School Board Elections
Last September U.S. District Court Judge Waddoups struck down Utah’s state school board election process as a violation of free speech.
This week the House Education Committee heard several bills that attempt to solve this problem and ensure a fair and constitutional path to the state school board. Of the bills heard Thursday, three left the committee with a favorable recommendation:
S.B. 104 Education Elections and Reporting Amendments: This bill eliminates the nominating committee and requires candidates for state and local school boards to participate in a partisan school board election. The Senate sponsor is Senator Al Jackson. I am the sponsor in the House.
HJR 16 Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – Governance of Public Education: This resolution would amend the constitution to require that all state school board seats be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate.
HB 186 State School Board Membership and Election Amendments: This bill creates a direct nonpartisan election for the state school board, requiring candidates to gather signatures from residents in their area in order to appear on the ballot.
These three bills will be debated on the House floor this session. Each has merit and I believe that ultimately, the process we choose will be one that brings greater transparency and participation to school board elections.
Rebecca D. Lockhart Highway Designation
The Herald wrote an article about a bill file I opened designed to add a memorial designation to a portion of Interstate 15. I believe it will be a blessing for former Speaker Lockhart’s grandchildren, and for all of us to recognize the contribution our first Woman Speaker of the House made to preparing Utah County for the future through the rebuild of this section of I-15. The project came in ahead of schedule, under budget and set new innovative construction techniques that are being utilized throughout the country. It would not replace the Veteran’s designation, but would add her name to this specific section and honor her leadership.
Family at the Legislature
Amidst the endless meetings and time on the floor, we sometimes get a few moments to share with those who mean the most. It’s always a delight when my family and grandchildren can join us for a few minutes.