Governor Gary Herbert has nominated Senator John Valentine to be the chair of the state tax commission. The move means one of Utah’s longest serving legislators will have to resign.
John Valentine first became a legislator in 1988 when then Governor Norm Bangerter appointed him to the House of Representatives. He served there for 10 years before being appointed to the Senate where he’s served ever since representing Orem and other parts of Utah County. Valentine says after 26 years of service, he’ll miss the people the most.
“The friendships that you make in the legislature are just beyond belief, because you are in the battle every day, all day long and you spend the same amount of time with those people as you would with your family,” he says.
Valentine is well known for his work and efforts on Utah’s liquor laws, particularly the so called “Zion Curtain” that requires drinks to be mixed behind a partition. But in defending that law, and others like it, he says he feels his role in liquor legislation has often been overblown.
“I’ve tried really hard to make a balance between the public safety concerns on one side and the hospitality concerns on the other side," he says. "And I think we’ve got that balance about right right now.”
If confirmed by the Senate in September, Valentine’s new role will be to help administer tax laws and adjudicate any appeals to the tax commission. It will be a role that isn’t too different from his day job as a tax attorney.