Tales from Utah Valley: Get involved in the Legislature | News, Sports, Jobs

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

The Utah State Capitol will be shown on Wednesday January 18, 2023.

The Utah State Legislature is back in session. Bills will be introduced, meetings will take place, debates will take place, decisions will be made, laws will be passed. These weeks should be a time of great interest for Utah citizens each year, but they can also be stressful. Many of the decisions to be made will greatly affect all of us, including children. Learning about and participating in what happens in legislation can be rewarding, although the session can also be nerve-wracking as we wait to find out where our state will be moving on many important issues.

Budget, taxes, water issues, transportation, affordable housing, health policy and education are just some of the topics that always seem to be part of the annual meeting. However we feel about the issues, we can raise our voices and get involved.

Visit the Utah State Legislature’s website, le.ut.gov, for information and ways to get involved. The calendar shows the Legislature’s schedule, including times when committees and subcommittees meet. There are also instructions on how to watch a legislative session online and there are even live streams available to watch.

Wondering about new bills, their status and who is sponsoring them? This information is also available on the website. Not only is it interesting to read about the various bills, it’s also important to know what could potentially happen in our state. Many of them, such as For better or for worse, bills such as education-related bills will directly affect us all.

The Get Involved section of the website’s Legislative Guide provides great information on understanding the legislative process, how to find out which lawmakers you represent, how to contact your lawmakers, how to encourage family and friends to get more involved and what you can do can do if you can’t reach your legislature.

Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

The word of the House of Representatives is shown as lawmakers opened the 2023 legislative session on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City.

“Be persistent! Remember that your senator represents about 40,000 people,” it says.

It’s important to reach out to our legislators to let them know where we stand on the issues. After all, they were chosen to be a voice for those who voted for them.

A big question that often crosses our minds is whether our lawmakers are doing the work we voted them to do. Here are some questions we should ask ourselves: Is my legislature listening and communicating with citizens? Does my legislature vote how their constituents would vote? Does my legislature promote and support legislation that is important to the community and will have a positive impact? Or is my legislature focusing on “vague” issues unimportant to the community? Is my legislator responsive to my requests and concerns?

If the answers to these questions leave us frustrated, we’ll certainly take that into account when election time is over, but until then, stay tuned in and know your lawmakers.

Overall, 16 of Utah’s 75 state representatives and nine of 29 senators have electors in Utah County. You can find your district by going to https://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp and looking up your address.


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