SALT LAKE CITY — New leadership will assume positions in the state's top Senate posts at the start of the new year.
Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, who has chaired the Executive Appropriations Committee for 12 years, will now chair the Public Education Appropriations Committee. His long service was recognized by Senate President Wayne Niederhauser on Wednesday.
"Through good times and bad, he developed budgets that were balanced and conservative, without significant debt," Niederhauser said, adding that Hillyard was "well-informed, good-humored and independent" in his charge.
"(Hillyard) was beholden to no one but the people of his district and the state of Utah," he said. "I hope Utahns understand that when our state is recognized for being well-managed and economically strong, part of that credit is due to the quiet service of Lyle Hillyard."
Niederhauser also announced the appointment of Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, as the new chairman of the Executive Appropriations Committee, with Sen. Kevin Van Tassel, R-Vernal, serving as vice chairman of the committee.
In addition to chairman appointments, senators were named to positions where they will serve on committees as they vet bills and other issues in session, as well as in the interim, between sessions.
"Change is rarely easy, but the timing is great for my family," said Hillyard. "I look forward to focusing in on the public education budget, and feel gratitude for the honor and responsibility I had to serve as Executive Appropriations chair(man)."