Happy Fall! I hope you and your family are enjoying the fall weather. I wanted to give you an update on announcements and things I’ve been working on this month. This week I’m looking forward to hosting sixth grade students in student government from three different elementary schools in our district. We’ll be discussing civic engagement and the legislative process.
It’s been a busy month filled with Redistricting Hearings. This month I participated in committee hearings in Grantsville, Ogden, Logan, Orem, Rose Park, Cedar City and St. George. Last week I penned an op-ed with my colleague, Rep. Andrew Stoddard, from the other side of the aisle on the importance of participating in the redistricting process. You can read the op-ed here. It truly is incredible how many people have complained about outcomes of redistricting in the past, yet so few are engaging in the process. If you are a Utah resident who cares about what your state House, Senate, congressional representation or school board district looks like, now is the time to speak up. You can join us in-person or online. For more information and upcoming hearings, go to redistricting.utah.gov.
Vaccines & Mandates
I appreciated the opportunity to join Glen Mills with ABC 4 on his Sunday morning show, Inside Utah Politics, to discuss vaccines, mandates and political decorum. You can watch the full interview here.
I have received many emails and calls regarding President Biden’s most recent executive order. I wanted to give an update on what we are doing as a legislature to respond. As I’m sure you know, this month, President Biden instructed the Department of Labor to require all businesses with more than 100 employees to either mandate employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine or show a weekly negative test. The President’s decision to mandate vaccinations on private entities is unprecedented and unacceptable. Not only does this move run contrary to his previous promises, but this declaration—without any legislative authorization—violates the principles and processes that are the bedrock of good government.
While a private business may choose to require vaccinations or testing for its employees, the government requiring businesses to take those steps is textbook overreach.
I want to reaffirm my continued support for the vaccination effort. Vaccines have proven to be the most effective measure to reduce the strain on our hospitals and save lives. However, requiring employers to force these decisions upon their employees is not the proper role of government and should not become the new precedent.
The Utah Senate and House Majority Caucuses are taking the following actions:
Supporting Attorney General Sean Reyes as he works with other states to pursue legal action against the federal government.
Encouraging Governor Spencer Cox to reject these new OSHA requirements as allowed under the emergency temporary standard process.
Preparing to respond quickly with legislation once an official rule is released.
Holding a special Business and Labor Interim Committee hearing to gather feedback from affected employers and employees.
State of Reform
I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss items we're working on as a committee in Health and Human Services with Patrick Jones with the State of Reform. We chatted about President Biden's executive order, expanding access to mental health services, and maternal mental health.
You can read our discussion and the full interview here.
Council of State Governments Award
I am excited to have been recognized by the Council of State Governments with their 20 Under 40 Leadership Award. This is truly an honor and I consider it an incredible privilege to represent the community I grew up in. To read the Speaker of the House’s statement, click here.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to represent you, to work with you and for you, on issues important to our district and state. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com with legislative concerns you might have.