Legislator of the Week: Utah State Senator Stuart Adams
This week, ALEC and FreedomWorks introduce Utah State Senator Stuart Adams. Senator Adams serves as Majority Whip in the Utah State Senate. Before being elected to the Senate, he served four and half years in the Utah House of Representatives. He is the Former Chairman of the Utah Transportation Commission and is currently Chairman of the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA). During his time representing the 22nd District, he championed legislation to address religious freedoms, affordable energy, and clean air and transportation. Prior to his time in the legislature, he served 9 years on the Layton City Council. Senator Adams is a partner in the Adams Company, a Real Estate, Construction and Development Firm in Kaysville. During his time in real estate, he was named Builder of the Year by the Northern Wasatch Home Builders Association. Senator Adams graduated from Layton High in 1972 and went on to earn my Bachelor of Arts at the University of Utah in business finance. He currently resides in Layton where he and his wife Susan raised their four children: Angie, Kristin, Lizzy and Stephanie. Today they are proud grandparents to fifteen grandchildren.
Why did you run for office?
I was encouraged to run for office by my very patriotic father. At the same time, my oldest daughter was turning 16 and I wanted to make sure there were traffic lights on a highway near my home. Each year there were several fatalities from people crossing the highway and I was concerned for my daughter’s safety.
In your view, what is the biggest issue facing Utah?
The biggest issue Utah faces is funding infrastructure. Our infrastructure priorities are education, roads and transportation, water, and workforce development. In July of 2018, Utah had the highest job growth rate in the nation. Growth management is a significant issue.
If you could “wave your magic wand,” what would you like to see immediately implemented in Utah?
If I could wave my magic wand, I would implement competitive performance-based education. I think that would probably give us the best return on investment.
Do you serve on any committees, if so which committees and why? How do you think you have impacted them?
I serve on three appropriations committees: Education, Infrastructure and General Government and Executive Appropriations Committees. When you graph our state’s revenue, it looks like a roller coaster. It goes up rapidly when the economy is good and falls like a rock when the economy is bad. One idea that I have helped champion is appropriating ongoing money for one-time expenses, like buildings and roads. These ongoing appropriations become a working rainy-day fund. When the economy turns down, we can stop building structures or roads and use this ongoing money to backfill our budget. This helps us reduce our extreme peaks and valleys and allows us to follow more of a trend line.
What project or law are you most proud of?
In 2015, I was a lead sponsor on Utah’s legislation that established protections for both the religious and LGBTQ communities. The fairness-for-all approach safeguards an individual’s right to express the dictates of their conscience and their religious beliefs pertaining to marriage, family and sexuality, both in and out of the workplace without fear of retribution, while simultaneously protecting housing and employment rights for LGBTQ individuals. Dubbed the “Utah Compromise” by the media, the bill signing was one of the largest in the history of the state. Religious and LGBTQ community leaders, along with hundreds of other supporters, attended the bill signing to show support for the bills.
The picture above shows the signing of SB 296 and 297 in the Utah Capitol Rotunda.
How has ALEC helped you as a legislator?
ALEC’s three guiding principles have helped maintain my focus on federalism, free market and limited government. Attending ALEC events has put me in contact with many who think like I do. ALEC has been a great source for model policy and for my own personal growth.
What is your favorite thing about Utah?
My favorite thing about Utah is the quality of life. This is a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Can you share a fun fact about yourself that’s not in your official bio?
I am a Fifth-generation resident of Layton, Utah. I have four daughters and 15 grandchildren who all live within 15 minutes of our home. This creates a real motivation for me to make sure that Utah gets it right.