Musical chairs on Utah’s Capitol Hill as committee chairs swap seats

Speaker Brad Wilson made several changes to Republicans’ committee assignments in the Utah House.

Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson made the final changes to his Republican leadership team following the unexpected resignation of former House Majority Leader Francis Gibson last month.

Gibson’s resignation shuffled the 57-member GOP House caucus as Rep. Mike Schultz, from Hooper, stepped up to become the new majority leader, while Rep. Jefferson Moss, of Saratoga Springs, became the new majority whip.

Moss was the House Vice Chair of the powerful Executive Appropriations Committee. Wilson, from Kaysville, tapped Rep. Robert Spendlove, R-Sandy, to fill the open slot on the Legislature’s top budgeting committee.

Wilson shifted seven other Republicans to new committee roles.

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, is the new vice chair of the House Rules Committee. That body controls the flow of legislation and decides which committees bills are assigned to.

“Rep. Spendlove and Rep. Lisonbee are dedicated and committed to the legislature, their colleagues and the people of our state,” said Wilson in an emailed statement. “They each bring a unique perspective and skill set that will serve us well. I appreciate their willingness to serve in these positions and look forward to working alongside them.”

Rep. John Hawkins, R-Pleasant Grove, swapped spots with Lisonbee on the House Judiciary Committee becoming the new chair, with Lisonbee now the vice chair.

Rep. Casey Snider, R-Paradise, replaced Spendlove as chair of the House Revenue and Taxation committee.

Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, replaced Snider as the chair of the House Ethics Committee, and Rep. Mike Kohler, R-Midway, takes Snider’s spot as vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Lisonbee’s move from chair of the House Judiciary Committee to vice chair means there are no women leading any standing committee in the House. Rep. Susan Pulsipher, R-South Jordan, is vice chair of the House Education Committee and Rep. Candace Pierucci, R-Riverton, is vice chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Wilson also made a few changes to the makeup of appropriations subcommittees for the 2022 session which begins in January.

Rep. Cheryl Acton, R-West Jordan, is the new chair of the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee and Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan is the vice chair of that committee.