The Twitterverse is a wild digital playground resplendent with hashtags as far as the mouse can click. There are countless hashtags associated with the state of Utah, including, most prominently to local politicos, “#utpol” and “#utleg.” One Utah lawmaker is seeking to make things a little more official with regard to hashtags for the State of Utah.
Senator Todd Weiler (Republican – Woods Cross) is sponsoring SCR 18 – Concurrent Resolution Designating Official Hashtag for the State of Utah. The resolution designates “#Utah” as the official hashtag of the State of Utah and “#VisitUtah” as the official hashtag for Utah tourism.
The official tourism hashtag was originally going to be “#SkiUtah,” but Weiler amended the resolution after tourism officials expressed concerns. “I think just the fact that I had to change that kind of speaks to why there is some wisdom in designating an official hashtag so that we can kind of all be on the same page,” said Weiler.
Weiler, a prolific Twitter user, got the idea of an official hashtag after reading in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) magazine about a similar measure in Texas. In 2015, Representative Kenneth Sheets (Republican – Dallas) introduced separate resolutions designating “#txlege” as the official hashtag of the Texas Legislature, “#Texas” as the official hashtag of Texas, and “#TexasToDo” as the official state hashtag of Texas Tourism. All three were approved by the Texas Legislature and subsequently signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
“This is certainly better than #greenjello,” joked Senator Curt Bramble (Republican – Provo). “That was my third choice, but the whole Bill Cosby thing, you know,” responded Weiler.
Senator Jim Dabakis (Democrat – Salt Lake City) had an idea for a state hashtag: “#UtahStateImThinkingOfVisitingButIHateTheIdeaOfMissingCelebrityBigBrotherDoYouShowIt.” “A bit specialized, but…,” said Dabakis. “Unfortunately, Senator, Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet,” said Weiler. “I believe that that was more than ten words anyhow,” said Bramble, referring to the Senate rule that amendments have to be ten words or less. Anything more than that requires a substitute bill.
With that, the lightning-fast debate Tuesday came to an end and members of the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee voted 5-0 to pass the resolution out with a #favorable recommendation.