One of the benefits of representing a state like Utah — a state filled with innovative collaborators and problem-solvers — is that I am never far from those who can provide valuable insight for addressing the numerous challenges we face. Because many of these challenges require immediate attention, I was one of several senators who argued that the Senate should forgo its traditional August recess and stay in Washington to work on tax reform, structural spending reform, funding our military, and bolstering our civil liberties.
Ultimately, the Senate decided to continue with its planned recess in August, so I decided to fill my calendar with opportunities to connect with Utahns. Over the course of these weeks I met with Utahns to discuss ways we can increase economic opportunity for American families and businesses.
I met with Utahns affected by the opioid crisis, and I collected their feedback on how we can move forward to address this public health crisis.
I met with Utahns about our health care system and discussed ways to address the burdensome costs that are hurting American families.
I appreciate all the Utahns who took the time to meet with me, and I would like to highlight some of the visits I had:
OnSite Care Clinic
OnSite Care is an innovative provider of healthcare services in Utah. In a meeting at one of their facilities I met with twenty of their employees. As a player in the industry that is lowering costs and increasing access to care, I was eager to learn how their innovations could be applied on a broader scale.
I met with over sixty employees of Orbit Irrigation. Water is a truly scarce resource in the West, and they are working on solutions to this problem. Their smart watering control system will provide abundant water usage savings while still meeting the needs of residential/commercial customers.
America First Credit Union
I met with executives, board members, and employees to discuss the role that credit unions play in Utah to provide Utahns with access to capital.
Procter and Gamble
Procter and Gamble recently decided to locate a manufacturing facility in Box Elder County, Utah. I toured the facility, which connects them to markets across the West. I then held an open-ended Q&A session with over 35 employees.
I toured their business and learned more about the program they are developing with UVU to prepare students for a future engaging with robotics and automated systems. They are also developing safety systems for automobile manufacturers. I enjoyed meeting with over two hundred employees and answering their questions.
Swift Trucking and A&K Railroad
As a new member of the Senate Commerce Committee, transportation has become a bigger focus of mine. I met with several employees of Swift Trucking and A&K Railroad to learn more about their business and the role they play in our economy.
HIMMSS (Healthcare Information and Managment Systems Society — Utah Chapter)
I delivered the keynote address to over one hundred members of the Healthcare Information and Managment Systems Society. We discussed the roles that technology and innovation can play in improving our healthcare system.
Many members of my staff toured the LDS church’s Welfare Square to learn more about the role the LDS church plays in providing temporal assistance and humanitarian services to those in need. As we continue to explore how we can maintain a strong social fabric in our country, it is helpful to learn more about the role strong civil institutions play in our society.
Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City
I met with the Bishop Solis of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, and we discussed how we can better meet the needs of the poor and disadvantaged with specific attention to the issues of opioids, refugees, and community collaboration.
Police and Fire Chiefs and First Responder Town Hall
I held a roundtable discussion with dozens of police and fire chiefs from several counties in Utah. We focused on what their respective needs are and where they need assistance from the federal government. We spent substantial time discussing the challenges around addiction and opioids, homelessness, and mental illness. After the discussion with the chiefs, over 60 first responders participated in a town hall where we discussed additional issues.
Business Crawl through Spanish Fork with the Internet Association
I spent a morning visiting several businesses in Spanish Fork including My Sister’s Closet and Sego Lily Soaps. I enjoyed meeting with the business owners, their employees, and community leaders.
We then made our way to Spanish Fork City Hall where we met elected officials and representatives from AirBNB, Yelp, Amazon, Thumbtack, Hommie, Cowboy Donuts, and other internet based businesses.
We discussed the importance of keeping the internet open and accessible. Those in attendance also highlighted how brick and mortar businesses can benefit when they partner with an online presence to open their customer base to new markets.
2017 Solutions Summit
On August 24, 2017, I hosted the 4th Annual Utah Solutions Summit. The theme of this year’s event was collaboration. Multiple guests joined us to explore how principles of collaboration can be applied to our communities, businesses, governments, and creative ventures — and how we can apply these lessons to our own personal blueprint for success.
Here are some highlights from the event: