The Utah State Legislature is in its third week of meetings and Brad King, representative from District 69 representing about two thirds of Carbon County is counting the days that he and his fellow law makers have to get things done.
"As of today at noon the session is half over," he commented on the phone on Monday afternoon. "We're 22 and a half days into the session and have that many more to go. Now we will get to the real meat of the legislative process."
Up to this point King and his fellow law makers have been doing a lot of committee meetings, setting up bills for the full house and senate. Starting later this week that will change.
"Actually, even tomorrow we begin spending a lot more time on the floor than in meetings," he stated.
So far King says that there have been no real bills passed that have affected the local area, but certainly some are in the works.
"The house passed a bill that will allow OHV enthusiasts to donate money to the state to protect lands used by that group," explained King. "That is certainly of interest to many people who like to go off road in Carbon and Emery counties."
He also talked a little about the houses passage of the voucher bill for private schools that passed by one vote at the legislature last week.
"That was the most contentious bill so far," he said. "But I know there will be more. Up until that point there was a lot of routine stuff. That livened things up."
King says the big date for this session is February 15 when the state tax commission releases its final report on tax revenues. It is then when frenzy will begin because everyone will know exactly how much they will have to spend on various programs this year.
"We have been spending a lot of time in sub committees reviewing submitted state budgets," he stated. "Now we will be heading off to executive committees before a lot of the bills and appropriations go off to the floor of the senate and house."
King is on the executive appropriations committee, which helps to establish the funding for the executive branch of government, corrections and public safety. He is on that committee because he is in the house leadership as minority whip.
"We have been coming up with a priority list for those areas and now we will have to establish what money is going where," he explained.
King says there will be a variety of bills on energy coming up in the house, but most of those have to do with efficiencies and have little to do with the Castle Valley area.
"But what could really affect us is some bills that have to do with state lands, including State Institutional Trust Lands," he said. "Some of those bills could mean changes in the money that comes to the counties in our area. It could mean a lot of money."
King said that because the legislature is half way done, any bill that hasn't been heard in one house or another by this time will probably be in jeopardy, as far as passage goes.
"Well maybe those bills might get through if they are heard by the end of the week, but that would be the latest they could be heard and survive," he concluded.