Luz Escamilla

Luz Escamilla
Luz Escamilla.jpg
Official portrait, c. 2009
Member of the Utah Senate
from the 1st district
Assumed office
January 1, 2009
Preceded byFred J. Fife
Personal details
Born1978 (age 42–43)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Juan Carlos Escamilla
EducationUniversity of Utah (BS, MPA)

Luz Robles Escamilla is the Senator for the Utah State Senate's 1st District (map[permanent dead link]), defeating Republican Carlton Christensen for the seat November 4, 2008 after having beaten incumbent Sen. Fred Fife for the party nomination earlier that year.

Early life, education, and career

The daughter of two Mexican college professors, Escamilla was born in 1978 and raised in Mexico.[1] After moving to the United States in 1996, Escamilla graduated from Marian Catholic High School in San Diego, CA.[2] She then earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Utah in business marketing in 2000.[2] She also holds a Masters in Public Administration, which she earned from the University of Utah in 2005.[2] Luz is married to former Arizona lawmaker Juan Carlos Escamilla.[2] He proposed to Luz on the Utah Senate floor during the 2014 legislative session.[3]

Luz Escamilla is a director for the Zions Bank Business Resource Center.[2] She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are often referred to as Mormons.[4]

Political career

Senator Escamilla serves as the minority assistant whip in the Utah State Senate.[1] Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. appointed Escamilla to the State Office of Ethnic Affairs in 2005.[5] In 2010, she received the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Pathfinder Award and the SBA Award. She has also received the Pete Suazo Memorial Award from the University of Utah.[5] Senator Escamilla has also served as a board member for the University of Utah College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Regence Caring Foundation, the Utah Health Policy Project, and the Primary Children's Medical Center.[6] Escamilla was first elected to the Utah State Senate in 2008, and was re-elected in 2012.[7] In 2016, Escamilla served on the Executive Appropriations Committee and the Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee. [4] She also served on the following Senate standing committees:

  • Senate Ethics Committee
  • Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee
  • Senate Health and Human Services Committee
  • Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee.


In 2014, Escamilla ran for Congress in Utah's 2nd congressional district. The seat was held by Republican incumbent Chris Stewart, who won reelection.[9][10]

In 2019, Sen. Escamilla ran for mayor of Salt Lake City, after Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced she would not run for another term.[11] In the 2019 election, Escamilla lost, finishing second behind Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall. She conceded the loss on November 6, 2019, one day after the race, after initial hesitation to concede in the event that mail-in ballots could affect results in the run-off election[12]

2012 Utah State Senate election

Utah State Senate election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Luz Escamilla 10,490 55.3% {{{change}}}
Republican Chelsea Woodruff 8,479 44.7%



2016 sponsored bills

Bill Number and Title Primary Sponsor or Floor Sponsor Status
SB48 Board Membership Restrictions Primary Senate/ filed 3/10/2016
SB49 Statute of Limitations on Environmental Code Violations Primary Senate/ to Governor 3/15/2016
SB64 Special Group License Plate Modifications Primary Governor Signed 3/18/2016
SB66 Environmental Code Fines Primary Senate/ filed 3/10/2016
SB117 Commercial Interior Design Certification Primary Senate/ to Governor 3/15/2016
SB125 After-School Program Amendments Primary Senate/ to Governor 3/17/2016


Notable legislation

During the 2011 Legislative Session, Escamilla pioneered groundbreaking immigration reform legislation, SB60, which would issue illegal immigrants already living in Utah an "accountability card," giving them the right to work without changing their legal status. Immigrants would have to pass a criminal background check and learn English to obtain the permit. Immigration experts have hailed Escamilla's immigration bill and Escamilla herself as "ground breaking" and "creative." While her SB60 did not pass, it was a model for a guest worker program that ultimately did pass the 2011 Legislature.[14]

Escamilla has also proposed a bill that would protect the rights of fathers against fraudulent adoption practices. SB 63 would have allowed a compact of states to share punitive father's records. This would help protect father's rights if mothers took their children out of the state without the father's knowledge. The bill was not voted on the floor before Utah's 45-day session was completed.[15]

Escamilla introduced a bill to fund the Utah Department of Environmental Quality to install air and water monitors at the site of the proposed Utah Inland Port, to establish baseline readings for future comparison.[16] An environmental impact study of the proposed port has not been completed.

External links


  1. ^ Stuart, Elizabeth (February 20, 2011). "As Utah's immigration battle brews, Sen. Luz Robles maintains her voice". Deseret News.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Robles, Luz". Utah State Senate. Retrieved April 9, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Lawmaker gets engaged on Senate floor". Salt lake City, Utah: KSL News. Retrieved April 3, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Campbell, Monica (October 23, 2012). "Romney Alienates Latino Mormons". PRI's The World. Retrieved October 23, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b "Par Excellence Award". University of Utah. Retrieved September 7, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Luz Robles Facebook". Salt lake City, Utah. Retrieved April 3, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Robles, Luz". Utah State Senate. Retrieved September 7, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "District 1 Senator - Utah State Senate". Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  9. ^ Riley Roche, Lisa (September 5, 2013). "State Sen. Luz Robles challenging GOP Congressman Chris Stewart". Deseret News. Retrieved September 7, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "2014 General Election". Retrieved January 30, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Sen. Luz Escamilla to run for Salt Lake City mayor," Salt Lake Tribune, March 20, 2019
  12. ^ Roberts, Adam Forgie, Alyssa (November 5, 2019). "LIVE UPDATES: Luz Escamilla concedes to Erin Mendenhall in mayor's race". KUTV. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  13. ^ "2016 -- Legislation(Senate)". Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  14. ^ "As Utah's immigration battle brews, Sen. Luz Robles maintains her voice". Salt lake City, Utah: Deseret News. Retrieved April 3, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "2014 General Session Legislation Luz Robles". Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah State Senate. Retrieved April 3, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Proposal To Study Environmental Impacts Of Inland Port Gets First Approval".

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