FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2011
GOVERNING MAGAZINE NAMES UTAH SENATOR PUBLIC OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR
Senator Dan Liljenquist recognized as one of “Best and Brightest in State Government”
Salt Lake City – Today, Governing Magazine named Utah State Senator Dan Liljenquist the legislative Public Official of the Year.
Elected in 2008, Senator Liljenquist distinguished himself by reforming the state’s unsustainable pension model and initiating the process to make the program financially sound. He also crafted similar bi-partisan legislation that provided Utah with solutions to a parallel predicament in Medicaid funding.
“This recognition says a lot about Dan, but it also says a great deal about the State of Utah. In other places, innovators like Dan are relegated to the back bench. Here, smart ideas carry the day. Dan passed his bills with bipartisan support, and concluded the controversial process with more friends than enemies,” said Senate President Michael Waddoups.
Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero said, “Senator Liljenquist’s leadership, attention to detail, and focus on fiscal sustainability has served the State of Utah well, and has been a catalyst for discussion in most of our sister states. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.”
In the past two years, Senator Liljenquist has personally mentored officials in nearly 40 states on how to implement fiscally sustainable solutions, similar to Utah’s.
“It’s time for us as a people to step up and defuse fiscal challenges before they become disasters,” said Senator Dan Liljenquist. “I’m proud of all my colleagues who put long term financial responsibility above short term concerns. This is a victory for the State of Utah. These pieces of legislation help put us on solid footing for decades to come.”
Utah Governor Gary Herbert also offered congratulations this morning, “Dan Liljenquist represents the best of our Utah legislators and has tackled some of our most difficult challenges. This honor certainly reflects on the State of Utah and our people in a positive way.”
Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins said, “States are the laboratories of our republic. Dan has crafted articulate solutions to intractable problems, said by some to be political suicide, and he has done so in a way that has become model legislation for others to replicate. Fiscal responsibility is an issue that is at the forefront of every state in the nation right now. We can find solutions. All we need is the courage and good will to make them work. Having someone like Dan on your team certainly helps.”
“These dynamic state, city and county public officials faced both economic and political challenges,” said Governing Publisher Fred Kuhn, in a written statement. “Through their collective vision, these stellar leaders worked to better not only their communities but to set an example for future leaders to follow.”
GOVERNING’s 2011 Public Officials of the Year will be profiled in the November issue of the magazine and on http://www.governing.com/POY. They will be honored at an award ceremony in Washington D.C., on November 17. Press passes to the event are available.
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1. Senator Liljenquist will be available from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. today at the Senate Offices for interviews. For more information call 801-538-1035.
2. Governing Magazine’s press release is posted here (PDF).