“It’s a marathon, and a sprint at the same time,” according to District 1 Representative Joel Ferry, describing the annual 45-day session of the Utah Legislature.
Hundreds of bills have already been filed and “every day you have unique issues, problems, constituency groups and other people to meet with,” said Ferry. “It’s a balance.”
“It’s been busy,” said Representative Casey Snider, R-District 5. “We’ve started the conversation on a lot of important topics and we’re going to be continuing that dialogue.”
“Things are starting fast and furious, but there are some really good things happening,” said Representative Val Potter, R-District 3.
All three legislators say they are working hard for residents of Cache County and enjoying the process as they wrapped up their first week at the Utah Capitol.
One of the biggest issues to be addressed over the course of the session will be the state’s budget.
In his recent State of the State address, Governor Gary Herbert said, “This session we have the enviable task of deciding how to invest over a billion dollar surplus. This surplus is not here by accident. It has come from the hard work of the millions of Utahns whom we serve. It has come because of the decisions of past legislators and governors to spend taxpayer dollars prudently and manage them wisely.”
Ferry said he and other freshman legislators were “given a mandate to look for opportunities where we can save because we want government to be efficient.” He emphasized, “we want to make sure we use the people’s money in a responsible way.”
Snider said they are currently working through appropriations and the budget process. He praised Cache County leaders.
“We are very fortunate that we have some very prudent people in positions of influence. I wouldn’t call us cheap, but we’re definitely frugal.” He said, “We are making sure we spend the people’s money in a responsible way. Cache Valley residents should be thankful and proud of those who they have sent to the legislature.”
In addition to working through the budget, the legislators are meeting in committees and introducing their individual bills. Potter said he is putting through seven bills and three appropriations, including one that will benefit the Logan River Observatory.
Potter is encouraging residents to reach out and contact their legislators if they have questions or concerns at www.le.utah.gov.
You can also speak with representatives in person during weekly town hall meetings. The town halls take place from 7 to 8 a.m. each Saturday of the session at the Cache County Administrative Building, 179 N. Main St., in Logan.