By Melissa Taylor
Capital West News
SALT LAKE CITY- Over 200 Utah residents gathered at the state capitol prior to the legislative session to attend the 2015 “Legislative Boot Camp” hosted by Libertas Institute.
The four-hour event, which included lunch and a tour of the capitol building, focused on informing the public on how the legislative process works and encouraged individuals to get involved in the process to make a difference.
“We want to crowd source citizen engagement,” Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute said.
Boyack gave a general lecture on navigating the website of the Utah Legislature (http://le.utah.gov) and understanding the content of a bill.
Attendees had the opportunity to hear from multiple legislators including Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, the Democratic Caucus Leader. The general legislative session consists of only 45 calendar days, from Jan. 26 – Mar. 12. With the limited time frame, King explained the process as being similar to, “trying to get a drink of water out of a fire hydrant.” King encouraged citizens to get involved by reaching out to legislators and listening in on committee meetings, which will be available online during the session.
Recently elected Speaker of the House, Greg Hughes, R-Draper, spoke to event participants in the House Chamber. Hughes explained the process of a bill and emphasized the impact that constituents can have on the legislative process.
‘Your participation is a game-changer,” Hughes said. “There are all kinds of laws that will be made whether you care or not. You need to have eyes on that process.”
Those who are interested in influencing legislation during this session can sign up for Libertas Institute’s Citizen Sponsor Program at http://libertasutah.org/sponsor/.