Salt Lake Lawmaker Rebecca Chavez-Houck To Retire Next Year
Longtime Democratic state lawmaker Rebecca Chavez-Houck will not be running for re-election next year.
Rep. Chavez-Houck said she had hoped to share her plans for retirement later this year, but confirmed the news in an email Monday after it appeared on the website Utah Policy.
She said she looks forward to a productive final year.
The Salt Lake Democrat was first elected to the state legislature in 2007, representing House District 24, which covers most of downtown — from the Rio Grande district to Temple Square to the Avenues.
Chavez-Houck was well-known for advancing progressive legislation focused on access to health care and election reform.
In the last session alone, she proposed bills on ranked-choice voting, same-day registration and a redistricting.
Although her bills didn’t always get very far in the GOP-controlled legislature, House Minority Leader Brian King said Chavez-Houck knew how to start conversations.
“I think she felt like many of us in the caucus feel, that just having an individual in the legislature to give voice to policies that substantial numbers of people want to have discussed, want to have presented and raised, is in and of itself a very critical function,” he said.
King said that included more difficult issues like the death with dignity bill she’d pushed for over the last few sessions to give terminally ill patients access to life-ending drugs. He called her retirement a huge loss for their caucus.
"She's so smart and she's such a good human being and she's so hard-working, and yet she also makes it clear where she stands putting first and foremost — at all times — the policies that we're dealing with," he said.