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Utah State Senate leadership announces priorities for upcoming session

Utah state capitol building
GOP leadership remained largely unchanged following the midterm elections.

Senate President J. Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson held their positions for another term, but there is one change to Republican leadership in the Utah Legislature. Rep. Karianne Lisonbee was elected as House Majority Whip.

Following the announcement, President Adams outlined the team’s priorities for the upcoming session.

“One of the challenges that we have is water. We all know what's going on at the Great Salt Lake. And we know the challenges there. But I want to tell everyone that I believe that we are going to meet that challenge. We will meet it head-on,” he said.

Sen. Ann Millner, Senate Majority Whip, said Senate leadership is also looking for ways to offset rising inflation.

“We know that people are feeling the pressure of inflation, and we'll certainly be looking at areas around tax policy and tax cuts that will help us support individuals as we work through this process, but in a balanced way,” she said.

She touted the state’s history of fiscally conservative principles as the reason for Utah’s strong economy.

“I believe it's the reason that we have the thriving business environment that we have, that we have the strong economy, that we continue to rank in the top of the nation in terms of strong economic development and growth,” Millner said.

Proposed tax cuts to fight inflation may seem to conflict with an additional legislative priority of raising teacher pay, but Senator Adams says they can increase education funding despite cutting taxes.

“We've been able to cut taxes and increase teacher salaries, that doesn't seem to quite make sense. But we're able to do both because of the great economy,” Adams said.

Looking to the next legislative session, Adams predicted they would be able to deliver on these promises, calling the 2023 legislative session the “year of the tax cut.”

Anna grew up begging her mom to play music instead of public radio over the car stereo on the way to school. Now, she loves radio and the power of storytelling through sound. While she is happy to report on anything from dance concerts to laughter practice, her main focus at UPR is political reporting. She is studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and wants to work in political communication after she graduates. In her free time, she spends time with her rescue dog Quigley and enjoys rock climbing.