AP

New leaders taking over as Utah Legislature opens

Jan 28, 2019, 6:52 AM
Biden vaccine plan...
FILE PHOTO: Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Legislature’s 2019 session will open Monday with new faces in several leadership roles.
Taxes, education and Medicaid expansion are expected to be among the big issues this year. Utah voters approved fully expanding Medicaid in November, but lawmakers who long resisted the change are expected to propose revisions that will have supporters fighting back.

Here is a look at the top leaders, chosen by a vote of lawmakers within their party. Majority leaders appoint committees, chair daily sessions and oversee the running of their respective chambers:

HOUSE SPEAKER

Republican Brad Wilson is moving from majority leader to speaker of the Utah House, replacing outspoken former boxer Greg Hughes, who decided not to run for re-election in 2018 and is considered a possible candidate for governor.

Wilson represents Kaysville, and his day job is CEO of Destination Homes. During his legislative tenure he has helped oversee the sometimes contentious project to move the state’s aging prison from Draper to Salt Lake City. He also sponsored legislation that led to the removal of the so-called Zion Curtain that blocked bars from view in Utah restaurants.

Taxes will be among the big issues this year, he said, including Gov. Gary Herbert’s proposal to tax more services as sales tax revenue shrinks.

Sen. Evan Vickers is the new majority leader.

SENATE PRESIDENT

Utah’s new Senate president is Republican Stuart Adams, who was third in line as majority whip before winning the top job.

He represents Layton, near Wilson’s hometown of Kaysville.

He is a partner in a real estate development firm and was first elected in 2009. Education will be among the top issues this year, especially preparing people for jobs needed in the workforce, he said.

Adams co-sponsored a milestone 2015 compromise bill extending antidiscrimination protections to LGBT people. He also co-sponsored the measure that created Utah’s lowest-in-the-nation DUI threshold of 0.05 percent blood-alcohol content, which took effect this year.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER

The Senate also has a new minority leader, Democratic Sen. Karen Mayne. She joined the Senate in 2008 after being appointed to the seat held by her late husband, Sen. Ed Mayne. She’s been elected twice since then, and previously served in other leadership roles.

Criminal justice reform and water use are among the important issues she expects to see this year, along with taxes and Medicaid expansion.

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER

Rep. Brian King is returning to his role as minority leader in the state House for the fifth year. An attorney by trade, the Democrat has sponsored bills to keep guns from people convicted of domestic violence, which passed, and to create more comprehensive sex education in Utah schools, which failed.

King also advocated for full expansion of Medicaid, which was approved by voters after failing at the Capitol for years. The issue could be a contentious one again this session, with Republican lawmakers saying changes may be needed to keep costs in check.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 25: A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2...
ALI ABDUL-HASSAN and ABBY SEWELL Associated Press

US-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

The U.S. team’s must-win World Cup match against Iran will be closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes.
4 days ago
Irene Cara in 'Fame' (Photo courtesy of Mgm/Kobal, Shutterstock)...
MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
6 days ago
The U.S. Coast Guard ship Bernard C. Webber, leaves the coast guard base, Monday, July 19, 2021, in...
Associated Press

‘Miracle’: Missing cruise ship passenger found OK in water

The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in the water for hours.
7 days ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
8 days ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
8 days ago
Dry lakebed...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawsuit looms over tiny fish in drought-stricken West

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have notified U.S. wildlife officials that they will sue over delayed decisions related to protections for two rare fish species that are threatened by groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken West. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service last week […]
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
New leaders taking over as Utah Legislature opens