Higher Education and the 2018 Utah State Legislative Session

Higher Education and the 2018 Utah State Legislative Session

January 23, 20182 min read

The 2018 Utah State Legislature Session began on Monday, January 22 and will run through March 8. The Utah State Legislature, comprised by the Utah House of Representatives, with 75 state representatives, and the Utah Senate, with 29 state senators, meets in Salt Lake City starting each January for a 45-day session.

Donna Law, the Executive Director of Development and Government Relations at Southern Utah University, and expert on government relations works each year to connect higher education and the Utah State Legislature.

“Each of the eight colleges and universities in Utah has a similar representative,” said Law. “We work closely together and with a representative from the Utah System of Higher Education, to evaluate bills and strategize our advocacy efforts on behalf of higher education's students, faculty and staff.”

The Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), with guidance provided by its 19 member governing Board, is responsible for statewide planning of higher education and submission of a unified budget request to the Governor and State Legislature.

The first three weeks of the Legislative Session prioritize appropriation committee meetings.

“Of greatest importance to us as a University is the Higher Education Appropriations Committee. On Friday, January 26, President Scott L Wyatt, among others, will report to the committee to share some of our programs and initiatives that focus on student success and completion.”

Running from January 22-26, the first week of the session will include Tourism Day, Local Officials Day, and on Friday, Higher Education Day.

“Representatives from each university have been invited to join the legislators for lunch and one-on-one time to talk about the importance of supporting higher education and our Utah System of Higher Education priorities of access, timely completion, and workforce alignment.”

Donna Law previously directed the non-partisan Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service at Southern Utah University and is involved with a number of boards and committees, including being appointed to the Utah Transportation Commission in May 2017. Law is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit her profile.


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