Breast Cancer Screening Bill Passes the Utah Senate

From the Salt  Lake Tribune…
by David Montero

The Utah Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would encourage medical providers to inform patients of the presence of dense breast tissue and recommend extra screenings to detect possible cancer growth.

Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, introduced SB32 this week on the Senate floor and appeared to have total support as lawmaker after lawmaker delivered sometimes-emotional testimony about knowing people diagnosed with breast cancer.

“This will save thousands of lives,” Mayne said.

Click here to read the Salt Lake Tribune Story


Senator Mayne Wants to Crack Down on Graffiti

From the Deseret news:

SALT LAKE CITY — A white vinyl fence in Sen. Karen Mayne’s neighborhood is a frequent target of graffiti artists.

“I’m just tired of this. I’m tired of the naughty words. I’m tired of the swastikas,” Mayne said Monday during floor debate in the Utah Senate.

Mayne has introduced a bill, SB107, that would prohibit the possession of “any instrument, tool or device that is commonly used to make graffiti with the intent to deface the property of another.” Violators could be charged with a class C misdemeanor.

Click here to read the rest of the story:


Capitol Week In Review

Week: January 23-27

The Capitol Week in Review is your weekly digest of Utah Senate Democrats’ efforts during the 2012 Legislative Session.

Senate Bills On the Move:

S.B. 128
Prohibits teens from using a cell phone while driving (Romero).
This bill passed out of committee and awaits its second reading on the floor.

S.B. 90
Modifies the Securities Fraud Reporting Program Act (McAdams).
This bill passed in the Senate and has been sent to the House.

S.B. 36
Modifies the Utah Revised Business Corporation Act to allow domestic corporations to transfer to another state (Davis).
This bill passed in the Senate and has been introduced in the House.

S.B. 32
Encourages facilities which perform mammograms to tell patients who have dense breast tissue about options for additional screening (Mayne).
This bill passed the second reading in the Senate and is on the calendar for the third reading.

S.B. 35
Provides for mediation between a consumer and manufacturer regarding defects in a motor home (Mayne).
This bill passed out of committee and is on the second reading calendar in the Senate.

S.B. 107
Prohibits a person from possessing graffiti paraphernalia with the intent to deface public property (Mayne).
This bill passed out of committee and has had its second reading on the Senate floor, and is awaiting a vote.

S.B. 31
Limits the class size for kindergarten through grade three (Morgan).
Status: This bill passed out of committee and has had its second reading on the Senate floor, and is awaiting a vote.


State of the State Response In his State of the State address, Gov. Herbert lauded the state of Utah for its economic strength through this tough economic time. Senate Democrats agree that Utah is a role model for the nation. But more must be done to further grow Utah’s economy to ensure that everyone who wants a job can have one. We understand that a state’s economy is only as strong as its foundation. Education is Utah’s foundation for economic growth. That is why Utah Democrats are working together to push the Best Schools Initiative. This plan will put Utah on the path to having the best schools in the nation. Utah Democrats know that the best education comes from four key components:

  • A great teacher
  • Individualized attention
  • World-class curriculum
  • Family and neighborhood support

Sen. Karen Morgan’s bill to limit class size (S.B. 31) for example is an important step in achieving the above goals. Look for more legislation that will improve education coming soon. While making our schools the best in the country is a tall task, Utah Democrats believe it is within our reach.

And we can do it without raising taxes. By looking at our budget priorities and making use of the additional revenues coming into the state, we can achieve real improvement in our schools.We look forward to working with our Senate and House colleagues as well as fellow Utahns to ensure that we build a strong economy tomorrow by maintaining strong education today.

For the full Democratic response click here

Senate Democrats In the News

  • Democrats say Governor’s anti-federal government tone was excessive – Salt Lake Tribune
  • Democrats focus on education in State of the State response – KCPW Radio
  • Citizens rally at the Capitol to support Sen. Morgan’s Alzheimer’s legislation – Deseret News
  • Sen. Mayne Pushes for Additional mammogram data for women – KSL; Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News


Get Involved:

Track Legislation with the award-winning website:

Follow us on Twitter: @UTSenateDems or “Like” us on Facebook: Utah Senate Democrats

Thank you for your political involvement, and let us know how we can more effectively serve you.



Ross I. Romero Senate Minority Leader


Senate Committee agrees: Teenagers should not use cell phones while driving

SB 128, which would ban teenagers from using cell phones while driving, successfully passed out the  Senate Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology Committee today, on a 3 / 2 vote.

“I”m pleased that the bill will continue through the process.   It’s not only about kids not using their cell phones while driving, but also about parents having a conversation with their kids about safety while behind the wheel,” said Senator Romero.

The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.

Review Committee Delivers Final Report On DABC Recommendations

Capitol Hill – The business owner-led DABC Review Committee has completed their final report of recommendations for changes in the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and delivered their report this morning to House & Senate Democratic Leaders. Read the report below.

The DABC controls a $300 million dollar business in Utah, but recent audits have uncovered waste and possible criminal fraud. Because the funds the State receive from the DABC are so critical to funding programs like school lunches and roads, Representative Litvack and Senator Romero called for an independent committee, made up of local business owners to review the DABC processes and create a report of recommendations which would be delivered to the Utah Legislature.

The committee, led by co-chairs Peter S Cooke, Stephen Schubach and Jeff Hatch completed their task after countless meetings and public hearings, and delivered the following report this morning for consideration.

Thursday Media Availability – Today at 12:15pm in the Old Supreme Court Chambers



For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961

Eric Ethington
Communications Coordinator, Utah House Democrats
Ph:  801.647.8609

Utah House and Senate Democrats Press Availability

Who:          Utah Senate Democratic Leader Ross Romero and House Democratic Assistant Minority Whip Brian King

What:         Media Availability to Kick off the Legislative Session

Where:      Old Supreme Court Chambers

When:        Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 12:15pm

Press Availability meetings will continue through the session, each Tuesday and Thursday of each week at 12:15pm in the Old Supreme Court Chambers.

For more information, please contact Emily Hollingshead at 435.590.9961 or Eric Ethington at 801.647.8609



Democrats say Gov’s anti-federal government tone was excessive

From the Salt Lake Tribune, by Robert Gehrke

Democrats praised Herbert for his emphasis on education funding and air quality, but said other parts of his remarks sounded like a campaign speech.

“That was fifty-fifty, policy speech and campaign speech,” said House Minority Leader David Litvack, D-Salt Lake City. Portions were aimed at the broader state, but “there were parts that were speaking to a conservative constituent base.”

Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero said Democrats were proud to stand with the governor when it comes to the state’s economic record. But the governor failed to lay out specifics on how to improve education, protect the environment or meet health and human service needs. And the anti-federal tone seemed excessive, he said.

“We are in a relationship with our federal government and having a good working relationship is critical,” Romero said

Read the rest of the story here:

From KCPW – The Democratic Response to the Governor’s Speech

Dems Focus on Education in State of the State Response

01.25.2012 by Eric Ray

(KCPW News) In their response to Governor Herbert’s State of the State Address tonight, Utah’s Democratic leaders stressed their priority this legislative session is to improve public education through a series of bills called the “Best Schools Initiative.”

“Utah Democrats believe that every Utah child deserves four things: an excellent teacher, individualized attention, world class curriculum, and neighborhood and family support,” said Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero.

Romero said reducing class sizes in kindergarten through third grade and giving teachers extra classroom help will “work wonders” in helping students succeed.

Romero added the Democrats plan for improving education won’t take any more money from taxpayers. “Let me be very clear. We do not believe it is fiscally wise to raise taxes on Utah’s working families,” said Romero. “That’s why I’m pleased to announce that the House and Senate Democrats Best School’s Initiative includes a funding plan that reprioritizes our resources and does not raise taxes.”

Other priorities introduced by the Democrats included improving access to higher education for veterans, protecting consumer rights, and improving air quality.

Original Source:


The Democratic Plan for Utah

Senator Ross Romero, Democratic Leader in the Utah Senate

Good evening. I’m Senator Ross Romero, Democratic Leader in the Utah State Senate. Thank you for your civic engagement, and for tuning in tonight to learn about the important issues and unique challenges that we face as a state. I want you to know that Utah Democrats are working on behalf of you and your families. We recognize the struggles so many of us have had to endure during the economic downturn of the past few years. But, there is good news and opportunity on the horizon. We are pleased that Utah’s economy is now headed in a positive direction. For the first time in several years, our state is beginning to once again see a surplus in our state budget. Utah Democrats are excited for what the future holds, and we look forward to working with you over the next 6 weeks as we propose and pass legislation that will strengthen Utah’s economy and prepare us for the future.

At this time I’d like to introduce you to my colleague, Representative David Litvack, your Democratic Leader in the Utah House of Representatives, who will discuss some of the Democratic proposals for the 2012 Legislative Session.

Representative David Litvack, Democratic Leader in the Utah Senate

Thank you Senator Romero. Tonight, I’d like to speak with you about some proposals from my Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate, proposals that we believe will lead to a brighter future – a future where Utah will again realize the promise of economic strength and prosperity.

This year Democrats will introduce legislation to help Utah’s growing veteran population through increased access to higher education. We will assist working families by protecting your consumer rights. Utah Democrats will also present measures to keep all of us healthy through better cancer screening and prevention, and we will make proposals to address the poor air quality we face in our state.

Utah’s strong economy has always depended on an educated workforce. For Utah to attract further high-paying jobs, we must double our efforts to provide a highly-educated workforce. From our neighborhood schools, to higher education and career programs, Democrats recognize this vital importance and renew our pledge to provide a better future for our children. No less than the success of our economic development depends upon our efforts now.

I will now turn the time back to Senator Ross Romero, who will talk more about our plan for Utah’s public schools.

Senator Romero

Thank you, Representative Litvack.

For many years, the state of Utah has been #1 in business, economic development, tourism, and even #1 in science, technology and research. In many ways, we’re doing very well as a state. So why is it that our schools continue to rank 42nd in the nation? This must change! Our schools should be the very best in the nation.

This year Utah Democrats are introducing legislation designed to put Utah on a path to make Utah’s schools #1. Utah Democrats believe that every Utah child deserves four things:

  • An excellent teacher
  • Individualized attention
  • World-class curriculum
  • Neighborhood and family support

If we can reduce classroom sizes in the lower grades or give teachers a little extra help in the classroom, it can do wonders to help our students succeed. Educating Utah’s children has been and will always be our top priority.

Utah Democrats understand that while our economy is recovering, family budgets are recovering, too. But let me be very clear: we do not believe it is fiscally wise to raise taxes for Utah’s working families.

That’s why I’m pleased to announce that the “Best Schools Initiative” includes a funding plan which reprioritizes our resources and does NOT raise taxes. We simply need to change our focus in order to do what’s best for Utah’s kids.

During the economic downturn of the past several years, we have worked diligently to streamline our state budget. Due to Utah’s wise fiscal management, we are now seeing more funds coming into our state revenues. Utah Democrats believe in using these increased revenues for the long-term security of our future. The Best Schools Initiative is designed to wisely plan for Utah – to give our children the very best opportunities, to create new jobs and new businesses, and to secure our economic strength and prosperity.

Thank you again for being with us tonight. We look forward to working with our colleagues in both the House and Senate to meet these important goals. And, as always, we look forward to seeing you and working with you at this year’s legislative session and beyond.

Good night.