Sen. Mayne’s Worker Classification Bills

Senator Karen Mayne’s landmark legislation, Senate Bill 35, was featured this week in news reports by KSL Television and the Deseret News. Click here for KSL’s report and interview with Senator Mayne and here for the Deseret News article.

Senate Bill 35, along with its companion bills, SB 11 and SB 191, closed a loophole that allowed companies to designate workers as “owners,” thereby avoiding paying taxes and other employee-related costs. Senator Mayne’s legislation insures the protection of workers’ rights.

Senator Mayne predicts her landmark legislation will serve as a model for other states. She has already been contacted by lawmakers in Hawaii, Colorado, and Illinois who are interested in sponsoring similar legislation for their states.

Click here for archived post of bill signings.

Sen. Mayne Recognized for Community Service

Last week the city of Taylorsville, Utah, celebrated its annual Taylorsville Dayzz, a fun gathering for West Side residents with entertainment, a carnival and rides, fireworks, exhibits, food, etc.   Senator Karen Mayne was one of the major sponsors of the event.  

Last Saturday, Senator Mayne was the commencement speaker for graduation ceremonies at Granite Peaks Lifelong Learning.  Granite Peaks is an integral part of Granite School District, offering community education, adult education, and independent study.  Much to Senator Mayne’s surprise, she was given the Dr. Joseph E. Allen Community Service Award.  It is awarded to individuals who support and promote community education and lifelong learning.
Congratulations, Senator Mayne, for these acknowledgments of your outstanding community service.

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



Senate Democrats Statement on the Death of Osama Bin Laden

The members of the Utah Senate Democratic Caucus applaud the United States armed forces, the intelligence community and President Barack Obama on the successful operation that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden.  The fact that this was carried out without any civilian or American casualties is a testament to the outstanding training and abilities of our armed forces. Continue reading

Nine Liquor Stores to Remain Open-Senator Romero’s Response

Senator Ross RomeroSenator Ross Romero just learned of Governor Gary Herbert’s decision to authorize the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to reassign $1.4 million in agency funds to keep nine of ten state liquor stores open that were originally slated for closure.  He commends Governor Herbert and DABC for their efforts in finding a preferred solution to DABC’s budget shortfall.

Senator Romero is aware of the public’s concern about closing state liquor stores.  He shares the expressed concerns of over consumption and prevention of under-age drinking, but that is not what the closing of stores was addressing. 

The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, along with other state agencies, was ordered to cut their budget by 7.5%, or $2.2 million.  In order to meet those cuts, the DABC was going to close 10 stores that make a profit for the state of nearly $20 million annually. 

During the past few months, Senator Romero has questioned the wisdom in closing 10 stores that make $20 million in profit annually in order to save just over $2 million this year.  In addition to the unfortunate monetary loss, about 100 Utahns would have lost their jobs, workers who may have turned to state assistance to make ends meet. 

Senator Romero has been exploring other sensible solutions to avoid the store closures, and he is pleased to now learn that nine stores will remain open for business.

Senator Mayne–Signing of Worker Classification Bills

Accompanied by bill sponsor Senator Karen Mayne, Governor Gary Herbert ceremonially signed Senator Mayne’s recently passed legislation, SB 11Worker Classification Coordinated Enforcement, SB 35Construction Licensees Related Amendments, and SB 191Workers’ Compensation Coverage Waivers.  These three companion bills closed a loophole that allowed some companies to designate workers as “owners,” thereby avoiding paying taxes and other employee-related costs.  Senator Mayne engaged numerous government agencies, business entities, and individuals in this effort, garnering their assistance and support.  Our community is well served by legislators such as Senator Mayne.

Par Excellence Award for Senator Robles

Senator Luz RoblesYesterday, Senator Luz Robles received the 2011 Par Excellence Award from the University of Utah Alumni Association.  Senator Robles has a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and a master’s degree in public administration from the University.  Only three years after completing her education, she was elected to the Utah State Senate, District One.  She is currently vice president and Hispanic/Latino market manager at Zions Bank.  Click here to read all about Senator Robles’ Par Excellence Award.