There was a somber moment of silence as Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Aaron Beesley and his family were honored in both chambers of the Utah Legislature Wednesday. Beesley died while on a search and rescue mission in Salt Lake County in June last year. Senator Pete Knudsen from District 17 spoke as a large group of the Beesley family stood in the center of the Senate floor.
Newly elected Utah Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser opened the 2013 Legislative session by urging senators to be fiscally responsible.
In his opening remarks Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser warned his fellow senators to be careful not to believe they can create money out of thin air as they go about tackling some of Utah’s tough budget issues. He says he hopes to see legislators pass laws that work in the long term, especially when it comes to education funding.
The Utah State Legislature begins today with many new faces, clean air advocates files a lawsuit against the EPA, and Congressmen Jim Matheson introduces legislation to limit kids’ access to violent video games.
The Utah Republican party is welcoming former Democratic state representative Christine Watkins with open arms after her recent decision to join the GOP. Watkins, who has served her district near Price for four years, was considered a conservative democrat in the legislature and often sided with Republicans on issues like energy development. Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright says those shared values are some of the reasons why Watkins decided to make the switch.
The state Legislature discusses a proposal to fix the state’s data security issues, the governor’s public lands policy coordinator says a lot more study needs to be done before taking over federal lands, and Salt Lake City conducts a community food assessment.
It’s been 20 years since Merrill Nelson served one term in the Utah House of Representatives, but this year’s legislative redistricting has given him the opportunity to seek another. He’s a Republican who lives in Grantsville, and the new boundaries of District 68 divide Tooele County and extend all the way to Milford in Beaver County. Most of Juab County, including Eureka, is also now in District 68, and that’s where the Democratic candidate, Tom Nedreberg, comes from.