Press Release
June 7, 2019

Utah Women in the Economy Commission gains three new lawmakers
Commission helps pass important legislation to enhance women’s participation in Utah’s economy

SALT LAKE CITY (June 7, 2019) Three Utah lawmakers joined the Women in Economy Commission this week – Rep. Karianne Lisonbee (R) from House District 14, Rep. Elizabeth Weight (D) from House District 31 and Sen. Ann Milner from Senate District 18.

Newly appointed Co-Chair Senator Luz Escamilla said, “We’re grateful for the willingness of these accomplished women to serve on this commission and support its goal to understand the impact and needs of the state's women in the economy and how to effectively meet those needs.”

The new commissioners replace Reps. Becky Edwards and Rebecca Chavez-Houck, who did not run for re-election in 2018.

“Becky and Rebecca did great work on the commission for us and for the women of Utah,” said Escamilla. “Their unique backgrounds and experiences were invaluable to the commission and they fought tirelessly for the right for women to participate fully in Utah’s economy.” 

The Women in the Economy Commission identifies and recommends specific policies, procedures and programs to best respond to the rights and needs of Utah women in the economy. The Commission has been involved in the passage of several important pieces of legislation, including: 

  • S.B. 161: Nurse Home Visiting Pay-for-success Program, which creates a pilot program to provide in-home nurse visits for pregnant women and new mothers.
  • H.B. 196: Breastfeeding Protection Act, which prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy and permits a woman to breastfeed in any place of public accommodation.
  • H.B. 63: Cosmetology and Associated Professions, which allows required examinations for cosmetology and related professions in languages in addition to English.
  • S.C.R. 11: Concurrent Resolution on Awareness and Treatment of Maternal Depression and Anxiety, which raises awareness and encourages the state to take action to address this serious public health issue.

The Commission released the Utah Women in Higher Education Report in April 2018, which found that Utah women represent more than half of enrolled students at degree-granting institutions, but pursued shorter programs and lower-paying fields of study than men and faced additional barriers, such as childbearing. 

Commissioners include representatives from government, nonprofits and private businesses, including small, medium and large businesses that have been recognized for their promotion of flexibility and work-life balance.