SUU Blog | T-Bird Nation

2018 Utah Legislative Session: Week Three Recap

By Donna Law on February 12, 2018 in

Faculty Spotlights, SUU Politics

Senators Evan Vickers and Don Ipson wearing their SUU Bright Futures shades.jpgThe third week of the legislative session is a very busy one as appropriations committees conclude their work. In the midst of that (and quite intentionally) we celebrated SUU Day on the Hill on Tuesday, February 6. It was a fun and productive day with President Scott L Wyatt on hand to talk with legislators about the good things we do at Southern Utah University.

Friday, February 9, was the day we would get our first sense of how things would work for SUU from the various appropriations committees. The Higher Education Appropriations Committee gave some much-needed attention to both Snow College and SUU who, because they are smaller schools, are often at a disadvantage when funds are awarded on a percentage basis. SUU was prioritized at #1 for some Strategic Workforce Initiative funding; this is the first time we've been a successful applicant for this process. Congrats to Richard Cozzens and the grants office for identifying a program that helps students from high school, through Southwest Tech and SUU and into the engineering workplace in Iron County.

At the same time that discussion was happening in Senate Building 210, President Wyatt and his wife Kathy were learning how we fared in the Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Committee held in Capitol building 445. Having had some thirty individual meetings during these first three weeks of the Legislative Session, well-timed and supported by legislative champions, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Child & Family Development was prioritized for funding. We are thrilled at these results and grateful for the support.

For lunch that day, Kathy and I wrote about 20 thank you notes and had some additional appointments to express our appreciation.

The next couple of weeks, I will focus my attention more on bills and how they affect our campus. The legislative reps from each campus meet on Mondays and Thursdays at noon to review the bills and strategize our preferred outcomes. To see for yourself some of the bills that could impact our school, visit le.utah.gov and search for 2018 Higher Education. A wealth of information is there. You can learn about what's happening with Utah System of Higher Education and with our sister organizations, the tech colleges. We are looking forward to an exciting and enhanced relationship with Southwest Tech. President Wyatt is recognized as one of the most innovative and trusted university leaders and his efforts (and ours) are being recognized and valued.

The last two weeks of the session, we will circle again around the appropriations efforts specifically with the Executive Appropriations Committee. We won't have final numbers to report until the last day or two of the session. It's work and wait...


     

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