Davis County lawmakers and committee members met to discuss upcoming issues that may come before the Legislature.
As usual, funding topped the list, with both the DATC and Weber State University asking for backing on building projects.
Michael Bouwhuis, president of DATC, asked for financial support on a building in the Freeport Center that could be converted to house training for the composite program.
“This (building) would mean a lot to us,” said Bouwhuis. “We’re No. 2 on the (funding) list. So we’d ask that you support it when you see it.”
Weber State Vice President for University Advancement, Brad Mortensen, pleaded again for money to construct a new building at the Davis campus.
“I appreciate all the support you’ve given us,” he said. “We’ve got the land, now we need to expand our facilities to accommodate the programs.”
Ann Millner, president of Weber State, told the legislators that the campus has a higher student enrollment per square foot than any other in the state.
“We serve a lot of students, but we can’t expand to meet the needs of the aerospace industry,” she said. “Growth at other institutions has been dealt with. This one has not. If you compare us, you’ll see there is a need there.”
Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said the school was about fifth on the funding list.
“We’ll keep working on it and try to push it up,” he promised. “They need this building.”
After the committee presentations, the legislators explained bills they are working on that might impact Davis County.
“I’m trying to update the SITLA (State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration) statutes,” said Rep. Roger Barrus, R-Centerville. “Since 1994 we’ve gone from bringing in $50 million to a billion by using good capital principles. It will help in education funding.”
Rep. Julie Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, is working on a bill that would require UDOT to report any settlement before it takes place.
“It will have to go to the transportation commission, the governor and the legislative committee,” she explained. “It should still move quickly and not hold up any construction.”
The committee will continue to meet once a week with lawmakers as the session progresses. This Friday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda, the group will hold a press conference to announce a coalition between the Davis Chamber, Ogden/Weber Chamber and Brigham City Chamber. The intent is to create stronger support in promoting political agendas.