Very Busy April
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Veto Override Session
As you know we had a Veto Override Session a week ago. Governor Herbert vetoed two bills. One was a bill that mandated that the Attorney General submit opinions to the State Legislature in a timely manner. Last year the resignation of Jason Chaffetz created a great deal of confusion. We had no mechanism for replacing a sitting Congressman. The legislature asked the Governor to call a Special Session to allow us to address the procedure for replacing him. The Governor wouldn't do it. This caused a Constitutional challenge. We, the legislature asked the Attorney General for an opinion related to our roles. He and his staff did so, but then the Governor told him not to release the opinion to us.
The bill we approved mandated that the attorney general do so in a timely fashion. The Governor vetoed this bill claiming that the Attorney General is his attorney, not ours. We disagreed and overrode his veto. The attorney general is the counsel for both organizations. The legislation created a process whereby he can serve both organizations without a conflict of interest. It now becomes law without the Governor's signature.
The other bill the Governor vetoed had to do with allowing the legislature to be represented in lawsuits where the executive branch has issues with enforcing the laws we pass. Again, we overrode his veto. This may cause a legal challenge which may go before the State Supreme Court. That is a good thing.
The division of responsibilities between the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches must be preserved. Passing these two pieces of legislation will ensure that happens.
2018 Caucus Night
We had a good turnout for Caucus night. Thanks to those of you who came to Caucus night last month. It was good to be with all of my great friends and constituents. It takes an extra effort to attend your caucus meeting and I do appreciate it.
I particularly want to thank Mark Ziegler and his committee for the many hours of preparation and how well they carried out the caucus night. It is usually a thankless job, so I want to thank him. It is not an easy process organizing these events. Thanks again Mark and committee.
Republican County Convention
The Republican County Convention went very well this year. I very much appreciate the temporary chair, Jennifer Jensen. After Jake Parkinson resigned, who by they way was doing a great job before he had to resign, Jennifer took over and did a great job of organizing this convention. I was particularly impressed with the camaraderie that existed during this meeting. We didn't have any people disrupting the meeting. We got done what needed to be done and then went home.
Thanks so much for all of you who served as County Delegates. I enjoyed meeting with all of you. Thank you for your confidence in me by giving me a vote a acclimation to continue to serve as your State Legislator. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Republican State Convention
Thanks again to all of you who served as State Delegates. While we didn't meet as a group, I did talk to some and saw many of you from a distance.
The State Convention was a stark contrast to the Salt Lake County Convention. I don't like fighting among ourselves. My battle isn't with the Republican Party, my battle is with the Democratic Party. Political infighting is not good for the Party. I'm one who likes to build bridges and work through differences.
I supported Mitt Romney, so I'm glad that he made it out of convention. Mike Kennedy is a good friend and fellow legislator. It was hard to take sides, but I feel that Mitt will be able to hit the road running much more quickly than Mike could. The good thing is, both of them are highly qualified. Either man will represent Utah well. But, I would prefer Governor Romney.
I continue to attend the Midvale Homeless Shelter Coordinating meeting. This group of people are truly interested in doing what is best for those who are less fortunate. Crime at and around the Homeless Shelter in Midvale is low because we have officers at the facility around the clock. They are also able to use their time well in neighboring areas keeping the crime down and patrolling the surrounding areas.
I also met with Sandy Councilwoman Brooke Christensen to discuss homeless issues in the Sandy Area. She expressed her concern that there is a lot of crime going on around the 9000 South Trax station and its associated city park. They have even considered closing the park, due to the level of crime in that area. Hopefully that won't have to happen.
In addition I met with Murray Mayor Camp and Chief Burnett to address homeless issues in the Murray Area. They expressed the same concerns, although for them the problem is around the 4500 and Winchester Trax stations. Chief Burnett, while not turning down money to address drug-related crime issues, he said he would rather have access to social services for the less fortunate. Many of these individuals just need help, not jail time.
I have a meeting with the Department of Public Safety to discuss how we can leverage Operation Rio Grande funds to help provide resources to our police departments in all cities, Murray, Midvale and Sandy. Getting
Status of My Bills
Single-sign-on Business Portal Funding
This bill, which I've mentioned before, is now off and running. I met with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Technology Services (DTS) this past month. They are starting the development of this new system immediately. There was a lot of excitement about the potential benefit for businesses in the State of Utah.
Technology Innovation Process and Funding
I had a meeting with DTS this month as well. While we don't have any specific innovations we are working on, this fund will allow us to move forward with one when the time is right.
I am going to be talking about using an Agile development process for new DTS work at our next Technology Advisory Board (TAB) meeting. The TAB will be making some significant decisions in the future. We should be saving the State money and improving efficiencies.
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