Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Utah Local Officials Head to Capitol Hill

Well, kind-of. Since the construction crews are still putting the finishing touches on the renovation of the Capitol, we invited the legislature and Utah's local government officials to a meeting "off the hill". Nearly 500 local elected officials and youth city council members made the trip to Salt Lake City to meet with there legislators at the downtown Sheraton Centre, where they got a brief preview of legislative agenda for 2007.

In addition, we showed a video which clearly demonstrates how little our constituents know about government in general. The video was fashioned after a Jay Leno "Jay Walking" segment, where we asked elementary civics questions to Utah residents. In typical "Jay Walking" fashion we were not surprised at how little Utah citizens know about basic civics. We, as the League of Cities, hope to help in the education process by kicking of an extensive Public Information Campaign on the issue of civic engagement and the role of local government in Utah. Please look for it in the coming months.

If you attended and wish to see the video again, please check the ULCT blogs regularly. We will be getting it put on the web soon for your viewing pleasure.

Our event had several notable guests including Speaker Greg Curtis, President John Valentine, and Governor Huntsman, who all joined us to learn more about the issues affecting local government. On the whole it was a very successful day for local government. With the great turn-out for this event the message was sent loud and clear – WE CARE ABOUT THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF OUR COMMUNITIES. Thanks to all who attended.

In terms of actual legislation, today was fairly uneventful for municipalities at the Utah State Capitol. While the negotiations on large legislation is well underway, we fortunately had nothing of note in committee today for consideration. It also looks like a fairly lite committee day for Thursday as well. We should, however, start seeing several municipal bills in committee starting early next week and as soon as those schedules are available we will post them on the BLOG.

Until next time -- ENJOY