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The Utah House continues to lead out with a unified strategy over state control of our federal lands. We have been working with consistency in our efforts to build public support and trust for the effort. This year there is a package of bills being brought forward. Utah's enabling Act contains language that is like other states in the East who exercise control over their lands. The economic repercussions of not having control of our lands is significant. Representative Keven Stratton estimates the value of Federal lands within the state at $161 trillion. There is a commitment that we want to be wise stewards. However the return on having state control of federal land is the only solution with large enough potential to provide funding for Utah schools and programs for the long-term.
We need nothing less than an education renaissance in Utah, a modernization that embraces the best of our traditional approach and expedites a break with the outdated ways of the past. Let’s engage the tools of today and intersect with the technology that students are using to learn everything in the world right now. Let’s ensure that every K-12 student has access — and the understanding — of the technological devices to ensure their success int he economy of tomorrow. This year in the House we are are looking to expand opportunity in education through innovation. We need to make sure the infrastructure is there and make sure that teacher development occurs with it. This will be the most ambitious education modernization yet for the state of Utah.
The decision for the House to launch an investigation on Attorney General John Swallow was some of the most important work that we could do for the State of Utah. We cannot put a price-tag on the public trust for our citizens. The work by the House committee assigned to oversee the investigation was invaluable. It was the House's constitutional responsibility to investigate. They were able to find critical evidence of wrong-doing that is now leading to a number of bills that will stop "dark money" from coming into Utah's election process. We want to be more vigilant in making sure it doesn't happen again. Several members of the House and Senate have proposed legislation to be heard during the 2014 Legislative session aimed at creating substantive changes to improve the system.