Rep. Brad King found the first week of the 2007 Utah legislative session to be relatively quiet and uneventful.
"There are a lot of formalities up there in the first week," commented King in a telephone last Monday afternoon. "It went as smooth as I have ever seen it."
But the anticipated storm about a number of issues and how to spend a $1.7 billion surplus is expected to make things more exciting before the session ceases at the end of February.
"Right now, we are working mostly on budgets in the various committees I am on," said King.
The District 69 legislator serves on the executive offices and criminal justice appropriations subcommittee, the executive appropriations committee and on the Utah House of Representatives' transportation committee.
As minority whip, King is involved in appropriations dealing with the executive branch of the state, the attorney general's office, courts, public safety and prisons.
"There are some very interesting bills coming up in the next couple of weeks," he said. "In the next couple of days, we will be looking at a bill that restricts usage of cell phones teenage drivers. There will certainly be a lot said about that bill."
As with each year, King says that uninsured driver coverages and laws regarding those kinds of drivers will again be considered in some bills as well.
"I try to stay on top of all of them, and particularly the ones that influence our part of the state," he stated. "Later on in the session there will be some bills concerning off highway vehicles that should cause a stir."
The biggest problem this year for the legislature will be how to spend the surplus however. No matter how much money is available from the state coffers, there is never enough to pay for everything every group wants. Cuts in one area always raise cries from one group while another may only be partially satisfied with what is done. It seems no one is ever completely happy.
"We'll just have to see how it goes. Well get into the meat of the session in the next couple of weeks," he concluded.