Doctor Dmitrich

Doctor DmitrichAt Utah State University’s May 7, 2011, commencement, former Senator Mike Dmitrich received an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws,  for his service to the State of Utah, and in particular, his dedication to higher education.

Senator Mike Dmitrich was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 1968 at the age of 31, appointed to the Utah State Senate in 1991, and elected to the Senate in 1992.  He served continuously in the House and Senate for 40 years, honorably representing Utah’s citizens in eastern and southern Utah.  He served as both Senate Minority Leader (2001-2008) and House Minority Leader (1983-1990) during his legislative career.

During Senator Dmitrich’s 40-year career, he received many honors and awards.  Among the most recent are the Utah State University 2009 Distinguished Service Award and the College of Eastern Utah 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations, Doctor Dmitrich!
(Photos courtesy of MJ Gardner)

(from left) President Stan Albrecht, Mike Dmitrich, Bob Foley, Member of Board of Trustees, and Doug Foxley, Member of Board of Trustees



“Bodyguards” for Dmitrich

Yesterday Senator Brent Goodfellow introduced “Mike Dmitrich’s bodyguards” during floor time.  Visiting the Senate yesterday, and seated next to their friend former Senator Mike Dmitrich, were Reno Mahe, retired Philadelphia Eagles running back, and Gabe Reid, retired Chicago Bears tight end.  Both men played football for the BYU Cougars.  Reno played football at Brighton High School in Salt Lake City; Reid played football at Leone High School in American Samoa.  Here are some fun photos.

Dmitrich, Mahe & Reid
Mike Dmitrich, Reno Mahe and Gabe Reid

Reid, Dmitrich and Mahe
Reid, Dmitrich and Mahe

 Dmitrich, Reid and Mahe
Dmitrich, Reid and Mahe


Wow, was he surprised!!!

Today the Senate passed SB66, Highway Designation Amendments, modifying the Transportation Code by designating a portion of Highway 6 from Interstate 15 to Interstate 70 the Mike Dmitrich Highway.  The designation will appear on future state highway maps.  The bill is sponsored by Senator Hinkins in the Senate and by Representative Morley in the House.  The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and now heads to the House.

Senator Mike Dmitrich retired from legislative service last year after serving 40 years as a Utah legislator.  He served 24 years in the House of Representatives and 16 years in the Senate.  He also served as Minority Leader for many years in both the House and the Senate.  In 2008, he decided it was time to move on.

The bill was a well-kept secret on Capitol Hill, and the highway designation came as a complete surprise to Mike!  He didn’t have a clue!

Congratulations, Mike.  And thanks to everyone for choosing this fitting tribute to a man who devoted 40 years of his life to representing the citizens of Utah.  This honor is well deserved.

Senator Bramble and Mike Dmitrich
Senator Bramble and former Senator Dmitrich looking over SB66


Senators Bramble and Davis and Mike Dmitrich
Senator Bramble, former Senator Dmitrich, and Senator Davis


Mike Dmitrich and Senator Dayton
Senator Dayton congratulating former Senator Dmitrich


 Mike Dmitrich speaking to the Senate
Former Senator Dmitrich thanking the Senators for this unexpected Highway Honor

Senator Jones and former Senator Mike Dmitrich
Current Minority Leader Jones and former Minority Leader Dmitrich



Lifetime Achievement

Earlier this month, the College of Eastern Utah (CEU) celebrated it’s 70th anniversary with two outstanding events, one in Price and one in Salt Lake City.  Senator Mike Dmitrich received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his long and distinguished career in public service.  Senator Dmitrich expressed his deep appreciation to CEU for this recognition.

Mike was an outstanding athlete at Carbon High School and Carbon College (predecessor to the College of Eastern Utah), and he has continued to be actively involved in sports.  He has officiated at 20 state basketball tournaments and countless high school basketball and football games.

Mike Dmitrich is a member of the CEU Athletic Hall of Fame, has been awarded an honorary degree by the College, and is recognized in the name of the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center on the CEU campus.

(from 70th Anniversary Celebration printed program)

Senator Dmitrich and Wife BoDmitrich FamilyDmitrich and Guests

 (Click photos for larger image)


A Quick Wrapup

by Senator Mike Dmitrich, Minority Leader
and Senator Gene Davis, Minority Whip

Yesterday marked the end of a two-day special session called by Governor Huntsman to make budget adjustments to remedy a $354 million revenue shortfall.  The Utah Constitution requires a balanced budget, so it seemed prudent to make adjustments early before the situation got out of hand.   In Utah, we base the budget on projections.  Sometimes they’re off.  Chalk it up to unforeseen economic events.  We worked with the Senate Republicans to accomplish the task of balancing the budget.

All agencies reduced their budgets by 4% with the following exceptions:

Human Services 3%
Health 3%
Corrections 3%
Public Education Held Harmless

For now:

Education is untouched (the governor’s prerequisite for calling the special session).
The $100M fund for education set aside during the 2008 general session remains intact.
The $434M Rainy Day Fund remains intact.
Bonding for transportation projects was unnecessary.

Like all Utahns, we are disappointed about the economic downturn and resultant budget modifications.  We are concerned that economic conditions may worsen before they improve, which would further adversely affect services provided by state government.

We question the wisdom of cutting Medicaid because every $1 reduction in state funds results in a $3 loss of federal funds.  The loss of federal dollars only adds to the downturn as those dollars are put right back into the economy as wages that boost the economy.

We are pleased that education was held harmless in the special session.  In the event that reductions in the education budget become necessary in the upcoming session, we strongly recommend reducing or eliminating the newest eduation programs, particularly those which are in the process of being implemented or which have not yet been implemented.

Taxpayers Association Honors Senator Dmitrich

Sen. Dmitrich at WorkAt the Utah Taxpayers Association annual conference May 13, 2008, Senator Mike Dmitrich received the Association’s Lifetime Service Award, recognizing his 40 years of distinguished service in the Utah House of Representatives and the Utah Senate and his constructive and cooperative leadership style as Minority Leader in both houses. Senator Dmitrich received a standing ovation from the 200+ crowd attending the conference.

Senator Mike Dmitrich announced in March that he would not seek re-election. He has served continuously in the Utah Legislature for the past 40 years and is currently the longest serving legislator on Capitol Hill. He represents Senate District 27 comprised of Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan, and Utah counties.

Congratulations to Senator Dmitrich and thank you to the Utah Taxpayers Association for acknowledging Senator Dmitrich’s outstanding contribution to Utah government.



Goodbye to an Old Friend

by Senator Mike Dmitrich
Senate Minority Leader
District 27

Last month, my old friend, former Representative Gerald Woodmansee passed away at the age of 77. Since I’ve been on the Hill for 40 years, I believe I am the only current legislator who served with Jerry. He was a fellow House Democrat from 1969-1978.

Representative Woodmansee
Representative Gerald Woodmansee
Click here for Jerry’s obituary.

Jerry was a visionary legislator, promoting futuristic ideas long before their time. So visionary were his ideas that he sometimes had a hard time passing his bills. In 1973, he sponsored HB 45 to create the office of Lieutenant Governor. In 1975, he sponsored legislation to allow Court discretion in granting visitation rights to grandparents in divorce cases.

In 1976, he sponsored and passed HB25, Utah Indoor Clean Air Act, which prohibited smoking in public places or public meetings except in designated smoking areas. When designated, existing physical barriers and ventilation systems shall be used to prevent the toxic effects of smoke in adjacent nonsmoking areas.

Several times, Jerry sponsored legislation to provide funding for the purchase of the Devereaux House, and finally in 1978, HB 1, Devereaux House Appropriation, passed. After lobbying his colleagues for several years, he had the support he needed for the purchase. (Believed to be the first mansion constructed in Utah, the Devereaux House was the venue early Utah Territorial leaders used to entertain visiting VIPs. It was built in 1857.)

While serving with Jerry, we often played handball and I could NEVER beat him. Now I know the reason why. In Jerry’s obituary, it states, “…he regularly visited the Deseret Gym where he…gained recognition as a state handball champion.”

Representative Woodmansee was a wonderful friend. I will miss him.

“It’s time,” he says, “to move on.”

Senator Mike DmitrichSenate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich will not seek re-election in 2008. This year, he will celebrate his 72nd birthday, having served the majority of his lifetime in the Utah Legislature. “It’s time,” he says, “to move on.” Senator Dmitrich was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 1968 at the age of 31 and has served continuously in the House and Senate for 40 years, honorably representing Utah’s citizens in eastern and southern Utah.

In 1991, while serving in the House, he was appointed to the Utah State Senate and then elected to the Senate in 1992. Since 2001, he has served as the Senate Minority Leader. While in the House, he also served as House Minority Leader from 1983 to 1990. Throughout his political career, he has been a resounding voice for public and higher education and for the health and economic stability of Utah’s families. Backed by 30 years of experience in the coal mining industry, he has served on many natural resources committees and provided invaluable expertise to the state. This past year, he served on the governor’s Utah Mine Safety Commission following the mining accident at the Crandall Canyon Mine.

Senator Dmitrich and his wife Bo reside in Price USA (as he calls it). They are parents of three and grandparents of three. Senator Dmitrich is looking forward to spending more time with his family and more time (you guessed it) playing the wonderful game of golf.

Senator Dmitrich remarked, “I would like to thank the constituents of the districts I have represented over the years for allowing me the privilege of serving them in the Utah Legislature. I also appreciate the friendships I have formed on both sides of the aisle during my legislative career.”

She’s Doing It!

Karen MayneSenator Karen Mayne was featured today in The Salt Lake Tribune in an article entitled, “Karen Mayne tries to carry on for beloved late husband as conscience of the Senate.”

Well, she’s not just “trying.” She’s doing it. Senator Mayne knows the process and cares about her constituents–just like her late husband, Senator Ed Mayne. She hardly needs coaching at all.

She has already surveyed her district and held a standing-room-only town meeting last weekend, attended by over 100 people. Senator Mayne has defined her priorities and is ably filling the shoes of her husband, Senator Ed Mayne.