Utah’s legislative session – Yesterday, the 2021 legislative session began with its usual (though COVID-modified) pomp and ceremony, as members of the House and Senate were sworn in. House Speaker Brad Wilson and Senate President Stuart Adams gave opening day speeches and both spoke of increasing unity and better days ahead.
“Great moments are born from great opportunity” was the theme of Speaker Wilson’s address. He was quoting the late Herb Brooks, head coach of the U.S. Olympic hockey team of 1980 who delivered a “Miracle on Ice” as they defeated the Soviets. From the challenges of an unprecedented pandemic to infrastructure, the Utah legislature will grapple with a number of important issues. Speaker Wilson named the three broad categories he hopes the legislature will focus on: broadening the state’s economic success, investing in critical infrastructure, including water, and extending opportunity to all.
President Adams focused on education, health, including mental health and infrastructure needs. “Throughout the pandemic, mental health needs have increased. Davis County’s receiving center for mental health has experienced amazing results. This program and others like it need to be expanded. We cannot ignore this growing concern. Utah should and will create models the country can use to help address this important issue,” he said. He also proclaimed that “2021 will be the year of the tax cut!”
How many bills?! – Yikes. Almost 1100 bills and we are one day in.
You ready for this? So far, 1,081 bill requests for the 2021 #utleg.
House Majority Priorities – The House Republicans released their priorities for the session. The tl:dr version is that there are four basic categories: broadening economic success, building a connected future, extending opportunity to all and balancing emergency powers.
The slightly longer version reads like this:
Broaden economic success through
Economic development incentives
Reducing regulatory burdens
Building a connected future by focusing on
Extending opportunities for all by focusing on
Health, including coverage for currently uninsured children and mental health
Balancing emergency powers by
Ensuring that the powers of government remain divided between executive, legislative and judicial.
Good News of the day – Following the destructive acts of January 6th, the Capitol Building needed to be cleaned. Now, those who did the cleaning are getting thank you notes from around the country. Shannon McMahon posted on her Instagram page “Democracy is undeterred. Will you join me?” She asked her followers to use the hashtag #capitolcleanupcrew – there are hundreds of pictures from people who have sent in thank-you’s.