Representing our community is a team effort; I need to hear your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Your part is vital to keeping Utah’s 65th District one of the best places out State has to offer. Please look through this site so that you can stay up to date on what I am doing as your legislator.
Francis and his wife Sheila met while attending Brigham Young University. They were married in 1993 and have four children that are at the center of their lives. Kendrik (21) recently returned from an LDS mission in Pittsburgh and has started studying Pre-Med at Southern Utah University. Peyton (18) is studying Special Education at Utah Valley University. The Gibson’s have two sons at home, Cameron (11) and Carter (8). Read More
I proudly serve our community as the State Representative for House District 65. My promise to you is to represent the values and issues of our district. I have raised my family in this district and am committed to keeping our community a place where businesses and families are able to thrive. I look forward to meeting and working with you.
Please look through this site so that you can stay up to date on what I am doing as your legislator.
In 2003 Representative Gibson began serving his community as an elected official. Having been elected to the Mapleton City Council, Representative Gibson proudly worked to advance the needs of Mapleton. In 2008, Representative Gibson decided to run for state legislator where he was elected to represent Utah’s 65th District. Since then he has become an integral part of the House Republican Party Leadership and a powerful voice for Spanish Fork, Springville, and Mapleton.
As the House Majority Whip, I have built a reputation as a defender of the process. I work with the House Majority Leader and Speaker to ensure that our caucus aspirations’ are met and that legislation is properly vetted. I also work closely to Senate leadership to make certain that House Bills receive proper consideration on the Senate floor. I have made it a priority to defend my colleagues in the house and ensure they have an opportunity to legislative process that is fair and politically sound.
This year the Legislature put about $435 million in new funds towards Public Education. Funding in education is often measured by the weighted per pupil unit or WPU. This is how we allocate funds to the school districts based on the number of students. Last year, we were able to fund a 2.5% WPU. This year we will be funding a 4% increase in the WPU, which translates to $104 million and is the largest increase since 2008. The WPU is used to cover education programs and the retirement, health benefits and salaries of teachers. Other important Public Education line items include:
In September of 2014, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that the State’s multi-tiered nominating and vetting process for candidates violated constitutional guarantees of free speech and directed the Legislature to devise a new system. Since we had a court directive on the table to draft a new system for the State Board of Education, a lot of ideas have been discussed. The legislature ended up not coming together on how to modify the current system.
A few thousand hours have been collectively spent hearing, debating and refining hundreds of funding requests to determine how most responsibly to spend the taxpayer’s money. Not only have we been up to the task, we have produced a budget that includes a sizable increase for funding public education.
There will be much discussion this year about a gas tax to help fund transportation needs into the future. I want to explain where this is coming from. In 1996, the gas tax of 24.5 cents per gallon was imposed. This has not been adjusted since. This 24.5-cent per gallon tax has lost 40% of its purchasing power. Think for a moment about the cost of material, construction labor, inflation, the price of fuel, etc. All have increased yearly. Think about your own incomes at home, all have increased since 1996 but this has not. Even payments to the disabled and Social Security recipients for the retired have all increased since 1996. I do not want to increase taxes, however, we need to make sure the resources are available to have workable roads.
There are people in Utah who are struggling at various times in their lives from employment to education, and health care. As many of you have undoubtedly heard, the Governor is proposing to expand Medicaid in the form of a program called Healthy Utah. This plan portrays “free” cost for the first three years and then the state would have to pay an additional $78 million per year after that – as long as the Federal Government can keep its promises. In Washington DC, it is impossible for them to balance a budget. If they do not fulfill their portion of Medicaid expansion, it could cost Utah as much as $136 million a year. I feel like this is a generational decision and one with too many unknowns. I am working hard to balance the needs of the less fortunate without jeopardizing our financial future and the future of our children.