Utah House of Representatives Podcast
By Utah House of Representatives
Utah House of Representatives PodcastMay 25, 2023
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.
Period Products in Schools
Currently, 7/10 girls lack access to period products. This week, the House Education Committee passed HB 162 (Rep. Lisonbee), which will provide period products in public and charter schools throughout the state. Representative Lisonbee joins us to discuss this legislation, how it came to be, and why it will benefit so many Utah girls.
2022 Legislative Priorities
This week, the Legislature officially convened for the start of the 2022 General Legislative Session! Speaker Brad Wilson joins us to discuss the policy priorities for the House Majority Caucus and the specific issues we can expect the Legislature to tackle over the next 6 weeks.
Great Salt Lake
This week, Speaker Brad Wilson hosted the first-ever Great Salt Lake Summit to bring researchers, state and local policymakers, and environmental interest groups together to discuss the problems and potential solutions to the declining water levels in the Great Salt Lake. Representative Tim Hawkes joins us to discuss how good water policy can help reverse the action of the lake and improve the quality of life for all Utahns.
Economic Outlook 2022
With 2021 coming to a close, many Americans find themselves wondering what the new year has in store for them. Rep. Robert Spendlove, Vice Chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee and the Senior Economist for Zions Bank joins us to break down some of the current economic trends we’re seeing in the market and what kinds of financial and business forecasts Utahns might anticipate heading into 2022.
Have you ever wondered how the state budget is made? Representative Brad Last, the House Chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee joins us to discuss state revenue estimates and components of the 2023 state budget that will be passed in the upcoming general session.
The Legislative Auditor General and his team join us to discuss the Legislature's most recent audits, including healthcare, education, and emergency response. Learn more by visiting olag.utah.gov.
Utah State Flag
Over the past several years, many Utah lawmakers have advocated redesigning the Utah State Flag to better reflect the history, culture, and uniqueness of our state. Representative Steve Handy has been one leading the effort and is here to discuss the current status of the state flag and what Utahns can expect to see happen to the flag in the coming months.
The Legislative Auditor General and his team join us this month to discuss three newly-completed audits on the Utah Homeless Service System, the Utah Career Service System, and warrants and uncollected fines and fees in the state. These audits provide meaningful recommendations to the Legislature to improve policy throughout our state! Visit olag.utah.gov for more info.
This Veterans Day, we say thank you to all those who have served and who are currently serving today. Thank you for your courage and sacrifices to preserve and protect our nation. Listen to this episode to hear from Representatives Lesser, Lund, Gwynn, Peterson, Musselman, and Burton. Each of these men and women has not only honorably served our country but continues to serve their state and neighbors in the Utah House of Representatives.
Legislative Auditor General- October Audits
Kade Minchey, the Utah Legislative Auditor General, Darin Underwood, the Deputy Auditor General, and Ben Buys, the Auditor Manager join us to discuss the findings of several newly-completed audits. These findings will help policymakers make better informed decisions and determine which policies the Legislature should pursue in order to more effectively manage the state.
Utah’s outdoor recreation opportunities are among the best in the world! Representative Jeff Stenquist, recently appointed chair of the newly created Outdoor Adventure Commission, joins us to discuss the effort to ensure quality recreation opportunities exist for all Utahns as we continue to grow as a state.
Economic Development and Opportunity
Ben Hart from the Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity joins us to discuss Utah’s economic development strategy along with policies and programs that spur economic growth throughout the state.
Civics Engagement Program
Abby Osborne, Chief of Staff for the Utah House of Representatives, discusses the newly launched Civics Engagement Program. The new program offers 5th-graders across the state the opportunity to visit the State Capitol, engage with their local elected official, and debate mock bills on the House floor. Listen to learn how you or your student can get involved!
Back to School
Representative Doug Welton joins us in his professional capacity as a high school teacher to discuss the upcoming school year, civics education, and tips for helping Utah students succeed.
Redistricting Pt. 2
The Legislative Redistricting Committee is committed to making the redistricting process as fair and transparent as possible. Listen to this week's episode to learn what the committee plans to do after the census data is released.
Redistricting Pt. 1
Representative Ray, co-chair of the Legislative Redistricting Committee joins us to discuss this once-in-a-decade process.
Legislative Auditor General Pt. 2
In continuation of our last episode, Utah's Legislative Auditor General walks us through the process of an audit and explains how audits help agencies statewide.
Legislative Auditor General
Utah’s Legislative Auditor General, Kade Minchey, joins us in this two-part episode as we dive deep into the legislative auditing process. Kade’s work ensures our state continues to thrive on principles of accountability and a constant willingness to improve.
Are we Running out of Water? Pt 2
Tage Flint joins us to discuss this year's drought conditions.
Are we Running out of Water?
Tage Flint joins us to help us understand just how serious Utah's drought is this year and why it differs from years past.
High School During COVID-19
This week our special guest is a soon-to-be senior at Rowland Hall High School. Join us to learn first-hand what it's like to go through high school with the added curveball of dealing with a global pandemic.
Adult Learning Grants
Where better to find top-tier educators than right here in Utah? Two of Utah's lawmakers created pathways to help adults change their careers and become the teachers Utah needs. Listen to this week's episode to learn how you or a friend can take advantage of these new programs!
Remembering our Fallen Soldiers
What is the difference between Veteran's Day and Memorial Day? Former National Guardsman and current Representative, Val Peterson, joins us on the show to help us understand the difference.
Special Session Summary
This week lawmakers participated in a special session to allocate money from the American Rescue Plan Act. Listen to this week's episode to find out where that money went and how it will impact Utah's economy.
Federal Education Funding
Over the last year, education in Utah has seen historical and dramatic increases in funding thanks to conservative and sound fiscal policy. Now, with additional CARES money from the federal government, Utah can again provide education with additional funding and resources. Join us for this week's episode where we talk with Representative Lowry Snow, the Chair of the Education Committee, to discuss what lawmakers plan on doing with this round of federal funding for education.
Postcard Reminders are Back!
Were you one of those people who forgot to renew your vehicle registration last year because you didn't get a postcard reminder? Well, thanks to Representative Chew, you won't have to worry about that happening again. Join us on this week's show to learn about what he did to fix the problem.
What is Interim?
Ever wonder what Utah's part-time legislature does after the 45-day session ends? Here's your answer! Turns out, Utah's lawmakers are busy throughout the whole year.
2021 Legislative Priorities
Utah Speaker of the House Brad Wilson joins us on the show this week to talk more about Utah's greatest accomplishments coming out of the 2021 General Session.
$100 Million Tax Cut
Did you know the Utah Legislature cut taxes by $100 million this year? Listen to this week's episode to see how the tax break could affect you.
Funding Utah's State Parks
The Director of Utah's state parks joins us on this week's episode to talk about the historic funding the Legislature appropriated towards our state parks. Part of that funding includes two new state parks!
Women's History Month
Did you know Utah was one of the first in the nation to grant women the right to vote? Utah has been a leader in women's suffrage since the beginning, and who better to tell us about that than the youngest women to ever serve in the Utah House of Representatives, Candice Pierucci.
2021 Session: Week 7
From funding our state parks to double-tracking the Frontrunner, House Majority Whip Mike Schultz joins us this week to talk about his bill that will be one of the largest infrastructure investments in Utah's history.
2021 Session: Week 6
Why is Utah in such a healthy state fiscally? Representative Moss explains how Utah's foresight put us in a position to issue a $100 million tax cut this year when most states are scrapping for money.
2021 Session, Week 5
Having trouble affording a house in Utah? So are many others. This week we are discussing two pieces of legislation that are aimed at tackling the problem. If these bills pass, we may see an increase in supply and a decrease in the cost to build a home in Utah. Listen now to find out the details!
2021 Session, Week 4
Utah's economic growth has been incredible these last few decades, but that growth and economic strength are far from reaching their peak. Representative Hawkes joins us on the show this week to talk about more ways that Utah is staging itself to be the country's economic leader.
2021 Session, Week 3
If you are an entrepreneur or inventor, this episode is for you! Representative Cory Maloy joins us on the show this week to talk about his bill that will help new businesses in Utah get off the ground.
2021 Session, Week2
This week Representative Brad Last joins us on the show to talk about the importance of the base budget and why the state of Utah created the base budget in the first place. It's a story you won't want to miss!
2021 Session, Week 1
Every week for the duration of the session, we will hear from a few lawmakers about their priority legislation. This week, we will hear from Representative Cory Maloy about driver's license suspensions and Representative Walt Brooks about constitutional concealed carry. Listen to this week's episode to learn more!
How to be Involved with the Utah Legislature
This year, the legislative session will look a little different for all of us, but the changes that have been implemented to keep everyone safe during the pandemic also increase public access to legislative proceedings. Listen to this week's episode to learn how you can get involved!
2021 Legislative Procedures
As we welcome you back from the holidays, we remember the life of Representative Luwanna Shurtliff, who was well-loved by family, friends, her community, and the members of the Utah House of Representatives. She will be missed dearly.
With the 2021 General Session just over a week away, preparations to keep the legislature a safe environment during the COVID-19 pandemic are being finalized. Listen to this week's episode to learn about the changes that have been implemented around the Capitol to keep everyone safe.
Service Project Update
Thank you to all those who donated to the Utah House of Representatives service project this year. With your help, we were able to supply these schools with over $8,000 worth of donations and materials.
Meet Our Newest Members
Last month, the Utah House of Representatives welcomed in 13 new members. Listen to this week's episode to find out who they are and what unique experiences they bring to the table.
Holiday Service Project
Teachers in the state of Utah do so much, and this year, due to challenges caused by COVID-19, our teachers are asked to do even more. The Utah House of Representatives, along with other state offices and partners, is collecting supplies and donations for three title-one schools in the Ogden School District, to alleviate some of their needs. To donate, go to www.successfund.com/teachers
2020 Election Results
Every two years all 75 seats are up for election in the Utah House of Representatives. In this week's episode, find out about all the changes that occurred in the 2020 elections.
The 7 Constitutional Amendments Part 2
Find out which constitutional amendments passed and what it means for Utah.
Unemployment Benefits and Rent Releif
The Department of Workforce Services has been working overtime to help Utahns get through the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, Nate McDonald joins us to discuss these benefits and what DWS is doing to ensure every Utahn has the resources they need to make it through these challenging times.
Business Grants and COVID-19
Businesses have been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19. Kori Ann Edwards, the Managing Director of Operations for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, joins us today to talk about the programs that have helped businesses survive.
Utah's New Transmission Index
Last week, Utah went through a major change in the way the state is managing COVID-19. Rich Saunders joins us on the show today to help us understand these new changes and why they were necessary.
Constitutional Amendment G
The 7 Constitutional Amendments
This election year, there are 7 constitutional amendments to consider on your ballot. Listen to this week’s episode to find out what they are, so you can cast your vote in confidence!
Elections and the Census
Utah Culture and Arts part 2
Many museums and culture-related organizations are providing free activities during this fall and winter. Find out which activities you can join!
Utah Culture and Arts part 1
Want to know how Utah's culture and art industries have been affected by COVID-19? Listen to this week's episode to find out.
Utah State Parks part 2
What are we doing to ensure our state parks stay open? Find out in this week's episode.
Utah State Parks part 1
Do we love our state parks too much? Find out the answer in this week's podcast.
CARES Money in Utah
Find out where the CARES money got spent, how much is left, and what it accomplished.
Utah Schools Open During COVID-19
Find out what Utah's school districts are doing in order to open back up during the COVID-19 pandemic.