INSIDE SOURCES

What does it take to pull off shortest legislative session in the country?

Mar 3, 2023, 7:27 PM | Updated: Mar 6, 2023, 6:42 am

Utah capitol -- Utah lawmakers are tackling the high costs of adoption, proposing changes that coul...

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SALT LAKE CITY — Whether you know it or not, Utah’s 45-day legislative session is the shortest in the country. And in a few short hours, it will be in the books.

What is required to pull off such a short legislative session? Abby Osborne, chief of staff for the Utah House of Representatives, joined Inside Sources with guests hosts Marty Carpenter and Taylor Morgan on Friday to discuss how such a quick legislative session was pulled off. 

Osborne is relieved to see light at the end of the tunnel with the end of the legislative session.

“We’re excited about it,” she said. “We’re ready to be done. You can see our lawmakers are getting to the point where 45 days is enough.”

Shortest legislative session, but also a productive one

Osborne says 45 days was enough to get some important issues taken care of because they had a plan going in.

“It’s enough to get huge things done,” she said. “And accomplished because we set an agenda and we had a path forward. And that’s really why you see the smoothness so clearly is that we set out to accomplish some gigantic things, and voters asked for these things.”

Osborne is asked, “How do you do it?”

As the hosts discuss, when there is more money available it legislative session, the more difficult the session tends to be.

“So, we worked really hard over the interim with members of both parties,” Osborne said. 

She says taking a step back from the loudness and deciding what lawmakers wanted to accomplish was key in setting an agenda.

Osborne says she is just taking in the experience even though it can be a little overwhelming at times.

“I mean, I run around, my staff makes fun of me, cause I run around like a chicken with my head cut off,” she said. “But it’s all just this chaos that you just try to manage, and it’s fun. It’s exhilarating. The adrenaline will rush through my body at 11:59. But I’m happy to be here and happy to serve.”

Insight into final day of the session

Osborne says the budget is finalized on Tuesday and Wednesday of the final week. She has the final day of the session is worked on straight policy bills.

“None of these bills cost any money to the taxpayer,” she said. 

Osborne is asked what her personal highlight is of the 2023 legislative session.

“This was never something I set out to do,” she said. “But when I was asked and when I was called upon to do this, I said, ‘You know what, I want to serve.’ And I’m looking in my rearview mirror of the accomplishments lawmakers have made that will have generational impacts on my kids, and my grandkids. And I’m really proud to have been at the table.”

 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard on weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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What does it take to pull off shortest legislative session in the country?