Utah Democrats Standing Up For Women’s Health

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961
E:    emily.hollingshead@gmail.com

Dense Breast Tissue Awareness Bill Passes Senate Committee Unanimously

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah State Senators gave a nod to Senator Karen Mayne’s Breast Cancer Awareness bill today.   The bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Health and Human Services committee this afternoon.

SB31 would recommend that patients who have received a mammogram be notified as to whether or not they have dense breast tissue.  In some cases, dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to diagnose breast cancer through a mammogram .   “The bill simply gives women more information about our own health.  Knowledge is power.  This arms us with  knowledge about our bodies and gives us tools to properly deal with our personal medical issues,” Senator Mayne testified.

Committee members Senator Luz Robles-D, Salt Lake City,  and Senator Pat Jones-D, Salt Lake City, expressed concern that women are not already receiving this information, and encouraged the medical community to give as much education to women as possible regarding the issue.  “Please take this to all of Utah’s doctors an make sure that women are aware, so that they can get proper information regarding their health,” said Senator Jones.

“Women are smart,” said Senator Mayne. “If you give us the knowledge, we will know what to do to take care of ourselves.  But first, we need the information.”

The bill now goes to the Senate floor for debate.

For more information or media requests, please contact Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats:  emily.hollingshead@gmail.comor 435-590-9961

Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness

From the Salt Lake Tribune
BY PATTY HENETZ

Advocates for Alzheimer’s education rally at Utah Capitol

Senator Karen Morgan-D, Cottonwood Heights

Alzheimer’s disease and its crushing burdens on caregivers, families, the health care system, businesses, worker productivity and taxpayers’ wallets must be addressed, a crowd of about 200 agreed during a Capitol rally Wednesday.

Billed as an advocacy day for Alzheimer’s and other dementias and sponsored by the Utah chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the event was aimed at lawmakers who are considering a bill outlining a five-year state plan to address the 100,000 Utahns expected to have the incurable brain-wasting diseases by 2025. That would be a 127 percent increase since 2000, the highest growth rate in the nation.

For 13-year-old Boo Bustos, sitting in the front row, the rally was about his late grandparents, Cherie and Ed Hoerman, who lived with Boo’s family after their Alzheimer’s diagnoses. They both died, his grandfather in fall 2010, his grandmother last October.

Boo said he misses having them at home.

“After they had Alzheimer’s, they knew who I was,” Boo said. “But they couldn’t remember my name.”

Sen. Karen Morgan, D-Salt Lake City, and Rep. Carol Spackman-Moss, D-Salt Lake City, are cosponsors of SJR1, the Alzheimer’s State Plan Joint Resolution, now moving through the Legislature. A 20-member task force made recommendations that encourage state agencies, the private sector, the media and corporate and philanthropic organizations to make Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias a top priority. Morgan says she also is working on a bill that would put some of that plan into statute.

Key to the effort is eliminating the stigma that surrounds sufferers and their families by bringing the illness into the open.

Boo plays football with a recreation league team called the Royals. He asked team members to wear purple socks for a game — purple is the color for Alzheimer’s awareness — and posted his plan on a web site. Eight other rec teams wore purple socks, too. At Boo’s game, his parents hung a banner that said, “Royals knock the socks off Alzheimer’s.”

He wants other kids to understand what is happening with their older relatives when they have dementia. “It’s not a good disease,” he said. “If your grandparents get it, try to spend more time with them.”

 

Reminder: State of the State Response

MEDIA AVAILABILITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961
E:    emily.hollingshead@gmail.com

 

Utah House and Senate Democrats to hold Media Availability immediately following Governor’s State of the State Address, January 25, 2012

 

Who:          Utah House and Senate Democrats

What:         Media Availability in Response Governor Herbert’s State of the State Response

Where:      House of Representatives Lounge

When:        Wednesday, January 25, 2012 immediately following the Governor’s speech

 

Utah House and Senate Democrats, led by Democratic Leaders Ross Romero and David Litvack, will be available immediately following the Governor’s State of the State response to discuss the Governor’s proposals.

 

Members of the media are requested to meet with the Democratic legislators in the House Lounge of the Utah House of Representatives as soon as the Governor finishes his remarks and leaves the chamber.

 

In addition to the media availability, a pre-recorded response is available.  To receive a copy, call Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats, or visit us online at www.utahsenatedemocrats.org.

 

For more information, contact Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats:  emily.hollingshead@gmail.com or 435-590-9961, or Eric Ethington, Communications Director for the Utah House Democrats:  houseminmedia@utah.gov, 801-647-8609.

 

Senator Karen Mayne’s Bill Would Save Lives

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961
E:    emily.hollingshead@gmail.com

Senator Karen Mayne working to save women’s lives

SALT LAKE CITY – Senator Karen Mayne-D, West Valley City, is sponsoring a bill that will aid in the fight against breast cancer.  Senate Bill 31 would require doctors to notify a woman if she has dense breast tissue if it has been discovered in a mammogram.   When a woman has dense breast tissue it may be difficult to detect if breast cancer is present.   The bill would simply require that the patient be notified that she has dense breast tissue, along with a recommendation  to consult with her doctor for more information.

“This bill will save lives,” she says. “It’s about arming women with knowledge. Knowledge is power.”

The bill will be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee today, January 25,  at 2:00pm  in Room 250 of the Utah State Capitol.

For more information or media requests, please contact Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats:  emily.hollingshead@gmail.com or 435-590-9961

 

Senator Robles Working for Utah’s veterans

THE UTAH SENATE DEMOCRATS

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961
emily.hollingshead@gmail.com

Senator Luz RoblesSenator Luz Robles presents bills supporting the men and women of the military

SALT LAKE CITY, January 24, 2012 – Senator Luz Robles, D—Salt Lake City (District 1) will present two pieces of legislation that will affect Utah’s military personnel.   The bills will be presented to the Senate Revenue & Taxation Committee today, and will expand a property tax exemption to military members who have performed military service in a combat zone.

 

“Utah’s men and women who serve in the military make a tremendous sacrifice on behalf of our country,” said Senator Robles.  “I think it’s important that we do whatever we can to help them here at home.  Extending certain property tax exceptions to qualified military personnel is one way we can do that.”

 

Robles’ two bills will be heard at the 4:00 pm committee in Room 250 at the State Capitol

 

SJR008 Joint Resolution on Property Tax Exemption for Military Personnel

 

SB0116 Armed Forces Property Tax Exemption

Who: Senator Luz Robles

What: Presentation of SJR008 and SB0116

Where: State Capitol, Room 250

When: 4:00pm

 

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Senator Karen Mayne: Bill would ban local governments from meeting during caucuses

From the Salt Lake Tribune
by Pamela Manson

Two state legislators say they plan to introduce a bill that would ban local government groups — from city and county councils to school boards — from meeting when major political parties are holding their neighborhood caucuses.

The goal is to reduce scheduling conflicts and increase attendance at the caucus meetings, where attendees vote for county and state delegates. The delegates then attend state and county conventions, where they choose their party’s candidates for every office that is up for election in November.

The sponsors of the measure, Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, and Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, said the legislation would be the first to amend the state Open and Public Meetings Act to specify when public bodies would not be allowed to meet.

The candidates chosen by the caucus-convention process win the November election in Utah “in virtually all cases,” according to a statement from Powell and Mayne.

“Whether you are Democrat, Republican, unaffiliated or anything else, I believe it is your patriotic duty in this state to at least be at your neighborhood caucus for one night every two years,” Mayne said.

Powell told The Salt Lake Tribune that caucuses are for everyone, not just party activists. He said “unaffiliated” is the most popular choice when voters register and that those Utahns are not attending the meetings.

“They can and should still participate in the neighborhood caucus,” Powell said. “I believe Utah’s caucus day is the real election day.”

The bill, titled Utah’s Real-Election-Day Education for Neighborhood Caucuses Act, also would require the lieutenant governor to publicize the date and time of the neighborhood caucuses. This year, the Democrats are holding their caucus meetings on March 13 and the Republicans on March 15.

Other parties will announce their caucus dates individually.

In West Valley City, Mayor Mike Winder has proposed that the City Council pass a resolution saying West Valley will not hold council, committee or other meetings on the nights that political parties hold their caucuses.

The resolution also would call on other governments, religious organizations, businesses and community groups to adjust their schedules to avoid conflicting with the caucuses.

The proposed West Valley resolution is scheduled for a vote at the council regular meeting on Tuesday. The proposed bill is slated to be introduced at the opening of next week’s legislative session.

 

 

Senator Karen Mayne’s bill to target graffiti suspects


From KSL…

by Paul Nelson

SALT LAKE CITY — Today is the first day of the 2012 legislative session. One of the bills being proposed this year would give officers and prosecutors more options to go after people suspected of tagging graffiti.

“It’s just something that we don’t want in our community, we don’t want in our neighborhoods and we don’t want in our state,” said Sen. Karen Mayne, who is sponsoring Senate Bill 107.

Mayne says police officers don’t have any truly meaningful ways to go after people they suspect of tagging. Under SB 107, graffiti would be at least a class B misdemeanor. The charges could be more serious depending on how much damage is done.

The measure also would make it a class B misdemeanor to possess items used to make graffiti, if officers and prosecutors thought the suspect intended to use them that way.

“When you’re out at 2:00 in the morning with a spray can, a ladder and brushes, you’re not painting my neighbor’s garage,” Mayne observed.

Mayne says paints used by taggers are more damaging to walls and fences than in years past.

“They’re costing people so much money to fix their fences, and now [with] this corrosive stuff that [taggers] can put on fences, they will have to replace the fence,” Mayne said.

She says the proposal has received a lot of support from law enforcement agencies all over the state.

 

 

 

 

House and Senate Dems to hold Media Availability immediately following Governor’s State of the State Address

 

MEDIA AVAILABILITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961
E:    emily.hollingshead@gmail.com

 

Utah House and Senate Democrats to hold Media Availability immediately following Governor’s State of the State Address, January 25, 2012

 

Who:          Utah House and Senate Democrats

What:         Media Availability in Response Governor Herbert’s State of the State Response

Where:      House of Representatives Lounge

When:        Wednesday, January 25, 2012 immediately following the Governor’s speech

 

Utah House and Senate Democrats, led by Democratic Leaders Ross Romero and David Litvack, will be available immediately following the Governor’s State of the State response to discuss the Governor’s proposals.

 

Members of the media are requested to meet with the Democratic legislators in the House Lounge of the Utah House of Representatives as soon as the Governor finishes his remarks and leaves the chamber.

 

In addition to the media availability, a pre-recorded response will also be available to all media outlets on Wednesday morning.  To receive a copy, call Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats, or visit us online at www.utahsenatedemocrats.org.

 

For more information, contact Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats:  emily.hollingshead@gmail.com or 435-590-9961

 

Utah legislators say yes to proposal to shrink class sizes

BY ROSEMARY WINTERS
The Salt Lake Tribune

Parents would see fewer students in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms under a proposed bill that earned preliminary approval Monday from the Senate Education Committee.

SB31, which the committee unanimously passed on to the full Senate, would limit the number of students in academic classes to 18 in kindergarten, 20 in first grade, 22 in second grade and 24 in third grade. But schools unable to meet the requirement, possibly due to limited classrooms, could instead hire teachers aides, known as paraprofessionals.

Sen. Karen Morgan, the Cottonwood Heights Democrat who is sponsoring the bill, said she gets calls from parents every fall who are shocked to find their child’s kindergarten class has upward of 30 students.

“The most critical time to have a smaller class size is in those early grades, where children are building a foundation for learning,” she told the committee, noting that 36 states limit class sizes. “We should not be one of the 14 states plus the District of Columbia that doesn’t have some kind of a cap on enrollment.”

But she acknowledged it will be challenging to find the ongoing funds needed to hire more teachers. The cost of meeting the smaller class sizes has not yet been calculated. This year, the Davis School District spent $2.5 million, using a property-tax hike, to cover a one-student reduction in average K-3 class sizes.

Peter Cannon, a member of the Davis school board, questioned whether the bill takes flexibility away from school districts. Cannon, who was not speaking on behalf of the Davis board, said the money might be better spent on improving teacher quality through a performance-pay system.

“We in the school districts know how to help our students,” Cannon said. “We don’t need to be told to help our students the way every other school district does.”

The state’s median class sizes are 22 for kindergarten, 23 for first grade, 24 for second grade and 25 for third grade, according to the State Office of Education.

During the same meeting, the committee also passed SB39, which would give the governor greater power in hiring and firing the state’s commissioner of higher education and the president of the Utah College of Applied Technology.

“The aim of this is to try to allow the governor to encourage coordination between the three silos of education,” said sponsor Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, referring to higher education, the applied technology colleges and public education.

The State Board of Regents would still select the state’s higher-ed commissioner, and the UCAT board of trustees would still choose a president. But their selections would have to be approved by the governor and the Senate. The governor could fire either appointee after consulting with the respective board.

Reid said Gov. Gary Herbert supports the bill.

 

Education Funding for Public Education – Senator Ben McAdams

On Friday, Senator Ben McAdams unveiled his bill to increase Utah’s public education funding without raising taxes for Utah families.

Here’s an article in the Deseret News which talks about his plan.

Money, technology to be top education issues this legislative session

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705397844/Money-technology-to-be-top-education-issues-this-legislative-session.html?pg=1