• Deidre_Taking_Oath_LoRes

    Swearing-in

  • Spending time with my daughter on Capitol Hill

    With my daughter on the Senate floor

  • Bryan Schott Interview

    The Role of Women in Politics

  • Open Utah

    We’ve Launched a New Transparency Data Site!

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Legislative Wrap-up Week 3

Week 3 of the Legislative Session

The session is now halfway over, but we still have a lot of work to do. Appropriations subcommittees have finished compiling their budget recommendations. Now the Executive Appropriations Committee will review and refine the final spending bills. Passing a balanced budget is not only mandated by our state constitution—it’s the most important work we do in the legislature.

Conducting a detailed review of every department’s budget each year is essential. Sometimes major problems are uncovered during the process. For example, you can read here about our recent discovery that the Utah Office of Rehabilitation has been using one-time federal grants to fund ongoing programs for the blind, creating a multi-million dollar deficit in their budget. Now we have to find a way to pay for a $6.3 million shortfall, and put thousands of new vocational rehabilitation clients on a waiting list, or else stop these vital services to disabled people almost immediately.

Last Wednesday, my husband gave me an early Valentine’s Day present by surprising me during floor time with a “singing telegram” by a talented quartet from American Leadership Academy’s high school show choir. Two of the singers happened to be my children. It was an awesome surprise! We also heard a group of Native American students from Nebo School District sing a native ballad, accompanied by guitar. Their beautiful, melodic song was a fitting tribute to a rich culture.

A few other highlights from Week 3:

  • We confirmed a new justice to the Utah Supreme Court, Constandinos G. Himonas (More Information). Such confirmations are extremely rare. The last Supreme Court Justice we confirmed was in 2010.
  • We honored Native American Students from Nebo School District, and 5th Graders from Spring Lake Elementary on the Senate Floor.
  • Seventy-six new bills were introduced, twenty-five passed the Senate.

The legislative process is improved with feedback. Seeing you and hearing from you makes this process so much more effective. It was great to see so many of you at the Capitol this week.

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Seen on the Hill

  • Scott Spencer, Payson Fire Chief
  • Steve Spencer, Payson Firefighter
  • Utah County Republican Women
  • Matt Barber
  • Karen Zea
  • Jimmy Henderson
  • Brooklyn Henderson
  • Dallin Isaac
  • Courtney Heirtzler
  • Spring Lake Elementary 5th Graders
  • Navajo students from Spanish Fork and Payson High Schools
  • Cathy Hulse

Town Hall Meeting

Please Join Me for a Senate District 7 Town Hall Meeting Date:           Friday, January 23, 2015 Time:         7:00 pm Location:  Nebo School District Office — 350 South Main, Spanish Fork, UT Topic:       2015 Legislative Session  

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Town Hall Meeting

Please Join Me for a Senate District 7 Town Hall Meeting Date:           Saturday, March 15, 2014 Time:         9:00 am Location:  Nebo School District Office — 350 South Main, Spanish Fork, UT Topic:         2014 Utah State Legislative Session Wrap Up

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Legislative Wrap Up Week 5

Week 5 Legislative Wrap-up Another busy week has come and gone. All but two of my bills are out of committee now. The remaining two bills will either be heard this coming week or be left for another year. Update on my Bills Bills that have passed the Senate and House: SB 125 – Retired Volunteer […]

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Legislative Wrap Up Week 4

Last week was short, due to Washington and Lincoln Day, but busy. We had the honor of hearing from Sen. Mike Lee on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Matheson on Thursday and Rep. Rob Bishop on Friday. The hot topic last week was SB54—a response to Count My Vote, whose organizers assert that increased voter participation is […]

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Ghost Students

Last week, the Utah State Office of Education released an internal audit of distance-learning programs in several charter schools and one district school. The results are alarming. In a nutshell, a handful of Local Education Agencies (a charter school or school districts) have contracted with two particular private companies for “distance-learning” services. These contractors use […]

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Legislative Wrap-Up Week Two

Legislative Wrap-up Week 2 February 3-7, 2014 Last week wrapped up our committee work on the base budgets.  Each one passed out of both the House and Senate. If you’re interested in a little light reading, you can view all of the base budget bills here. Now that those are complete we’ve begun working on […]

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Legislative Wrap-Up: Week One

January 27-31, 2014 My deepest respect, gratitude and sympathy go to Sgt. Cory Wride of Benjamin, and his family, for his ultimate sacrifice in service to our community. Funeral services are set for Wednesday, February 5 at 11 a.m. at the Utah Valley University Events Center. My thoughts and prayers are also with Deputy Greg […]

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Premiere Episode “On Point” January 17, 2014

I had the opportunity to talk about Utah Politics with Holly Richardson and Michelle Mumford. Check out our first episode.

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June Interim & Legislative Investigation

Last week the Utah Legislature held our monthly Interim Day. On Wednesday, June 19 we met in committees and also caucused with our respective legislative bodies. The topic of greatest interest – whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings against Attorney General John Swallow – was discussed in the House Republican Caucus. Utahns have been […]

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