The 2020 Utah State Legislature opened last week, and it was a busy one.
The first three weeks of the session include appropriations committee meetings. There are two that we watch closely and in which we participate as a higher education institution: Higher Education Appropriations Committee (HEAC) where our general operations and budget is considered, and Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations (IGG) where capital expenses like additional motor pool vehicles and buildings are discussed and prioritized. Our priority with this committee is influencing their prioritization of our Academic Classroom Building, a $45 million project for which SUU received planning money last year.
SUU President Scott L Wyatt will present in HEAC on Thursday, February 6 and in IGG on Friday, February 7. The meetings are streamed live, so you can listen in. Visit le.utah.gov and click on the calendar tab to see which meetings take place on which days. If you can't listen live, the meetings are recorded and you can check it out at a time convenient for you.
The Utah Summer Games and the Utah Shakespeare Festival have already presented in committee to request funds. The Festival's touring company of Every Brilliant Thing received recognition on the House floor culminating in a House Proclamation. We also had time to visit with Governor Gary Herbert and his Chief of Staff Justin Harding, a proud SUU alum. Governor Herbert continues to be impressed with the work we do at SUU and has said to President Wyatt, "I look to you for innovation in Higher Education."
That is exactly what we will be promoting on SUU Day, Tuesday, February 4. We will begin the day will SUU Aviation landing helicopters on Capitol Hill, followed by a showcase of programs in the Rotunda from 12-3 p.m. The Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service has made arrangements to bring a group of students for a Capitol Hill experience and we anticipate MPA students, past and present, from throughout the state will also be joining us. #suuonthehill
Senator Evan Vickers, Representative Rex Shipp, and Representative Brad Last are the elected state officials that represent Cedar City and Iron County. Each provide regular updates if you want to follow them on Facebook.
This is my seventh session representing SUU and I love the opportunity to promote the great things we do at SUU. Those efforts are aided by the seven outstanding SUU students serving as legislative interns in the House and the Senate.
Donna Law Executive Director of Development and Government Relations
Specializing in legislative and regulatory policy, arts and non-profit management, and fund-raising in higher education