Media Alert: Rep. Eliason to Raise Awareness of Suicide Prevention

Media Alert: Rep. Eliason to Raise Awareness of Suicide Prevention

Media Alert
For Immediate Release
February 21, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
House Majority Communications Director
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Rep. Steve Eliason to Raise Awareness of Suicide Prevention with Shoe Display

What:
Rep. Steve Eliason to hold a press conference with the Utah Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to raise awareness about suicide. A display of combat boots from the National Guard and shoes from Deseret Industries to represent the more than 600 lives lost to suicide (74 servicemen and women) in Utah last year.

Where:
Utah State Capitol – South Steps
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Today, February 21, immediately following floor time at approximately 12:00 PM. The display of shoes and combat boots will begin at 9:00 AM

Who:
Representative Steve Eliason, District 45
Utah Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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Press Release: Only Fill What is Needed

Press Release: Only Fill What is Needed

Press Release
For Immediate Release
February 13, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Majority Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov 

Only Fill What is Needed
Partial Filling of a Controlled Substance Legislation

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah, like many states, is facing an opiate epidemic that has led to hundreds of deaths due to narcotic overdoses. Seventy percent of those who misuse narcotics report obtaining the drugs from family, friends or off the street. The practice of illegally obtaining narcotics is commonly referred to as diversion.

Rep. Stewart Barlow’s, District 17, bill, H.B. 146 Partial Filling of a Schedule II Controlled Substance Prescription, would help reduce diversion by allowing a partial prescription to be filled instead of the full amount by the request of the prescriber or patient. A partial fill is considered anything less than the initially prescribed quantity of the controlled substance. Subsequent fillings of the original prescription must occur at the pharmacy that originally dispensed the partial fill.

The amount allocated cannot exceed the total quantity prescribed. The cost shall not exceed the original cost of the full prescription if a person chooses partial fills and uses the entire amount.

“Many patients do not require medication for the full expected duration of the pain following an injury or medical procedure,” said Rep. Barlow. “As a result, the bottle of pain medication will end up in a medicine cabinet or improperly disposed of.”

Instead of depending upon various efforts to safely dispose of unused medication, H.B. 146 will empower patients and prescribers with the ability to request a partial fill of a Scheduled II controlled pain medication, including Norco, Lortab, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Percocet, Morphine and Oxycodone.

“This bill defines and codifies partial prescription fills into state law and complies with recent changes in the federal law,” said Rep. Barlow. “I am confident that this bill and the new strategy it presents will provide a significant tool to help in the fight against opioid overdoses and deaths.”

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Media Advisory: Bill to Lower Blood Alcohol Content Levels to be Heard in Committee

Media Advisory: Bill to Lower Blood Alcohol Content Levels to be Heard in Committee

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release
February 9, 2017

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Majority Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Bill to Lower Blood Alcohol Content Levels to be Heard in Committee 

Salt Lake City – Rep. Norm Thurston’s bill, H.B. 155, to lower the state’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels for driving under the influence from 0.08 to 0.05 for the general population will be heard in House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice on Friday.

Dr. T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, will present data and answer questions about the bill.

“Utah can lead the way as the first state to lower the legal limit to 0.05 for the general population,” said Rep. Thurston. “It is well known that impairment begins with the first drink, but many drivers don’t realize that even low levels of BAC can degrade skills and increase the risk of vehicle crashes. Decreasing the legal limit will help reduce deaths, injuries and losses related to alcohol-impaired driving.”

Who:
Representative Norm Thurston, District 64
Dr. T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, Vice Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board

What:
Hearing on H.B. 155 – Driving Under the Influence and Public Safety Revisions

 Where:
House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee
House Building, Room 30
350 State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111

When:
Friday, February 10, 2017, beginning at 3:00 p.m.

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Press Release: Lowering Blood Alcohol Content Levels From .08 to .05

Press Release: Lowering Blood Alcohol Content Levels From .08 to .05

Press Release
For Immediate Release
December 30, 2016

Contacts:
Rep. Norm Thurston
Utah House of Representatives
801-477-5348
normthurston@le.utah.gov

Aundrea Peterson
Majority Communications Coordinator
Utah House of Representatives
801-791-3365
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Lowering Blood Alcohol Content Levels From .08 to .05
Rep. Norm Thurston’s proposed DUI legislation for upcoming session

SALT LAKE CITY – As Utahns get ready to celebrate New Years Eve, Rep. Norm Thurston, District 64, is preparing to sponsor legislation for the 2017 General Session to lower the state’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels for driving under the influence from 0.08 to 0.05 for the general population.

“It’s a needed change for the whole country. It is well known that impairment begins with the first drink, but many drivers don’t realize that even low levels of BAC can degrade skills and increase the risk of crashes,” explains Rep. Thurston. “Lowering the legal limit will help reduce deaths, injuries and losses related to alcohol-impaired driving. More drivers will become aware that there is a significant increase in risk that occurs well before reaching 0.08.”

Legal limits at or below 0.05 are common throughout the world. Most European nations have a 0.05 legal limit, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland according to European Transport Safety Council. Examples of other countries with limits at or below 0.05 include Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay. Countries, such as the Czech Republic and Hungary, have 0.00 limits on BAC for general population drivers. Across the U.S., typically BAC for commercial drivers is 0.04.

“Utah can lead the way as the first state to lower the legal limit to 0.05 for the general population,” said Rep. Thurston. “This will make it more clear that drinking and driving is not acceptable. Furthermore, implementing this new standard can be done with minimal disruption to current law enforcement procedures, making this a win-win for the safety of Utahns on the road.”

In Utah, drunk driving is the third most common factor contributing to motor vehicle crash deaths over the past 10 years, with speed being first and unrestrained occupants being second.

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Media Statement: Chairs and Members of the Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands Statement about Bears Ears National Monument Designation

Media Statement: Chairs and Members of the Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands Statement about Bears Ears National Monument Designation

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
December 28, 2016 ­­­

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Majority Communications Coordinator
Utah House of Representatives
801-791-3365
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Chairs and Members of the Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands Statement about Bears Ears National Monument Designation

Salt Lake City – Today, the Obama Administration used the Antiquities Act to declare Bears Ears area a national monument. Chairs and members of the Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands, Rep. Keven Stratton – Chair, Sen. David Hinkins – Chair, Rep. Mel Brown, Rep. Ken Ivory and Rep. Mike Noel, issued the following statement regarding the monument designation:

“Like the unilateral tyranny exercised by the King of England against the American colonies two and a half centuries ago, our President has exercised an unconstitutional unilateral exercise of the Executive power to establish a monument greater in size than a number of the original thirteen states. Our children are the biggest losers and our Federal Executive Branch is well aware that this designation goes against the voice of the American Citizens living within the borders of the State of Utah and an overwhelming super majority of those elected to represent them. This Bears Ears designation will not survive a constitutional review by our Judicial Branch and we pledge to take and support every lawful action available under the rule of law to overturn this act of repulsive political cronyism.”

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Media Statement: Speaker Greg Hughes Statement about Bears Ears National Monument Designation

Media Statement: Speaker Greg Hughes Statement about Bears Ears National Monument Designation

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
December 28, 2016

Contact:
Aundrea Peterson
Majority Communications Coordinator
Utah House of Representatives
801-791-3365
aundreapeterson@le.utah.gov

Speaker Greg Hughes Statement about Bears Ears National Monument Designation

Salt Lake City – Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes issued the following statement regarding the Obama Administration using the Antiquities Act to declare 1.35 million acres of the Bears Ears area a national monument:

“We are truly disappointed that President Obama today chose to use the Antiquities Act to unilaterally declare a 1.35-million-acre Monument in Utah. The Antiquities Act, created by Teddy Roosevelt, was never intended to be used in this way and only the smallest area necessary for the purpose of protecting significant archaeological or historical sites is allowed. Not only is that clearly not the case here, but this administration has had no real conversations with those who will be affected by this designation, let alone any study of what “antiquities” they are attempting to protect.

Adding to a long list of executive actions that threaten the sovereignty of the states and the citizens of this nation to chart their own course, our president has chosen to once again subvert the will of the people. Earlier this month, nearly all elected officials who represent the area, from local to federal, assembled at the Utah State Capitol to plead with President Obama to resist the temptation to grant these types of political favors. This action betrays the interests of Utahns, stands in the way of better stewardship of the land we all love and cherish and ultimately amounts to a blatant federal land grab.

Our democratic republic is designed to be most effective and accountable when major decisions are made closest to the people but President Obama has chosen to circumvent all democratic processes and lock up nearly two million acres of land from use based solely on ideological principles.

Nearly 70 percent of Utah is under federal management and control and 90 percent of our population lives on just 1 percent of our ground. Nothing about this is even remotely reasonable, and that is why we in the Utah Legislature have been pushing back for decades. This designation makes that effort even more important and we will do everything within our power to seek to overturn this action once President Obama leaves office next month.”

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