2023 Session - Week 1

2023 Session - Week 1

Neighbors, Friends, and Constituents,

The General Session of the 65th Legislature is officially underway and off to a promising start! I was officially sworn in on Tuesday with many other new representatives who I am honored to work with. Serving in this capacity is a privilege I don’t take lightly, and I’m grateful for the confidence you’ve placed in me.

This has already been a highly productive week full of thoughtful debate that will greatly benefit Utah. I’m confident that we’re headed in the right direction, and I’m eager to continue working with my esteemed colleagues over the next six weeks. 

I urge everyone to follow along with the legislative process as it plays out over the next few weeks. Your participation is critical as we navigate each new bill and I truly value your input. To learn about the legislative tracking service and how to virtually participate and provide a public comment, watch this helpful video tutorial. You may also view our weekly agendas here.

The Utah Way Together

Though the legislative session just started, my fellow legislators and I have spent the last year preparing and planning for the coming weeks. As a majority caucus, we have identified our policy priorities for this session as follows:

  • Stewardship: Safeguarding our valuable natural resources
  • Affordability: Keeping Utah affordable for everyone
  • Investment: Laying the foundation for a prosperous future

I invite you to learn more about these legislative priorities and what they mean for Utah here.

State of the State

We had the privilege to hear from Governor Spencer Cox during his State of the State address on Thursday. His speech focused on policies that will help families and the next generation of Utahns, a topic that is important to all of us. I look forward to working alongside him and all of my colleagues to ensure Utah continues to prosper for our children and grandchildren.

Economic Outlook and Housing Affordability 

Our latest Utah House of Representatives Podcast episode dives deep into the topic of housing affordability and Utah’s 2023 economic outlook. The potential for economic uncertainty is a high priority concern for Utah citizens and policy makers, especially considering recent record breaking inflation. 

Listen as Rep. Stephen Whyte discusses housing affordability and Rep. Robert Spendlove explains where current economic indicators are pointing. This insightful conversation provides information on what Utahns might be able to expect in the coming year. Click here to listen.

Bills I’m Working On

I’m working on a few different bills I’d like you to be aware of. One is regarding law enforcement recruitment and training and is designed to help agencies find high quality candidates to support law enforcement and help keep our communities safe. Another is for consumer protection measures regarding opioids. In addition, I am pursuing transparency bills in relation to water and education transparency.

Highlight of the Week

I had the opportunity to meet with the Payson and Santaquin Youth City Councils. They accompanied me at the Business, Economic Development, and Labor Committee to observe my presentation of the Municipal Office Modifications bill. 

This group is full of bright and strong young leaders who will undoubtedly shape the future of Utah.

Education Day

H.B. 215 was debated, giving me an opportunity to testify on the house floor. This bill establishes the Utah Fits All Scholarship Program and provides funding for the program and a doubling of an educator salary adjustment. This authorization is designated for optional education opportunities for children outside the public school system.

Meet my Intern: Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is a student at Utah Valley University. At Olympus High School in 2021, Katie was the second female ever to serve as Student Body President. She first gained experience in the Utah legislature when she was an intern for Sydnee Dickson, the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state of Utah during the 2022 legislative session. Here, Katie assisted policy analysts and contributed feedback helping to shape legislation. She hopes to attend law school one day and would like to eventually complete a congressional internship in Washington D.C. to further her knowledge and understanding of public policy.

Katie Nelson

In closing, I’d like to reiterate that I am eager to hear what you’d like us to achieve during this legislative session. Your voice is vital in this process and I’m always here to lend an ear. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions and concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.

Representative Doug Welton
Utah House District 65