General Legislative Session: Week One

This year's General Legislative Session opened on January 17th. This week, my colleagues and I successfully passed meaningful legislation that will reduce taxes, increase teacher salaries, give more support to our law enforcement, and keep Utah fiscally responsible.


  • HB215 Teacher Salaries and School Choice Decision 
  • Contacting me
  • TownHall announcements
  • State of the State
  • Week one in photos

HB215 School Choice: My Voting Decision

The good, the bad, and the ugly on HB215-3rd Sub: Teacher Raises, School Choice and the “Utah Fits All” scholarship

I strongly support our public schools. I believe high-quality public schools benefit everyone in the community.  I was happy that the bill included the largest ever pay increase of $6,000 per teacher (~$4200 salary, $1800 benefits) that goes directly to teachers, not to administrative overhead.  I supported this $200 million investment regardless of whether it was tied to a school choice bill or not.

I also believe that our public school system may not work for all kids, and parents need some alternatives.  I had some conditions for supporting the School Choice (vouchers) part of the bill:

  1. Clear accountability for the money used: In my mind, the “HSA model” of withdrawals for qualified expenses met that requirement.
  2. Measurement of results on kids' learning:  The original bill did require student assessments (testing) or learning accountability.  Through our negotiations, the 3rd substitute included provisions that all scholarship recipients must take an annual standardized assessment or submit a portfolio of work.  I would have preferred a stronger measure of academic accountability, but was willing to agree to the compromise.
  3. Allow kids who “stay in the system” to benefit:  Through our negotiations, the 3rd substitute allowed kids in public schools part-time to qualify for scholarships for some outside help.
  4. Limited and focused program:  The program is funded for only ~5,000 students out of the 670,000 students statewide, that will prioritize low income students.  This will impact less than 1% of all students; on average ~4 students in each school.  Additionally, we were able to limit the fiscal growth of the program in future years to a standard education inflation index.

Initially, I was a no on the original bill, but after negotiating in good faith, I felt I could support the amended version, it as benefits teachers, students, and parents.  I feel the scholarships are a good, relatively small way to give parents some additional choices.

I encourage you to read the attached summary, which has more details on the $200M increase for public school teachers and the $42M for school choice. 

More Information on HB215

How to Contact Me During the Session

Voicemail: 801-923-4618
Text: 801-390-3444
Fill out a contact form on the Utah House Representative legislative website

Thank You

I am so grateful to those who have reached out to me via email, call, or text. Your thoughts help me know how to vote and best serve you. As we continue with the next six weeks of the 2023 General Session, please continue to contact me if/when you have concerns. 

Moving Forward with Faith, not Fear 

I loved attending the State of the State Address, where the Governor asked each legislator to bring a young family member -- and spoke directly to them. I am optimistic about the future and know we need to look forward with faith, not fear. To listen to our Governor's speech, read his talking points and watch the full video
Professional photo by Utah State Office of the Governor

Week One in Pictures


Thanks to all those who attended last week's Town Hall. I had the opportunity to talk to several constituents about their concerns, and I am working to help them as best I can. 
I was sworn into my position as your State Representative on January 17. It was a special experience, and I commit to keeping my oath to serve you.
I have loved serving the citizens of District 18, whether that be meeting with the Utah Transit Authority, talking with Cub Scouts, discussing issues with my colleague Rep. Gwynn, or voting on important bills.
My son had the chance to attend the State of the State with me.
I'm grateful we have a governor who works closely with the legislature and who works to do what's best for you. 
I appreciate Legislative Leadership trusting me with the responsibility of Vice Chair of the Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Committee, where we are committed to providing better roads, transportation, and trails to Utahns.


Prefer not to get any more email from me?  Unsubscribe from this mailing list
Copyright © 2023, Utah State Legislature. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT, 84103

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.