House Democratic Caucus Leaders Respond to Gov. Herbert’s 2018 Budget Proposal

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2017

Contact:   
Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Democratic Caucus
(801) 326-1568 | rosschambless@le.utah.gov

House Democratic Caucus Leaders Respond to Gov. Herbert’s 2018 Budget Proposal

Salt Lake City – Today with the release of Gov. Herbert’s proposed 2018 budget, Utah House Democrats find several aspects of the budget they can support. 

Specifically, giving more than 70 percent of the $382 million of new on-going money towards education for our children is certainly what Utahns want.  Using these additional funds to give local schools more flexibility to invest in teachers and for supporting at-risk children are also good ideas that Democrats can support.  Utahns urgently want more funding for K-12 public school education with appropriate accountability, and the Governor’s budget is a good start.

House Democrats also support the Governor’s goal to improve air quality by aiming to reduce harmful emissions by 25 percent by 2026. The governor’s plan for increased funding for air quality research, and more flexibility in using Transportation Investment Funds (TIF) for all modes of transportation – not just for highways – will make improvements to our air quality.  

It is also important that we continue to fund Operation Rio Grande, and that we responsibly support populations without homes through mental health and substance abuse treatment. House Democrats also support working to create more jobs for rural Utahns, giving more funds to rural Utah schools, and improving and possibly expanding our state park system.   We also look forward to learning more about the governor’s specific ideas on reforming Utah’s tax code.  

“This is a good place to start for a budget bid,” said Rep. Joel Briscoe. “We think he’s got some good policy ideas here.  Helping at-risk kids, increased education funding, and a continued focus on improving air quality are all things Utahns want to see happen.”

“We look forward to working with the governor and other representatives who also want to move our state forward with policies that keep our state economically strong, while helping working families and our children,” said House Democratic Minority Leader Brian King.

###

Democrats Protest President Trump’s Decision to Shatter Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: December 4, 2017

Contact:     Ross Chambless, Communications Director
                    Utah House Democratic Caucus
                    (801) 326-1568 | rosschambless@le.utah.gov

Jon Hennington, Minority Executive Assistant
Utah Senate Minority Caucus
(801) 538-1406 | jhennington@le.utah.gov

Salt Lake City – Today Utah House and Senate Democrats issued the following statement:

The thoughtless actions taken by President Trump are unprecedented and illegal.  They are a gift to those who wish to exploit Utah’s natural treasures, and an insult to the Native American tribes who have worked so hard to ensure that their sacred lands are protected from those who would pillage their artifacts and ruin their beauty.  Their voices have never truly been heard by this administration or by our state delegation.  The overwhelming majority of Native Americans have repeatedly shown their support for the Bears Ears Monument from the beginning.  This decision will also hurt tourism and economic vitality for the many Utahns who built their small businesses around Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  

This type of policymaking, undertaken merely to undermine the actions taken by the previous administration, is no way to govern.  These actions are extremely divisive.  Rather than bringing people together to work towards a collaborative land management plan for these national monuments, President Trump has chosen to unilaterally shatter these majestic areas in reckless ways that remove protection from the most beautiful, culturally significant, and scientifically important lands in our state. This action is shameful, petty, and demonstrates an utter failure of leadership.

###

House Democrats Urge Utah’s Senators to Oppose the Tax Reform Bill

Media Statement

 For Immediate Release: November 29, 2017

 Contact:               Ross Chambless, Communications Director
                              Utah House Democratic Caucus
                              801-326-1568 | rosschambless@le.utah.gov

 House Democrats Urge Utah’s Senators to Oppose the Tax Reform Bill

Salt Lake City - Today the Utah House Democratic Caucus sent a letter to Senators Hatch and Lee urging them not to support the current tax reform bill now being considered by the U.S. Senate:

“We oppose this tax reform bill for two key reasons.

First, this bill will raise taxes on Utah working families earning less than $75,000 according to the Congressional Budget Office analysis. To permanently cut taxes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations while only temporarily giving a tax break to the great majority of Utah’s working families, including individuals below the poverty line, is contrary to longstanding Utah values and undermines future economic vitality for our constituents.

Second, this tax reform bill will increase to an even greater extent an already catastrophic national budget deficit.  Adding $1.4 trillion more to the debt over the next decade is deeply irresponsible public policymaking, and it runs counter to the values of Utah voters and Utah legislators. We believe in fiscal responsibility and balancing budgets, not in profligate spending.  

It is clear that this bill is engineered to benefit only the wealthiest of Americans and corporations while hurting working families.  It also cuts healthcare tax credit support for low-income working Americans that will lead to higher health insurance premiums. To argue that this tax reform bill is anything other than a reckless giveaway to the rich is misleading and disgraceful. 

While there are other aspects of the bill that are also against the public interest, these two reasons alone justify the Utah House Democrats asking that you vote against this tax reform bill.”  

###

Clean Air Festival in SLC Saturday 11/18/17

UTAH SENATE DEMOCRATS

320 STATE CAPITOL • SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84114

(801) 538-1406 • FAX (801) 326-1476

 

News Advisory

November 17, 2017

Contact:         Sen. Luz Escamilla/801-550-6434

                        Angela Romero/801-535-7907

angela.romero@slcgov.com          

 

Clean Air Festival in SLC Saturday

 

Senator Luz Escamilla (D – Salt Lake) and Salt Lake City YouthCity Government, are encouraging the public to attend the Breathe Clean Festival on Saturday at Salt Lake City’s Glendale Public Library. The event is designed to inform the public about short and long-term solutions to improve our environment and individual, family and public health.

                                                                                                

            “The Breathe Clean Festival is the first of an ongoing series of events aimed at educating and empowering our West Side communities and Salt Lake City on reducing health risks and emissions,” says event organizer Dr. Daniel Mendoza, Post-Doctoral Research Associate with the University of Utah Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

 

            Included in the day’s activities are speakers, information booths, workshops, free flu shots, a kids’ activity area, prizes and giveaways and food trucks.

 

            “This event is a great opportunity for Salt Lake City residents, especially those living on the West Side, to get the information necessary to protect their own health and that of their families,” says Sen. Escamilla.

 

            The Breath Clean Festival is sponsored by Salt Lake City YouthCity Government, The City Library, and ten public health partners.

 

Event:           Breathe Clean Festival

Date:             Saturday, November 18, 2017

Time:            10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location:    Glendale Public Library

                        1375 South Concord Street, SLC

Resources: Health Clinics, Blood Pressure Testing

For Kids:     Face Painting, Balloon Animals, Art Projects & more fun activities

For All:        Food Truck, coffee, snacks

 

Full details at:

https://slcgreenblog.com/2017/11/08/breathe-clean-festival-on-november-18/

UTAH LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS JOHN CANNON AS DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH OFFICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UTAH LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS JOHN CANNON AS DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH OFFICE Veteran legislative staffer, community leader, and public affairs director to return to OLRGC

SALT LAKE CITY - Today, Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and Utah House Minority Leader Brian King announced that the hiring subcommittee of the Utah Legislature unanimously recommends that John Q. Cannon assume leadership of the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel (OLRGC).

John Cannon served the Utah State Legislature for over two decades, first as an analyst, then rising to the leadership position of Managing Policy Analyst for OLRGC. Cannon was recognized for his vast knowledge of the legislative process, leadership ability, willingness to innovate, and for encouraging greater citizen participation in government. Cannon left OLRGC in 2012 to work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where he currently serves as the Director of Community and Government Affairs.

House Minority Leader, and co-chair of the hiring committee Brian King said, "I look forward to John's leadership at OLRGC. He brings to the job excellent experience from prior service in that office as well as government relations work in the private sector.  His integrity and commitment to quality will allow the office to move forward on the foundation built by Mike Christensen."

Senate co-chair, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser said, "John is an innovator and a diplomat, with expert knowledge of legislative processes here in Utah and around the nation. He has the experience and leadership ability to get the work done. The choice was not easy.  We had a very strong group of applicants, but he rose to the top. If you were to craft an ideal skill set for this position, John Cannon has it."

As director, Cannon will succeed Michael Christensen, who has led the award-winning Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel since 2000.

In 2012, John Cannon received a staff achievement award from the National Conference of State Legislators, which stated in part, "John possesses a unique array of superior technical skills combined with a first-rate political acumen and an unassuming and down-to-earth demeanor, great sense of humor, and compassion for others."

John Cannon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Public Administration from Brigham Young University.

The six-member Legislative Research Subcommittee is equally balanced between both political parties and both legislative chambers. Their recommendation will now go to the Legislative Management Committee for approval, then ratification by the full Utah State Legislature.

# # #

 

CONTACTS:

Greg Hartley

House Chief of Staff

801-231-2756

 

Lisa S. Jones

House Minority Caucus Staff Director

801-792-2330

 

Jon Hennington

Senate Minority Assistant

801-214-4611

 

Ric Cantrell

Senate Chief of Staff

801-647-8944

Utah Representative To Screen “From the Ashes” With National Geographic TODAY

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: June 21, 2017

Contact:       Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director

                    Utah House Democratic Caucus

                    801-835-7087 | econverse@le.utah.gov

Utah Representative To Screen “From the Ashes” With National Geographic

Salt Lake City - Representative  Joel Briscoe, in conjunction with the Utah Sierra Club, will screen National Geographic’s “From the Ashes: A Requiem for Coal” tonight at the Tower Theater in Salt Lake City. “From the Ashes” premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and explores the struggles of communities whose primary economy is the coal industry, and what their future could be. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Mishka Banuri, Piper Christian, Rep. Briscoe and others.

Who: Representative Joel Briscoe

Utah Sierra Club

What: Screening of “From the Ashes: A Requiem for Coal” and panel discussion

Where: Tower Theater, 876 E 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105

When: TODAY, June 21, 2017 - Doors open at 6:30 and the film will begin promptly at 7:00 pm.

More information can be found here.

###

Democratic Leader Supports Special Session on Elections Guidelines

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2017

Contact:      Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director

                    Utah House Democratic Caucus

                    801-835-7087 | econverse@le.utah.gov

Democratic Leader Supports Special Session on Elections Guidelines

Salt Lake City – House Democratic Leader Brian King released a statement today declaring his support for a special session to detail the laws guiding special elections in Utah.

He said, “We are talking about the fundamentals of our government - checks and balances. Defining how elections are run is a legislative power. We may have a lot in common with how the Governor would like a special election to run, but it is not his prerogative. The legislature is responsible for those decisions.

There is a need to provide clarity in our current law. There is an imminent special election. Why should Utah lose a seat at the table when critical decisions are being made about our lands and our water? There is urgency here and the legislature should address it. I support a special session.”

 

###

 

Democratic Representative Disappointed in Homeless Shelter Site Selection

Media Statement
 
For Immediate Release: March 31, 2017
 
Contact:          Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director
                        Utah House Democratic Caucus
                        801-835-7087 | econverse@le.utah.gov
 
Democratic Representative Disappointed in Homeless Shelter Site Selection

Salt Lake City - House Democratic Representative Mark Wheatley released the following statement after learning that the remaining homeless shelter would be located at 3380 South 1000 West:

“I am deeply disappointed in this site selection, and continue to be committed to my community. I will be working with everyone in the district to ensure their security is held paramount during this possible time of transition. People within my district should know they can and should reach out to me with their concerns and their opinions. I am here to listen and to work towards a successful outcome for everyone involved, including people experiencing homelessness.”

###
 

Healthy Relationships Bill Killed in Committee

Media Statement
 
For Immediate Release:
February 6, 2017
 
Contact:          Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director
                        Utah House Democratic Caucus
                        801-835-7087 | econverse@le.utah.gov
 
Healthy Relationships Bill Killed in Committee

Salt Lake City - House Bill 215 - Reproductive Health Education and service Amendments was killed in the House Education Standing Committee today. The vote stopped all progress on legislation that would expand options for parents looking to educate their children on issues of consent, bodily autonomy, and peer pressure.

Representative Brian King, the bill’s sponsor, said, “The legislature cannot keep ignoring what the people want. Utahns want a program the protects their kids from the things they will inevitably face in high school and in the rest of their lives. Public education is about giving these students building blocks for the future. Why are we leaving out the necessary cornerstone of relationships?”

###

Good Landlord Programs Hurt Community Reintegration Efforts

Media Statement
 
For Immediate Release: February 1, 2017
 
Contact:          Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director
                        Utah House Democratic Caucus
                        801-835-7087 | econverse@le.utah.gov
 
Good Landlord Programs Hurt Community Reintegration Efforts

Salt Lake City - The Utah House Business and Labor Committee voted to pass HB 178 - Good Landlord Amendments out of committee and to the full House for a vote. The bill removes incentives for landlords to deny tenancy from anyone with a criminal conviction within the past four years.

Representative King, the bill sponsor, said “The government should not be able to coerce business owners into denying people housing. It isn’t right. As a state, we are trying to support small business while recognizing the hardships people face when trying to correct past mistakes. We should be making it easier to get on the straight and narrow, not harder.” 

Currently, 14 Utah cities have existing programs, including Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, and Ogden. The legislation has the support of the Utah Department of Corrections, Adult Probation and Parole, Libertas Institute, the Utah Housing Coalition and many more. Information about support and the bill can be found here.

###