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Utah House District 46

The Utah House of Representatives is comprised of 75 men and women, each representing different areas of the state, elected to two-year terms.

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    Gay Lynn Bennion

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    Jaren L. Davis

  • Lee Anne Walker

Biographical Information

Utah continues to be one of only 11 states with no limit on the amount of money an individual can contribute to a political campaign, and one of only 5 states with no limits on what a corporation can contribute. Do you favor any limits on donations to political campaigns? Why or why not?

What is the legislature’s role in addressing the homeless problem and assuring affordable housing for the working poor?

Not all school districts are able to provide the same resources for their students. How should we support school districts with lesser ability (primarily because of lower property values) to raise revenue?

The Utah State Constitution reads, in part, "Both male and female citizens of this State shall enjoy equally all civil, political and religious rights and privileges." The Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Should Utah ratify the ERA which expresses the same view as the Utah Constitution? Explain your position.

Campaign Email Address
Campaign Phone (385) 200-1794
Twitter @BennionGay
Current Employment Not employed. I currently serve as Director of Education, Women's State Legislative Council of Utah and have spent 5 years as a volunteer teacher with English Skills Learning Center.
Education Bachelors degree in English, cum laude Brigham Young University, 1986
Campaign Website
I am in favor of limits for campaign contributions from individuals and from corporations. Without limits, money plays an unhealthy role in elections. It takes money to create materials, send ads, and provide voters with information. Money creates a great advantage for candidates who have more to spend. Limits for individuals and corporations will give candidates a more equal chance to reach and engage voters. 77% of Americans support limits for contributions to political campaigns, according to a March 2018 Pew Research survey.
A statewide report on child homelessness, released Sept 25, 2020, stated that more than 14,000 people from families with children received homeless services in Utah from 2017-2019, and 4,254 of those were children 6 or younger. National research shows that the most common time for a person in the United States to be homeless is during the first year of life. As a mother and grandmother, I care about the individuals, families and particularly the children who are without shelter in our communities. Citizen groups are calling for long-term efforts to stabilize families during this pandemic and for the long term. The legislature can help by encouraging and supporting Salt Lake and Weber counties to create additional units of supportive housing and by increasing affordable housing units. In the 2020 legislative session, affordable housing advocates encouraged the legislature to approve $35 million for affordable housing units. The legislature did approve $10 million.
Our future prosperity requires a strongly supported education system. A good education not only enriches the lives of our children, it helps them become assets rather than liabilities for the state. Our state economy has thrived and yet funding for education has continued to be a battle. School funding equity needs to be addressed. Our first goal should be to make the 6% weighted pupil increase, agreed to in the 2020 legislative session, a reality. Our education system needs this added resource. Districts with more children with learning disabilities and other challenges may require additional funds to ensure success. We value all children in our state. All should be enabled to reach their potential, regardless of where they live. We need to work to ensure adequate funds are made available to meet the specific needs of each school district.
I support Utah ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. It would prevent discrimination in the workplace, help women to achieve pay equality, allow men to get paid paternity leave, require states to intervene in cases of domestic violence and sexual harassment, and guard against discrimination based on pregnancy and motherhood. For over 100 years women and men have been guaranteed equal rights under the Utah constitution, and this has not led to the problems that critics of the Equal Rights Amendment have predicted.
Campaign Mailing Address 2845 E Palma Way
SLC, Utah 84121
Campaign Email Address
Campaign Phone (801) 560-6776
Education Graduate University of Utah Business Finance
I do favor limits on donations to political campaigns for both individuals and corporations. An elected official has an equal duty to all residents who live in their area. Some may not have the resources to participate at the same level as others. Having limits aides in two ways: keeping a level playing field for all who need representation and motivation for the candidate to reach out to more people.
The legislature plays a critical role in addressing the homeless problem and ensuring affordable housing for the working poor. We need leaders who understand the issue to best handle solutions. I enjoyed an opportunity to serve on the Community Development Corporation of Utah for ten years. During my time, we rebuilt deteriorating neighborhoods, provided down payment assistance, educated buyers on ways to build credit, and developed new lending guidelines for the working poor. Homeownership is not only good for a community but gives individuals and families an opportunity to break the chains of poverty passing on generational wealth. Today I serve on a board whose mission is to provide shelter for the homeless population as a step toward homeownership.
The inequality found in school districts based on the ability to generate revenue is a significant problem. Every child, no matter where they live, deserve the same educational opportunity as any other child. While some districts enjoy diversity in property values allowing for equal distribution of revenue, it is not guaranteed. Where there are limitations, a broader base is required to equalize resources. While I don’t have the answer, I have the passion and will work with groups and individuals to find ways the state can help.
I wholeheartedly support equal rights. The fact is, I am the child of a dynamic woman who shattered the glass ceiling while I was in high school. She enjoyed a brilliant corporate career, which changed the course for many to follow. Too, I am the proud father of three women and five granddaughters. I will not tire from working to ensure opportunity for them knowing it helps all. I have committed to support the ratification to dear friends who, in return, have committed to help me navigate the best ways to accomplish this mutual aspiration. Professionally, I have a record of opening doors for women to serve in places and positions that help bridge any gaps or displace any roadblocks. I am 100% in support with my energy and passion.
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