by Cassidy Hansen
Capital West News
SALT LAKE CITY—Although this upcoming Utah legislative session marks Sen. Lyle Hillyard’s, R-Logan, thirtieth year serving District 25, his excitement for the upcoming session rivals the enthusiasm of a freshman representative. This enthusiasm, combined with his love and respect of Utah, is what has kept him serving the public for so long.
“I am a lawyer by profession, so I really enjoy the process of reading and understanding bills,” said Hillyard, “I also feel that the in Utah (government) I still have influence.”
Hillyard has also gained the respect of several members of the Utah Senate, with one senator joking that the Logan senator has served in for so long, he must have gone to high school when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The senator was quick to note how much he appreciated having a senator in the chamber Hillyard’s experience. While Hillyard may have gone to high school in the Jurassic period, communicating with his constituents is nothing short of 21st Century.
In fact, Hillyard can be followed on Twitter (@senlylehillyard), where he is extremely active, posting tweets about legislative meetings, his love for his district, and of course, his support for Aggie sporting events.
“W/leg beginning on Monday, I plan to tweet daily & keep everyone up to date w/what is happening,” Senator Hillyard tweeted on Monday Jan., 19.
The Senator’s passion for his district comes from growing up in Smithfield, attending Utah State University and living in his district’s counties his entire life.
“The mountains, the Logan River and other streams that join the valley, and when the mountains hit the sun,” are a few of the things that Hillyard loves about his district; he suggests that these features of nature should be enjoyed by all Utahns and their families. “I love the people and the weather,” he said.
Hillyard’s children grew up with their father in the Utah State Legislature, and remain supportive of their father’s public service. “In the beginning I would go down early on Mondays and come back Friday, and my wife (Alice) would stay home,” said Hillyard.
Today, his children are older and all moved out, except for his son, Matt, who has a mental disability. But these days, Alice and Matt join him for much of the legislative session, said Hillyard, who cited several things that his wife and Matt can be involved in during the forty-five day legislative session in Salt Lake.
Meanwhile, Hillyard will be busy meeting with various groups to put the Utah budget together. Currently, the Senator occupies the prestigious position as the senate chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee. The Senator said that a successful budget will be able to fund those things in which the state wants to invest.
Additionally, Hillyard said that he believes Utah is positioned to have the healthiest economy in the nation, and he hopes that the Utah economy can fully rebound this upcoming year. If the session goes according to Hillyard’s plan, then it should be a promising one for his district, and the citizens of Utah.