From the desk of your representative: 2015 legislative update from 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. My intern Matthew Hodgson can also be reached at email@example.com or 916-412-7661. Thank you for the great privilege of representing House District 66.
Rep. Mike McKell