The Buzz

This is our daily update about what happens on the Hill during the Session. Here you can see the best Tweet of the day, photos from around the House, videos, media reports, new blog posts, just about everything you want. Except taffy.



How about some policy discussion? Here you will find commentary from representatives and staff about featured bills.


The Reps

Want to know about your representative and what they’re up to? Here you will (soon) find the representatives on social media, where to find their legislation and committees, and videos of the reps.


Week in Review

During the legislative session we will post a regular update and summary of the key issues that were debated

Welcome to Vox Populi, the Utah House of Representatives’ blog.

Representative Derrin Owens

Tweet Our newest Representative Derrin Owens was born and raised in Show Low, Arizona. He’s the eighth of nine children and the product of Mormon Pioneers. After serving an LDS Mission to Chicago, Illinois his family moved from Arizona to settle in Ephraim, where he would try his hand at ranching.   Representative Owens married Heather Owens, and the settled in Fountain Green, where they’ve lived together, with their five children, for 23 years. He and his family enjoy boating at Lake Powell, snowmobiling, camping, fishing, hunting, and anything else Utah’s beautiful outdoors has to offer.   Owens received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Science after studying at Snow College and Southern Utah University. He received a Master’s degree in Education from Grand Canyon University. Representative Owens taught history and coached track, wrestling, football. Now a licensed school counselor, he works closely with the students at Juab High School.   Representative Owens is a member of the National School Counselor’s Association, the Utah School Counselor’s Association and in 1998 was named Coach of the Year after leading his women’s and men’s track teams to state championships.   Representative Owens is a hobby rancher, lover and memorizer of poetry, and incidentally is missing the first day of school today. Maybe the Governor will write him an excuse.   We’re excited to welcome Representative Owens to our esteemed body. We know he’ll represent his constituents admirably and wish him well on his first...

Special Session | August 2015

Tweet An email from Speaker Hughes regarding the August Special Session:   Dear Colleagues,   Governor Herbert has officially issued a call for a Special Session (call attached) to take place next Wednesday, August 19th at 3:00 p.m.  We will still hold our interim committee meetings that morning and caucus in the afternoon.  Also, you are all invited to join us in welcoming our newest member, Derrin Owens, as he gets sworn in at 7:30 a.m. in the House Chamber.    The schedule for the Wednesday is as follows:   7:30 a.m. :                               Derrin Owens Swearing In 8:00 a.m. – 10:15 a..m:            Block A Committee Meetings 10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.:         Block B Committee Meetings  1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m:              Caucus   3:00 p.m.:                                Special Session   **Please note that no evening meal will be provided.  If you have special dietary needs please plan accordingly.    Here is a list of the items that the House will be voting on during the Special Session:   1.  To consider the recommendation of the Prison Relocation Commission as to the building of a new state prison at the location of Interstate-80 and 7200 West in Salt Lake City. 2.  To consider changes to the statute of limitation governing refunds or credits issued for overpayment of corporate taxes. (SB 94 from the General Session) 3.  To consider the statutory qualifications for the Medicaid Inspector General. 4.  To consider corrections to the penalty for an accident involving injury, death, or property damage, and code references within Utah Code section 76-10-503. (Technical fixes to the Justice Reinvestment Initiative)  5.  To consider clarifications...

Representative Steve Eliason Presented With 2015 “Katie’s Hero” Award

Tweet FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     Representative Steve Eliason Presented With 2015 “Katie’s Hero” Award   Parents of murder victim Katie Sepich, along with author and exonoree James Tillman, recognize Representative Steve Eliason for his work on HB212 to require DNA upon all felony arrests   SEATTLE, Washington. (August 5, 2015) – The parents and sister of murder victim Katie Sepich were joined by author James Tillman in presenting Utah State Representative Steve Eliason with the “Katie’s Hero Award”. The Katie’s Hero Award is an honor bestowed by the Sepich’s non-profit advocacy group DNA Saves on individuals for leadership in solving and preventing crime by supporting legislation to expand the use of forensic DNA technology. According to the certificate of award, Representative Eliason was selected for his strong support of HB212 in 2014 to require DNA upon all felony arrests in Utah, to ensure law enforcement is not unwittingly releasing repeat offenders back into the community.   Jayann Sepich, co-founder and president of DNA Saves, introduced the award and 2015 recipients at a Forensic DNA Luncheon event held concurrently during the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislators (held this year in Seattle).   In presenting the award, Ms. Sepich said, “The enactment of HB212 will have a profound and lasting impact on public safety in Utah. Representative Eliason’s leadership on this issue will result in getting many rapists and other violent criminals off the streets, and will prevent additional Utah residents from being needlessly victimized.”   The keynote speaker at the luncheon was James Tillman, who spent 18 and a half years in prison convicted of...

Happy Birthday Rep. Schultz! (Don't worry, your secret's safe with us.) #utleg #utpol ...

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The swearing in of District 58's Representative Derrin Owens. ...

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