This archived article was written by: Heather Myers
CEU’s vice president of institutional advancement and student services, Brad King, is also the local representative in the Utah State House of Representatives. King is the minority whip, which is the person under the minority leader when the House of Representatives meet. He has served eight years in the Utah House of Representatives and this is his fifth term in office.
He left Monday for the legislative session in Salt Lake City which always begins on Martin Luther King Day and lasts for 45 days. The most important issue this session, according to King, is the budget. This is the first time in four years that the legislature has had money to work with.
The legislature has revenue of $300 million this session. “That sounds like a lot of money, but you have to take in to consideration that a one percent increase in salary for every teacher in the state would cost $30 million.” King said, “Sometimes I think it is easier when there isn’t any money, because when there is everybody wants something,. There are so many deserving things [programs/people] out there that want the money that it is hard to decide.”
This $300 million comes mostly from sales and gasoline taxes. It will most likely be allocated to courts, economic development, health and human services, transportation, prisons and public safety.
Some projects King plans to keep an eye on are the tuition tax credit bill, which will allow students from public schools to take the money the state would be giving them to attend school and transfer it to a private school; the no-fault divorce bill, which would eliminate no-fault divorce and would make it more difficult for a couple to get a divorce without proof of abuse or adultery; the utilities regulations bill, which would put more strict regulations on telecommunications; highway dollar allocation for US 6 and “yet another bank vs. credit union bill.”
This session, new Governor John Huntsman Jr. will appoint new cabinet members. There is a new speaker of the house and many new members of congress, “It is difficult to know how things will work out, but it will be exiting working with all of the new changes.” he said.
King sits on the transportation committee, the courts and corrections appropriations committee and the political subdivisions committee. He is kept away from the higher education committee, but says his favorite day is “higher education day on the hill,” that is when all of the student body presidents lobby in the Capitol.
King encourages any CEU students who have questions or concerns to e-mail him at [email protected]. He also encourages them to come to Salt Lake and see for themselves the democratic process in action.