With the words “Adjourn sine die” the 2018 Utah State Legislature Session came to an end on March 8. Closing out the day, Governor Gary Herbert told members that the session merits a grade A and is the best he has been involved with over his 14 years as governor and lieutenant governor.
“I don’t think I’ve seen a time where we’ve worked in greater collaboration, more congeniality, mutual respect for difference of opinion, and civility,” said Governor Herbert. “We have raised the bar, and I congratulate you.”
Donna Law, Executive Director of Development and Government Relations at Southern Utah University (SUU), works as the university's liaison with Utah State Legislature and has taken the time to recap each week through SUU on the Hill. Rounding out the series, Law looks at the success of the 2018 session:
“SUU will receive a 2.5% labor market adjustment increase and 4% increase for health insurance rate increases. In addition, SUU will receive $2.1 million in ongoing funding for growth, barriers to completion, and workforce alignment. Funding was received to support the Utah Summer Games and the Utah Shakespeare Festival, which are important economic contributors to our community.”
Education was on Governor Herbert’s list of top accomplishments from this session. He explained that “record amounts of money have been put into not only public education but higher education, to address our need with our young population to get a good education. We pride ourselves on our successful economic growth and its the best in the nation. This will allow us to continue to have growth and expansion of the economy. As we know that we cannot have sustained growth if we don't have a skilled labor force and education is the key.”
“Overall the legislature invested a $7.9% increase in higher education,” said Law. “These funds will enable each of the state’s universities and colleges to fill their unique roles in preparing students for the state’s workforce. One of the most innovative and well-received programs presented by President Scott L Wyatt will integrate SUU programs with that of Southwest Technical College to create broader learning experiences and faster completion opportunities for students.”
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. Law is familiar with the media and available for an interview.
Donna Law Associate Vice President, Community & Government Relations
Specializing in legislative and regulatory policy, arts and non-profit management, and fund-raising in higher education