Monday, April 18, 2016

Legislative Update Recap

Thank you to Heather Anderson for arranging an excellent program with Representative Brian King and Senator Margaret Dayton.

Members of Women of Water were privileged to hear from both legislators during a meeting at the Utah State Capitol on Monday morning. Representative King spoke of the findings and responses to the 2015 Legislative Audit, including the need for improving data integrity, exploring conservation measures, and examining the structure of water pricing in Utah. Representative King also provided an excellent introduction and overview of several recent bills that are important to the diverse members of Women of Water, whether they work in the public or private sector.


Senator Dayton provided a review of the legislative process, emphasizing the opportunities for individuals as citizens or representatives of agencies to be involved and provide input. She summarized the process (for a bill introduced through the senate) as follows:

  1. The need for new legislation is identified by a citizen, entity, or legislator following discussions in committee meetings (such as the Executive Water Task Force)
  2. A bill file is opened, research conducted, and the bill is drafted
  3. The bill is put on the agenda for the appropriate committee and the public has the opportunity to ask clarifying questions about the bill
  4. The committee votes, then the bill goes to the senate floor, and only senators may further discuss (though the public is able to view proceedings)
  5. If the bill passes the Senate, it then goes to a House of Representatives committee where the public again has an opportunity to discuss the bill and have input
  6. The bill goes to the House floor
  7. If the bill passes the House of Representatives, it goes to the Governor's Office to be signed into law

Senator Dayton gave additional perspectives to the bills mentioned by Representative King and a brief introduction to another bill, which she sponsored:


Both legislators emphasized the need for those who are involved in water resources to become more involved and active in the political process. One way that you can do this is by attending committee meetings, which are open to the public. Senator Dayton is chair of the Water Development Commission, which meets on Tuesdays during interim. Check the committee calendar for updates on times: Interim Calendar

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