Letter from Senator Hinkins

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Last week we held our monthly Interim meetings at the Capitol. It seems like we just ended last session and yet we now only have one interim day left until the next General Session. My how the time flies!

Here are some of the highlights from the meetings I attended:

Interim Highlights

Fiscal Health Check-up

Our budget forecasters in our Legislative Fiscal Analyst Office are exceptionally good at what they do. This year they accurately projected the State of Utah’s 2016 revenue collections. This is a big deal because the projections are what help to inform the legislature as we plan for the budget each session, and the more accurate our projections, the sounder our budget. Utah ended Fiscal Year 2016 with $18.7 million unspent. Our General Rainy Day Reserves are up 1.7% from last year. We are in a good place financially. Listen to the Fiscal Health Check-Up here. Continue reading Letter from Senator Hinkins

Commissioners Report 10-4-16

October 4, 2016

First, a quick thank you to the road department for keeping up on the roads through these summer rains and floods. We have had numerous people thank us for the quality of the roads so we wanted to pass that on.

Utah Heroin and Opioid Summit

The big take away from this summit is that opioid prescriptions are a problem that are leading to addiction, heroin use and overdose. Some might not be familiar with what an opioid is. Opioids are commonly used medications that relieve pain. Medications that fall within the opioid class include hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), codeine, etc. You can become addicted in as little as three days.

If you have a doctor prescribing you medication that is an opioid for pain after an accident or surgery, I would encourage you to be cautious and ask if there is another medication you could take for your pain. In conversations with Sheriff Funk he says that in Emery County we don’t necessarily have a heroin problem, we have a problem of abuse of prescription opioids.

img_5021If there is an overdose Naloxone or Narcan can save a life. It is a drug that basically wipes the opiates off the nerve receptors in the brain, thereby reviving basic functions of the body, breathing and heart beating. It is said to be safe to use on a 4 month old and older. If there is an overdose and it is not opioid related it will not help nor harm the individual. To learn more click on the link below.

Continue reading Commissioners Report 10-4-16

Chaffetz Office Rural Update October 2016


This is not an official statement from Representative Chaffetz. It is an update of things that he and his office are working on and want to make his constituents aware of.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in providing you with this update. The month of August was very busy as we were touring the district and holding meetings with many of you. September proved to be just as busy with Congress back in session. Here are a few highlights:


  • August 29: Congressman Chaffetz held a meeting with high-ranking officials from the Department of Energy (DOE) at the Moab Uranium Tailings Cleanup Project and urged the Department to fully fund the Project. It is very frustrating that Congress appropriates money to fully fund the project but instead the Department uses those funds to increase the Washington DC Headquarters budget by 90 percent. The Congressman is committed to correcting this behavior within DOE.
  • September 13: In light of the Congressman’s amendment to increase funds for Indian School Bus routes, the Congressman held a meeting with officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and San Juan County Commissioner, Rebecca Benally. Together, we urged BIA to live up to their commitment to properly fund these roads so the children can get to school. This issue remains one of our top priorities in any end of year spending package.

Continue reading Chaffetz Office Rural Update October 2016

Flye Canyon Fire Update

Wildfire Update – Fly Canyon Fire 

Updates will only be released as future significant events occur on the fire. This will be the Last Update. 

Fire Summary:  The Fly Canyon Fire sustained over 1¼ inches of precipitation in the past 2 days; this has extinguished most of the fire. It is estimated to be 2,866 acres. A helicopter will be reseeding affected areas, including Potters Pond Campground and steep hillsides within the watershed.  A falling team will also be removing hazard trees in the area.

Although it has been only marginally noticeable, the potential for fire activity still exists.

Due to the recent cooler weather and precipitation over this lightning-caused fire, fire behavior and activity has decreased considerably; however, this does not mean the fire is out.  It is expected that extended rain and snowfall will completely extinguish this fire.  Until that time, crews will continue to monitor the fire. Continue reading Flye Canyon Fire Update

Commissioners Report 9-20-16

September 20, 2016

Fairs and Festivals

Peach Days and Melon Days just finished up this last week and both were very enjoyable.

Continue reading Commissioners Report 9-20-16

Senator Lee & Hatch Press Release


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lee, Hatch Introduce the Utah National Monument Parity Act

WASHINGTON – Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Utah National Monument Parity Act, Tuesday, a bill that would extend the same Antiquities Act protections Wyoming now enjoys to Utah.

“New Yorkers would not appreciate it if Utahns came in and told them what they could and couldn’t build in Manhattan,” Sen. Lee said, “and Utahns don’t like it when out of state special interest groups tell us how to use our land either. Over 50 years ago the state of Wyoming was granted protections from Antiquities Act abuse in their state, and all Utahns are asking is for that same protection to be extended to their state,” Lee finished. Continue reading Senator Lee & Hatch Press Release

Commissioners Report September 6, 2016

September 6, 2016

ChaffetzStaffLast week I was invited to show Representative Chaffetz staff around our county. Once a year Jason Chaffetz takes his DC and Wasatch staff through his district to show them what they are fighting for. I met them at Black Dragon with Ray Petersen, Randy Johnson and Kim McFarlane. We also visited Buckhorn Wash and the Wedge and topped it all off at Fatty’s for a late lunch.

SolutionsSummitAlso, last week I was able to attend the Solutions Summit. Some of the key note speakers at the summit were Senator Lee, Governor Herbert, Vice President Candidate Mike Pence and Carly Fiorina. The Solutions Summit focuses on jobs, industry trends and educating for the workforce. Senator Lee mentioned that he has introduced a bill he calls the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act. The bill that expands higher education opportunities for low-income and middle-class students and families, by opening up the federal accreditation system to state-based alternatives. I look forward to learning more about this bill. Continue reading Commissioners Report September 6, 2016

Chafftez Office Rural Update August 2016

Jason_ChaffetzThis is not an official statement from Representative Chaffetz. It is an update of things that he and his office are working on and want to make his constituents aware of.

The Public Lands Initiative: On July 14, Congressman Bishop and Chaffetz formally introduced the Utah Public Lands Initiative (PLI) legislation for consideration by the US House of Representatives. Included in the bill is a revamped 1.4 million acre plan for the Bears Ears region. A partner bill was also introduced to complement the Utah Public Lands Initiative by ensuring land use certainty in seven Utah counties. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) will sponsor the companion legislation in the Senate. More info, including the PLI bill text, is available at UtahPLI.com. There you will also find a summary of the bill and key changes, a thorough overview of the Bears Ears region, maps depicting the involved lands, and a listing of supportive statements from various organizations and individuals.

Recently, Reps. Bishop & Chaffetz and Sens. Orrin Hatch & Mike Lee sent a letter to Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell highlighting the legislative strategy and next steps for PLI. Continue reading Chafftez Office Rural Update August 2016

Commissioners Report August 23, 2016

August 23, 2016

We had our meeting in Green River today. Before the Commission Meeting was Board of Equalization (BOE). BOE is a mechanism where a you can come and contest the value your property has been assessed. We had a couple come in today in Green River. There is BOE set up in the Castle Dale office from 9a-12p tomorrow.

Mike Olsen, County Attorney, stated in his report that he has been working on a draft agreement that he will present to the commission in our next meeting for the Robotics Club to use the old Weed and Mosquito building. I mention his report because Rob Murray has been working with Jordan Leonard and the School District to have a Robotics Club in our county. Rob was at Green River High School today talking with the Principal about the club and he mentioned it went really well. Continue reading Commissioners Report August 23, 2016

Senator Lee’s Visit to the Hunter Plant


Last week I had the privilege of visiting the Hunter Plant and the Sufco mine, two of the many sites in our state where hardworking Utahns know all too well the hardships created by regulatory overreach from Washington, D.C. The Hunter Plant is being forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with misguided regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while the Sufco mine continues to wait for the Bureau of Land Management to approve the Greens Hollow coal lease. These are not just places where people work long hours to support their families – they are the cornerstone of Utah’s economy. For my entire life I have benefited from coal-fired electricity. Whenever I flip on a light switch the lights turn on. That is because coal provides Utah with about three-fourths of its electricity. Coal is affordable, reliable, and cleaner than ever. Yet for decades, and increasingly under President Obama, federal regulators, like those at the EPA, have imposed one regulation after another on America’s coal country, in Utah and across the nation. The federal bureaucracy’s relentless and aggressive war on coal can mean one thing: the Obama Administration wants to dismantle Utah’s electricity sector and has no concern for the human consequences. We did not ask for this. Continue reading Senator Lee’s Visit to the Hunter Plant