With unanimous support from the Senate Majority Caucus, Senate President Niederhauser appointed Senator Evan Vickers (R-Cedar City) to temporarily fill the position of Senate Vice Chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee. He also named Senator Kevin Van Tassell as Senate Majority Leader Pro Tem. This temporary change was made due to the health consideration of Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund and the increasing workload of the legislative session. Senator Okerlund has begun the process of being evaluated by doctors for potential heart and kidney transplants.
Vickers said, “The role of a Senate Vice Chair is to work with the rest of the leadership team in preparing a balanced budget for the Utah Legislature to vote on and present to the Governor for his signature. I am very grateful and honored for the trust the Legislature has in me to serve in this role. Most importantly, I ask for everyone’s prayers on my good friend Senator Okerlund’s behalf, that he can get well quickly, and that he knows of our love and strong support of him.”
President Niederhauser said, “I want to express our deep appreciation and respect for Senator Okerlund. While the work of Legislature continues, these temporary changes will allow him to focus on what is most important, and that is his health and family. I appreciate Senator Van Tassell and Senator Vickers for helping temporarily fulfill these duties. I have complete confidence in them and look forward to their contributions to the success of this legislative session.”
Upon Senator Okerlund’s return, Senator Van Tassell and Senator Vickers will return to their prior positions.