Representative Christine Watkins Reports on Community Feedback

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Representative Christine Watkins visits the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point during the legislative session last week.

By Representative Christine Watkins

The pace is picking up at the legislature with thirteen days remaining in this session. We are done with sub-appropriation committees and are focusing on Standing Committees and floor time. During floor time, we hear, debate, and vote on bills that come out of committee. The new quarterly revenue estimates reveal that the legislature will have $88 million more than it had expected. It is less than 1% of the budget, but it means that some of the funding requests that were lower on the priority list will have a better chance of being funded.

We had three Utah Congressmen come to the capitol to speak to us. Congressmen Chris Stewart and Rob Bishop spoke to us on the floor of the House. Congressman Jason Chaffetz spoke to us during our caucus time. Congressman Stewart reminded us that democracy is based on elections, he also indicated that congress will be looking at tax reform.

I have had leaders from all four counties and cities visit at the capitol; they voiced concerns about bills and funding. Last week’s picture above my article in the ETV 10 News was of Logan Engar and Paul Bryner from the Future Business Leaders Association at Carbon High. Those young men are such great examples of our future!

I had just over 100 responses to my constituent survey; thanks to all who took time to take the survey. Most responses were from Carbon County, but a few were from Emery County and I want to say that I appreciate responses from everyone. I only represent Green River in Emery County, but I feel that I can fairly help represent Emery County with Representative Albrecht because I lived there for thirty years. I told the good representative that I would share the survey results with him. I will split the results into two articles so that the report is not so long.

Number one asked for a priority rating for our state budget:

Rankings were; #1-Public Education, #2-Economic Development, #3-Healthcare/Medicaid, #4-Energy Development, #5-Transportation/roads, #6-Higher Education, #7-Public Safety/Corrections, #8-Tourism and Parks, #9-Maintenance of Existing State Buildings, #10-Increase Rainy Day Fund, and last #11-Tax Refund. These priorities are pretty much in line with the surveys that have been done statewide.

Number two was about Daylight Savings time. Since I put out the survey, I have learned that the federal government will not allow keeping Daylight Savings time all year round. 63% of the responders want to go to the Arizona model (standard time all year) and 20% want to keep things like they are. 17% want Daylight Savings Time all year. (not legal)

Number three addressed legalizing medical marijuana. 64% favor legalizing medical marijuana and 37% oppose it.

Number four asked about carrying a concealed firearm without a permit. 24% favored this and 79% opposed.

Number five asked if you were supportive of the new Bears Ears Monument. 41% are in favor and 59% oppose the monument.

I really appreciate the time that people took to take this on-line and mailing them to me.

Facebook: Representative Christine Watkins District 69, email: christinewatkins@le.utah.gov

Website: voteforwatkins.com   Phone: 435-650-1969

 

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