- Tell us your name, and why you decided to run for this position.
Evan J. Vickers, Cedar City. I currently am in the House of Representatives and after working with good legislators from both houses, I feel that you can have more influence in the Senate. You can have more opportunity to benefit your district. I have spoken to current and former legislators who have served in both the House and Senate like Tom Hatch and Sen. Steve Urguhart and they have confirmed these views. I enjoy very much serving the people of our area. I have strong ties to some of the other counties in the district having been born in Panguitch and raised in Beaver. It would be a pleasure to have the opportunity to serve those areas as well as the other areas in the district.
- Please talk about a few bills from the past 5 years that you were glad passed or did not pass.
1) 2011 HB 336 Medical Professional Licensing During a Declared Emergency-I sponsored this bill and worked closely with the local health departments, state health department and DOPL. This bill allows the health department to distribute medications, primarily antibiotics, to the public during a declared national, state or local emergency in order to protect the public. A good example of this would be distributing Tamiflu during the recent Swine Flu Pandemic. 2) SB 20 from 2010 and SB 20 from 2011-both of these bills were sponsored by Sen. Stowell. I worked closely with him on these pieces of legislation and was the house sponsor on the 2011 bill. This legislation provides a way for the local water users to create a special service district allowing them to purchase back water rights and take them out of production in an effort to correct the over appropriation of ground water rights. 3) 2010 HB 30-I worked with the sponsor to improve and make this a better bill. It listed Soma as a Schedule 4 Narcotic instead of legend only thus giving more control over the medication and requiring to be reported on the controlled substance database. 4) 2010 SB 172 Taxing authority of local districts-This bill sets up criteria how special and local districts can levy tax increases. The bottom line is that only boards that are elected or are comprised of elected officials can levy taxes thus taking the power away from appointed boards to levy taxes. 5) SB 88 from 2010-This started out to be a very bad bill for my profession, pharmacy. I had to work very hard and go up against a very powerful senator and lobbyists to get some compromise on this bill that ended up being a very good bill in the end. I gained a great deal of respect for the senator and he for me. It was a very tough and difficult experience but also very rewarding. The experience and relationships developed from that bill helped me a great deal in the 2011 session.
- Please tell us about a few of the bills from the past five years that you wish had had a different outcome (i.e., if they did not pass you wish they had because... or if they did pass, why you wouldn't have voted for them, or would not now vote for them).
1) 2010 HJR 9 Resolution in support of Veterans Nursing Home-At the time this was passed Cedar City and Washington County were competing to be the site of the Veterans Nursing Home proposed for Southern Utah. Unfortunately the language of the bill was changed the last night of the session in a conference committee between the House and the Senate that precluded Cedar City from being a possible site. It was a learning experience for both Sen. Stowell and myself. Quite frankly, the veterans criteria would have most likely put the nursing home in Washington County anyway but it would have been nice for the veterans in Iron County to have had a chance to participate in the process. 2) 2011 SB 2-This is an issue that I just found out about. SB 2 contained some intent language that shifts funds away from the school districts and into a special program for any students leaving the district to attend an Applied Technology Center. The big losers in the end will be the kids since they won't have the opportunity to take many of these ATC classes like auto mechanics, welding and Certified Nursing Assistant. We are currently working on finding a way to correct this unfortunate oversight. 3) 2009 SB 187-Alcohol Amendments-This was my first session and did not realize at the time that this bill created a physical barrier in a restaurant to hide the bartender. It has turned out to be a deterrent for national restaurants to build in our state. I wish we could go back and correct that language.
- What are the major things that you would like to accomplish if you are elected?
I would like to keep our budget in a balanced and conservative position. I worry that as the economy improves that a lot of legislators will dust off their "favorite spending bill" and try to push it through thus raising spending. I don't mind funding growth in certain areas and believe that we need to properly compensate our employees but I worry that the appetite will be to go overboard. We have to have the courage to hold the line on spending. The senate has traditionally been more conservative on these types of issues and I feel that I can fit in well with that attitude. I would like to continue to work on Medicaid and health care reform. I believe in Tort Reform on malpractice cases and would like to work on that. I also believe strongly in education and would like to continue to find the best ways to educate our children both on the Public Ed and Higher Ed side.
- How will you know when you have completed your work in the Senate?
I served on the city council in Cedar City for 12 years. I told my wife that when I get to the point that I act like I am the only one who knows what they are doing then let me know so I can get out. I hit that point after about 10 years. The point I am trying to make is that I am not a "lifer" like some who serve in the legislature. I do believe that you need to try to serve 6-10 years to get to a point where you are knowledgeable and can be the most benefit to your district and the state. You will always have "one more thing" you are working on or want to see accomplished but you need to be able to walk away and let someone else do the work.
- What is one trait you have that will make you especially effective if you are selected?
My ability to work with other legislators using my expertise whether it be from health care, business, rural issues or something else in constructing legislation that will be beneficial to a majority of those involved without being onerous.
- What committees would you like to be on as a Senator?
I currently serve as the Vice-Chair of Health and Human Services in the House and would very much like to serve on that committee in the Senate. I have a great deal of expertise in that area. I would also like to serve on Higher Education Appropriations , Infrastructure and General Government that oversees all road and building construction or Social Services that oversees all health related spending including medicaid. Other standing committees that I would like to serve on are Natural Resources and/or Revenue and Taxation.