit in an on going effort to raise awareness to the challenges faced by the lake and its declining water levels. Lawmakers, business leaders, farmers, and Utahns from across the State came together to discuss what has been done and what there is still to do to protect the Great Salt Lake. This week, we will be reviewing many of the policies discussed at that Summit, as we hear from lawmakers and industry experts on their experiences with conservation.
This afternoon, the Legislative Audit Subcommittee met to discuss the findings of two recently completed independent audit reports. Theses reports examine the overall management and governance of Utah's higher education system as well as the curriculum and training of teachers in the State at the K-12 level. Kade Minchey, the Utah Legislative Auditor General, and his team join us to discuss the findings of these reports in detail.
This afternoon, the Legislative Audit Subcommittee met to discuss the findings of three recently completed independent audit reports. These reports examine various State policies and government entities, including everything from a review of the Utah insurance department to an analysis of the way cities use tax credits for economic development. Kade Minchey, the Utah Legislative Auditor General, and his team join us to discuss the findings of these reports in detail.
Back to School
Across the state, students and families are getting ready to head back to school for the new 2022-2023 school year. This week, Vice Chair of the Education Committee, Representatives Susan Pulsipher joins us to discuss the back to school season and our education system here in Utah.
This afternoon, the Legislative Audit Subcommittee met to discuss the findings of two recently completed independent audit reports. The first of these reports was the final, cumulative report following a series of audits into the Utah education system. The second analyzed the efficiency and effectiveness of Utah's Division of technology. Kade Minchey, the Utah Legislative Auditor General, and his team joined us to discuss these reports in detail.
Keeping Life Affordable
As continued signs of economic turmoil are on the horizon, affordability issues are front of mind for many Utah families. In response to these challenges, the Utah House is looking at ways the legislature can help Utahns in the face of rising inflation, housing costs, and a potential economic downturn. Representative Candice Pierucci is with us to discuss these issues and how the legislature is looking to keep life affordable in Utah.
As we get into the height of the Summer season, thousands of visitors from all over the globe are making their way to Utah to experience the incredible recreation and tourism our state has to offer. Vicki Varela – managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism – joins us to discuss the current state of tourism in Utah.
New State Prison
On June 22nd, state officials held a ribbon cutting for the new State Prison, marking the official opening of the facility and capping off a relocation effort that began almost a decade ago. Brian Nielson, Executive Director of the Department of Corrections joins us to talk about the new state correctional facilities which will benefit not only the inmates and correctional officers in our criminal justice system, but the state of Utah as a whole.
North Capitol Building
Dana Jones, Executive Director of the Utah Capitol Preservation Board, is with us to discuss plans for the construction of a new building on the Capitol Complex. This new building will incorporate the first-ever Utah History Museum and other educational exhibits for all visitors to enjoy.
This afternoon, the Legislative Audit Subcommittee met to discuss the findings of three recently completed independent reports which shed light on the effectiveness of our higher-education and public education systems in Utah. Kade Minchey, the Utah Legislative Auditor General, and his team are here to discuss these reports in detail with us today.
Honoring Memorial Day
In honor of Memorial Day, Utah’s Department of Veterans and Military Affairs executive director, Gary Harter, and deputy director, Jeff Hanson, join us to remember the men and women who have served our country faithfully to the end.
Mental Health Awareness Month
May is mental health awareness month and today Representative Steve Eliason is joining us to share his expertise. Representative Ellison represents district 45 in Sandy and has been a champion for mental health policy in our state throughout his time in office.
The Legislative Auditor General, Kade Minchey, and his team are back with us this week to discuss the findings of the Legislature's most recent audits. Listen for an overview of audits covering higher education police departments, a budget review of the Weber School District, and teacher and principal performance within Utah’s public education system. For more information visit olag.utah.gov
With the House and Senate now adjourned, take a few minutes to listen as we run through the finalized state budget and some of the key policies the legislature passed this year to help improve the functions of state government and better the lives of everyday Utahns.
Rural Economic Development
Representative Carl Albrecht joins us to discuss the expansion of investments and economic development opportunities in rural Utah. Listen to this week's episode to learn about the policies passed this session that will support rural Utah.
Representative Jefferson Moss joins us to discuss the Legislature’s efforts to strengthen teachers and modernize education across Utah. Listen to learn more about HB 184, Teacher Professional Development Amendments and HB 386, Education Innovation Program.
The Future of Utah's Transportation
Representative Mike Schultz, House Majority Leader, joins us to discuss some of the upcoming transportation projects Utahns can look forward to seeing across the state in the coming years.
Access to Child Care
There are 98,482 kids in Utah in need of child care who do not have access to it. Representative Pulispher joins us to discuss HB 15, Access to Child Care Amendments, which will help close the gap between need and capacity in our state.
First Responder Mental Health
This week, HB 23 “First Responder Mental Health Services Amendments” unanimously passed the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee. Representative Ryan Wilcox, the bill’s sponsor, is with us today to discuss this legislation and its importance to all first responders throughout our state.