A number of events and activities are traditionally part of the first week of the legislative session. Both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate make speeches that set the tone for the efforts in their respective chambers.
And on Wednesday, January 24, Governor Gary Herbert gave his State of the State address. The Governor's speech was just a little different this year as he highlighted the Legislative Priorities and Utah's Accolades.
"Tonight I want to talk about the good that comes from doing the hard things. I would like to talk about building our future together, about how we perpetuate our unique culture of self-reliance and personal responsibility, and how, together, we can build a better, a kinder, and a more civil world."
Read his entire speech here.
Earlier that day, President Scott L Wyatt and his wife Kathy were at the Capitol to take a number of meetings to discuss Southern Utah University's need for the Sorenson Legacy Foundation Child & Family Development Center. Because our time together was limited, we prioritized meetings with the chairs of the Infrastructure and General Government committee and were able to meet with members of both House and Senate majority leadership members. (I guess I was busy enough I forgot to take photos!) We have great support for this project from Representative Westwood and Senator Vickers and more meetings will take place this week and next to advise committee members of our need and request their support.
The highlight of the week was last Friday, January 26, when President Wyatt presented to the Higher Education Appropriations Committee. Senator Vickers chairs the committee and SUU alumnus Representative Derrin Owens is the House Vice-chair. They had asked SUU to be the first school to present this session. President Wyatt shared some of our programs and initiatives that focus on student success and completion. Listen to his presentation or the full proceedingsof the Higher Education Appropriations Committee.
Members of SUUSA were present for the presentation as was SUU VP Marvin Dodge and SUU Staff Association President, Barbara Rodriquez. It was Higher Ed Day and Legislators joined Regents, members of Trustees and presidents from all eight of Utah's state schools for lunch hosted by Dominion Energy. It was a nice way to finish the first week.