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Ready. Set. Go.

January 21, 2012

At noon on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, I was officially sworn in as a state senator by President Michael Waddoups of the Utah Senate.

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All senate caucuses are closed to the public. Although I do not like nor endorse this practice, it is the body’s long-standing procedure and no vote is requested or taken. If there was a vote to close it, I would vote against it. During the caucus, we heard from Senator Mike Lee for about an hour.

When I introduce myself, I stated, “the only thing that you really need to know about me is that I am a HUGE BYU football fan!” The only other real comment I made during the six hour meeting was to report that I had a very pleasant visit to Mark McCleary’s classroom at WXHS about two weeks ago.

After the caucus concluded, two senators who I know and trust asked me what they could do to help me. I told them that what I really needed was advice. I also shared with them that I didn’t plan to talk very much for at least two weeks. They both smiled and said that if I was wise, I would keep my mouth shut for the entire session. (I doubt that I am quite that wise, if you get my drift.)

Over the past week, I have held about 15 meetings with various constituents. I also visited Vae View Elementary (a Title 1 school), Wasatch Peak (a charter school), and Foxboro Elementary (which is going to a year round schedule due to overcrowding). I also met with board members of two other charter schools: Legacy Prep and Spectrum Academy. (I was surprised to learn that 85 percent of the children attending Spectrum have been diagnosed with Autism or Asperger’s syndrome.)

I will be pushing a bill early in the session to protect public education. Due to ObamaCare, there will be about 12-16 bills introduced this session to mandate private insurers to provide certain kinds of coverage. Each one of those mandates have the potential to increase the cost of employer premiums, which would in turn have to be born by each of our 41 school districts.

My bill will require the Legislature to appropriate funds to cover those increased insurance costs for public schools for each insurance mandate that is enacted. This way, the state can avoid passing along unfunded mandates to each school district — which would ultimately take money away from the students, their classroom, and their teachers.

Wish me luck!

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4 Comments
  1. Good luck with things! If you do ride your bike, can I use your parking space?

  2. Troy permalink

    Good Luck! 🙂

  3. Crisanta Gwilliam permalink

    Welcome to the Hill Todd!!!

  4. rhonda perkes permalink

    Thanks for sharing the human side of being a senator.

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