Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As we approach the Christmas holiday and the year comes to a close, I want to express my gratitude for our community. The past two years have been difficult and forced us to challenge ourselves in new ways. I appreciate your resilience and optimism in the face of adversity. I look forward to 2022 and the possibilities and hope that comes with a new year. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Earlier this month, the Executive Appropriations Committee adopted budget recommendations that focus on Utah’s long-term wellbeing. The state’s thriving economy, fiscally conservative policies and forward-thinking rainy-day funds allowed our state to navigate recent economic uncertainties. Though we successfully weathered the most recent economic downturn, we remain committed to ensuring Utah is well-prepared for future needs by making strategic investments and smart budget decisions. Early this year, the Legislature provided nearly $100 million in tax cuts to Utahns and recently set aside an additional $160 million to reduce taxes again. We also plan to increase education funding and finance water conservation efforts. As we look at the budget, we will make decisions that will not burden future generations and will instead prepare our state for continued success. Read more here.
Haven J. Barlow Citation
The Senate recently honored Haven J. Barlow, the longest serving legislator in Utah's history. Haven, who is celebrating his 100th birthday in January, served in the Legislature as both a representative and a senator from 1953 to 1994 and served as the president of the Utah Senate from 1967 to 1972. Haven has a strong commitment to education, which followed him through his 42 years of public service.
He is greatly revered among his colleagues and community as the godfather of technical education. Haven worked with his colleagues in the Legislature to back legislation to create the Davis Technology College. This program now trains thousands of students for jobs without requiring them to follow the traditional path of a four-year degree. Haven's commitment to education fueled his support for expanding technical colleges as he championed the establishment and expansion of technical colleges across the state. Haven’s impact on his community and the people he served will continue to benefit Utahns for generations to come.
Uintah Basin Rail
A new 85-mile rail line in Utah, Carbon, Duchesne, and Uintah counties was recently approved by the Federal Surface Transportation Board. This is excellent news for our state. The Uintah Basin Railway Project will connect more markets, make Utah more competitive on a national scale and provide additional jobs. The Seven County Infrastructure Coalition spearheaded the project to assist economic growth in the region. Read more here.
Our state has been working to prevent Biden’s questionably unconstitutional vaccine mandates from being enforced in Utah. Over the last month, we have seen some big wins on this front as well as challenges that will need to be overcome. Currently, the enforcement of the government vaccine mandate for federal contractor employees is halted after a federal district court in Georgia issued a nationwide preliminary injunction. Additionally, a U.S. district court in Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction, halting the enforcement of the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in Utah. However, a recent ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opened the door for enforcement of the vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees. Utah Attorney General Reyes joined 26 other states in filing an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. Individuals should have the choice to make medical decisions, and as a state, we will do our part to ensure freedoms are upheld.
COVID-19 Vaccine & Treatment
The CDC and FDA authorized the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 booster doses for individuals 16 and older. Anyone 16 or older who received their Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago is eligible for a booster shot. Learn more about the booster dose here. Find a vaccine location here. Monoclonal Antibody Treatment is available in Utah and continues to help prevent hospitalization and death for those who test positive for COVID-19. Learn more about the treatment here. Find a treatment center here.
I Look Forward to Hearing From You!
I'll try to continually keep you informed about my work on the Hill – likewise, please keep in touch – I’d love to hear your insights and opinions.
I can be reached by email at email@example.com. You’re also welcome to join me at the Capitol and if you’d like to meet with me in person outside of interim or the legislative session, you can reach Jason Gould at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’ll help us get in touch.
I’m truly grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me to serve in this capacity. We live in a unique and special place. Thank you for all you do to make Utah the best state in the nation – and thanks for paying attention.
Until next time,
Senator Dan McCay
Utah Senate District 11