From the desk of your rep­re­sen­ta­tive: 2015 leg­isla­tive up­date from Mike McKell

Serve Daily - - EMPOWERING LIBERTY - By Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike McKell

The be­gin­ning of a new year is an ex­cit­ing time for peo­ple ev­ery­where. For many, it can mean any­thing from fresh be­gin­nings to new semesters to more birthdays peo­ple pre­tend they never had. For mem­bers of the Utah State Leg­is­la­ture, it means a very busy time of year is upon us when we strive to set in place new leg­is­la­tion to ef­fec­tively pro­mote the needs and con­cerns of peo­ple from all over the state.

Four weeks of the 2015 ses­sion have passed, leav­ing us with a short three­week win­dow to ac­com­plish the many things we still hope to do. So far, it has al­ready been an ex­cit­ing ses­sion. Things be­gan in a somber mood as we re­mem­bered Speaker Becky Lock­hart and rec­og­nized the great things she did for our state and the peo­ple in Utah County. I will al­ways re­mem­ber Speaker Lock­hart as a friend, great leader, men­tor and an ex­am­ple of an in­di­vid­ual who al­ways put the needs of the state first.

As the ses­sion has gone on, I have worked on many bills that will im­prove and pre­serve the im­por­tant life­style we en­joy in Utah. As the House Chair of the Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Agri­cul­ture and En­vi­ron­men­tal Qual­ity Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Sub­com­mit­tee, I have urged con­tin­ued sup­port of Utah Lake and the Provo Boat Har­bor.

The sin­gle most im­por­tant ac­tion we take as leg­is­la­tors is bal­anc­ing the state bud­get. At this point, we have met with our ap­pro­pri­a­tions sub­com­mit­tees to de­sign our base bud­gets. There has been tremen­dous de­bate and dis­cus­sion in each com­mit­tee, and at this point we have passed our base bud­gets for all ap­pro­pri­a­tion sub­com­mit­tees. Un­like the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, our base bud­gets are all bal­anced based on pro­jected rev­enue to our state. I am very proud of the work my col­leagues have achieved dur­ing the first three weeks of the ses­sion.

In the small amount of time we still have, we will be ad­dress­ing many of the big is­sues fac­ing our state. Th­ese is­sues in­clude con­sid­er­a­tion of Gover­nor Her­bert’s Healthy Utah plan, pri­son re­lo­ca­tion, trans­porta­tion fund­ing and ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing. Pre­par­ing to ad­dress th­ese top­ics is no small task, nor is it a re­spon­si­bil­ity I take lightly. I am do­ing the re­search nec­es­sary to make ed­u­cated de­ci­sions to help the state as a whole, but car­ing for the state is only part of my role as your rep­re­sen­ta­tive. The other and of­ten more im­por­tant part of my of­fice is to rep­re­sent the cit­i­zens of Utah County and give a voice to their opin­ions and needs.

In ac­cor­dance with this re­spon­si­bil­ity, I in­vite and wel­come con­tact at mm­ck­ My in­tern Matthew Hodg­son can also be reached at mhodg­ or 916-412-7661. Thank you for the great priv­i­lege of rep­re­sent­ing House Dis­trict 66.

Rep. Mike McKell

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