For a freshman representative the 2021 Legislative Session was like drinking from multiple firehoses. I’m grateful for the mentoring of Representative Carl Albrecht and Senator Derrin Owens. I can assure the people in Rural Utah and particularly in Juab, Sanpete and Sevier Counties that these good men represent us well.
This session saw some unprecedented challenges, but rose to meet those challenges. The State budget is well managed.
Transportation: The legislature was able to fund the largest infrastructure budget in Utah’s history. Utah is growing at an unprecedented rate. Rural Utah is feeling those growing pains with more crowded highways, county, city and town roads.
Rural Utah will see some roads expanded and upgraded. State Road 132 from Nephi to Fountain Green made the top 20 in the transportation budget. I look forward to seeing that road’s expansion and will continue to push the UDOT to increase the priority on expanding S.R. 132.
Education: Utahns working to improve and support educating our children were stretched in ways they never anticipated, but rose to the challenge and have done an exceptional job. The legislature was able to support our education system in the new normal by increasing funding for education. We are grateful for all those who work diligently to give our children the best education possible.
Counties and Cities: Having served as a county commissioner, I was particularly focused on the counties and cities in Rural Utah. This being a census year, and populations expanding in in all rural counties we risked having our county classifications changed.
A change in classification financially affects the way a county functions in all areas of administration, from roads to assessments. Under the guidance of Senator Owens and Rep. Albrecht we were able to alter the county classification requirements to protect rural counties financial security, operations and our way of life for the next 10 years.
What I Learned: The Legislature appears to be a 45 day, intensive push to make laws. I learned this isn’t the case. I learned that Legislators work with county and city elected officials, agriculture, business, industry and education throughout the year to protect the way of life we enjoy and perhaps improve our way of life to ensure that State and Federal overreach doesn’t become onerous.
I believe some Representatives and Senators, with good intentions, open bills that may benefit some areas in the State but causes overreach that adversely affects other areas. State and Federal overreach can appear very innocuous and innocent, but ultimately can be damaging for rural Utah.
My pledge to rural Utah is that I will always be looking out for State and Federal overreach and fight against it. I may not always be successful, but I will always fight it.
If you have concerns for suggestions please email me at Slund.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. District 58