Welcome, Senator McAdams

Today, Ben McAdams was sworn in as our newest senator in the Utah State Senate.  President Waddoups administered the oath of office.  Senator McAdams fills the District Two seat recently vacated by Senator Scott McCoy, who resigned last month.  Welcome, Senator McAdams.   We look forward to working with you.

Senator McAdams takes the Oath of Office

Senator McCoy, Thank you for your Service

Senator Luz Roblesby Senator Luz Robles
Senate Minority Caucus Manager
representing Senate District One

I want to say that the state of Utah is losing one of the most intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable parliamentarian legislators with Senator Scott McCoy’s resignation.  I feel honored to say that I had the opportunity to work side by side of Scott on issues impacting the quality of lives of the many citizens of this great state.  Whether it be working towards equality and justice for all to adequate liquor laws that allow for Utah to be a more welcoming place to our out-of-state visitors, Scott has always worked in finding viable solutions for a more effective form of government. 

 In this entry I also want to take the opportunity to share some thoughts about the great public service all of our 104 members of the State Legislature provide to the residents of our state.  I know I may agree to disagree with some of the policy positions that some of my colleagues at the Legislature have, but I have no question that their hearts are in the right place and that they work really hard to represent their constituents to the best of their abilities.  I don’t think everyone realizes the sacrifice all public servants and elected officials take on and provide to their constituents.   Some of the sacrifices include, among others, the loss of income, career sacrifices, privacy, and more importantly, time for themselves and their families.

Senator Scott McCoyI am grateful to be able to work with the men and women of our state legislative body, who truly care about their communities of this great state.  Thanks Scott for serving and making a difference in our state.  I know you will continue to serve in different capacities.  Good luck with your future endeavors. 

Thanks, Senator McCoy

Senator Pat Jonesby Senator Patricia Jones
Senate Minority Leader


Our caucus member Senator Scott McCoy has resigned his senate seat effective this coming Friday, December 4, 2009.Senator Scott McCoy


Speaking on behalf of the Utah Senate Democrat Caucus, we thank Senator McCoy for his impeccable service in the Utah State Senate.  He has been a significant contributor to our caucus and a valuable source of insight and wisdom.  Among legislators, he has stated his views with candor and statesmanlike conduct.  Good public policy has been the objective of Senator McCoy’s service, and he has willingly built consensus to achieve this aim.  The constituents of Senate District 2 are fortunate to have been represented by this intelligent, fair-minded, articulate and influential individual.


Senator McCoy will be greatly missed in our caucus and the Legislature.  We wish him the best in his professional and personal endeavors.       

Senator McCoy Leaving the Senate

Senator Scott McCoySenator Scott McCoy, who has represented Senate District Two for the last 4 years, plans to resign his position in the Utah State Senate, effective Friday, December 4, 2009.  McCoy issued the following statement to explain his decision to the residents of his district:

I’ve been honored to serve the citizens of Utah and of District 2 for the last four years. My time in the Senate has been profoundly rewarding, but also an enormous personal sacrifice.  The senators and representatives of Utah really make a terrific commitment of their time for the benefit of this state.  It’s not just during the 45 days of the session.  It’s every day and night.  It’s during interims and constituent phone calls.  My hat is off to my 103 colleagues who make this sacrifice day in and day out, every year. 

I’ve personally come to a crossroads in my career where I need to devote my full time and energy to the practice of law.  To do any less is a disservice to my firm and my family.  Unfortunately, I simply cannot find the necessary time to be a successful attorney and give the time and energy to fully represent the residents of my district. 

I’m very proud of the work I was able to accomplish as a Senator.  We changed important policies, opened many minds, and broke down many barriers.  Certainly, there is much more to be done. But for now, I need to leave that work in other capable hands.

Utah’s Shining High School Stars

Senator Ross Romeroby Senator Ross Romero
Senate Minority Whip

During the past few months, the successes and tragedies of the American Fork High School Marching Band have been highly publicized.

The band was overcome with the loss of Heather Christensen, an Assistant Band Director, who was tragically killed in a bus accident following a band competition in Pocatello, Idaho.

Since then, the band competed at the “Red Rocks Invitational Marching Band Competition” on November 6, 2009, at Dixie College in St. George, Utah.  More than 25 bands competed.  The American Fork Marching Band took first place, earning the state championship.

The following day, November 7, the band took first place in the “Bands of America, Western Regional Championship” in St. George, Utah.  Bands from Utah, Washington, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, and California competed for the championship.

The band has been invited to compete in the Grand National Championships, an annual competition held in Indianapolis this coming weekend, November 13-14, 2009.  (The American Fork High School Marching Band is currently ranked 7th nationally.)

The band was the first from Utah to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2007.  The band was invited to play at the 2005 Presidential Inauguration.  The band marched at the Rose Bowl Parade in 2002.  The band has won the equivalent of the state championship for the past 18 consecutive years.

The band’s featured program for this year is “The Greatest Generation,” a tribute to the men and women who have served our country in the Armed Forces.

CONGRATULATIONS to the band for its resilience and excellence.

In order to travel to Indianapolis this coming weekend, the band is seeking sponsorships and donations.  Please call today (801-610-8400) and send your donation to reward these students for their hard work.  Please make checks payable to the Alpine Foundation-RE: AFHS Marching Band and mail to 575 North 100 East, American Fork, UT 84003.  Your donation is tax deductible.

Shadow a School Nurse Program

Senator Mayne at News ConferenceSenator Karen MayneThis morning, Senator Karen Mayne, Granite School District Superintendent Dr. Stephen Ronnenkamp, and Ms. Jamie Ferdinand of the Utah School Nurse Association announced the launch of the “Shadow a School Nurse Program.”  Linda Hansen, Region 5 Director for Utah PTA, and Debbie Guymon, Region 5 Associate Director for Utah PTA, were also in attendance and support the “Shadow a School Nurse Program.”  (Region 5 is comprised of schools in Granite School District).  The news conference was held at Oquirrh Hills Elementary School in Kearns.   

Each day, school nurses provide vital medical care for students who contend with health and emotional issues.  Equally vital is funding for school nurses.  Beginning in October, the “Shadow a School Nurse Program” will provide opportunities for legislators to shadow school nurses at the schools in their legislative districts to experience first hand how a school nurse spends his/her day.  The importance of school nurses cannot be over-emphasized. 

 Following the news conference, attendees shadowed the school nurse at Oquirrh Hills Elementary School, Janet Bryner.  Mrs. Bryner provided medical care for students at Oquirrh Hills who have diabetes.  She checked their blood sugar to determine if and when insulin should be administered.  Mrs. Bryner provides medical services at nine schools in Granite District. 

 Senator Mayne expresses her appreciation to Oquirrh Hills Elementary Principal Vicki Ricketts and others in the school who facilitated this news conference.

Superintendent Ronnenkamp and Senator Mayne

Linda Hansen, Utah PTA; Senator Mayne; Debbie Guymon, Utah PTA

The Group
The Group

Nurse Bryner & Kimberly Rodriquez
School nurse Janet Bryner asks Kimberly Rodriguez to call her mom
about this morning’s insulin dose.

Nurse Bryner & Cade Cummings
School nurse Janet Bryner helps Kade Cummings check his blood sugar.

Nurse Bryner and Senator Mayne
Senator Karen Mayne and School Nurse Janet Bryner

Senator Mayne and Principal Vicki Ricketts
Senator Karen Mayne and Oquirrh Hills Elementary Principal Vicki Ricketts

Thanks from the Kids
Thanks from the kids

Senator Robles in the “Spotlight”

Senator Luz RoblesSenator Luz Robles is featured in the Spotlight in the September 2009 issue of Utah Business magazine.  If you have a copy, you can find the article on Page 36, “Luz Robles–Focusing on the Community” or click here to read the story.  Senator Robles discusses her dual role as a Utah State Senator and as the Executive Director of the Zions Bank Business Resource Center.  In both roles, Senator Robles focuses her efforts on helping families.  “It’s going to take a partnership of the private sector and the public sector to help families be more successful and have a better quality of life,” says Senator Robles.  At the Utah Legislature, Senator Robles drafts legislation she hopes will make a difference.  At Zions Bank Business Resource Center, she assists Utahns in becoming successful entrepreneurs and business owners.   

Senator Robles Soccer Camp

Senator Robles Congratulates Childrenby Senator Luz Robles
Minority Caucus Manager
Senate District One

On August 13th, 14th, and 15th, I had the opportunity to host an educational and soccer camp for children in my district.  This was the first year of Senator Robles Soccer Camp, and with the help of amazing volunteers and great sponsors, it was a great success.

The main focus of this event was to provide education for children between the ages of 6 and 10 years old in the areas of gang prevention, civic engagement, healthy habits, and oral health, integrating the great sport of soccer.  We opened the event with a beautiful reception for children and parents at the same location of the camp, which was the Sorenson Unity Center (thanks to all the staff of this facility who made the event a reality; special thanks to Angela).  During the reception, we had informational booths for the parents and children.  We had the visit of Leo the Lion and three players of Real Salt Lake, as well as elected officials of this area (Mayor Ralph Becker, Councilmember Van Turner, Rep. David Litvack and Rep. Jennifer Seelig). 

The rest of the time, the children got their uniform and gear and participated in classes and a soccer clinic provided by one of the most competitive soccer clubs in the state (La Roca FC).  Nutritional meals were provided for the children.  All the kids were very respectful and eager to learn new things, and more importantly, work in teams to stay healthy.

Providing a program like this with no cost for the families of these children was not easy.  I want to thank the sponsors that believe in supporting education and prevention with sports:  Workers Compensation Fund, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, Utah Consumer Lending Association, Gold Cross Ambulance, Rico, U.S. Census, Real Salt Lake, Creative Woodworks, Inc., and Zions Bank.
We had great support of presenters who worked really hard with the children:

Healthy habits – Terry (Salt Lake Valley Health Department)
Gang Prevention – Salt Lake City Gang Unity
Oral Health – Regence Caring Foundation
The History of the American Flag – Michael Clara (Leader for the Boys Scouts)
Public Safety – Sergeant David Moreno (Utah Highway Patrol)
Soccer Clinic – Adolfo Ovalle and staff (La Roca FC)

And, of course, thanks to the volunteers that donated countless hours of commitment to caring for all the needs and safety of the children:  Andy Gilbert, Grisett Contreras, Rene Leppe, Drew Martinez, and Jesse K.

My goal is to continue providing this program to more children in my district on an annual basis.  If you have any questions or you are interested in participating in next year’s program, please contact me at: lrobles@utahsenate.org

Senator Robles Addressing the Group

Teaching the Group


Senator Robles Poses with Participants

Learning about Flags

Learning is Fun

Senator Gene Davis Receives 2009 Citizen Diplomat Award

Last Thursday, August 20, the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD) presented Senator Gene Davis and Martha Ball
with the 2009 Citizen Diplomat Award.

Senator Davis & Martha Ball

Excerpts from the UCCD press release: 

The Citizen Diplomat Award is presented annually to individuals who have made a significant contribution to citizen diplomacy in the state of Utah.  The awards were presented at the 2009 Salute to Utah’s Citizen Diplomats held at the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, Westminster College.

Senator Gene Davis, Senate District 3, has been instrumental in promoting the State of Utah’s global engagement in U.S. public diplomacy and citizen diplomacy through the International Visitor Leadership Program.  Citizen diplomacy is the concept that the individual has the right – even the responsibility – to help shape U.S. foreign relations “one handshake at a time.”  Senator Davis’ leadership is essential to ensure Utah has the same degree of global engagement found in other western states.

 Martha Ball, is the founder and former director of the Utah 3 Rs Project (Rights, Responsibilities, Respect).  Mrs. Ball has served as a Trustee for the Utah Council of Citizen Diplomacy, and as a Utah Citizen Diplomat, has welcomed over 50 international visitors from 30 countries into her home.

The Salute for Utah’s Citizen Diplomats is an event like no other – honoring remarkable Utah leaders who promote global understanding and respect between the people of Utah and other nations.

Senator Mayne–Eleanor Roosevelt Award Recipient

Senator Karen MayneState Senator Karen Mayne has been chosen by the Utah State Democratic Party as this year’s recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award.  Senator Mayne will be recognized at a luncheon October 22, 2009.

In the Utah Legislature, Senator Mayne works effectively with legislators on both sides of the aisle.  Senator Mayne is an advocate for Utah’s families, and she capably represents her constituents in Senate District Five.  She exemplifies the high standards and compassionate philosophy of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Congratulations, Senator Mayne!  You are certainly deserving of this prestigious award.