Mark B. Madsen

Mark B. Madsen
Member of the Utah Senate
from the 13th district
Assumed office
January 17, 2005 (2005-01-17)
Preceded by Bill Wright
Personal details
Born (1963-05-08) May 8, 1963
Columbine, Colorado
Political party Libertarian (2016-present)
Republican (1984-2016)
Spouse(s) Erin
Children Five
Residence Saratoga Springs, Utah
Alma mater Brigham Young University (J.D.)
George Mason University (B.A.)
Profession Attorney
Religion LDS Church

Mark Benson Madsen (born May 8, 1963)[1] is an American politician and Attorney from Utah. A Libertarian, he is a member of the Utah State Senate, representing the state's 13th senate district in Utah, and Tooele Counties including the city of Lehi. Senator Madsen is the grandson of Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower.

Personal life, education, and career

Madsen received his bachelors from George Mason University and his J.D. from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.[2] In 1994, Mark met Erin Michele Allen, an Idaho native, working in Washington, D.C. They married in June 1995.[2] Since relocating to Utah, Madsen has worked for Larry H. Miller Management in the Legal Department, as Project Manager in the commercial real estate division, and on other assorted projects as assigned by Mr. Miller.[2] In March 2000, Madsen was elected as the first resident president of the North Ranch Homeowners Association.[2] He and Erin have five children.[2]

Madsen nearly died in 2007, when he accidentally overdosed on prescription pain medication. His doctor prescribed him a fentanyl patch for back pain. The patch burst, sending the medication right into his bloodstream. His kids found him on the couch. He was cold and not breathing. His family revived him with the help of 911. That's when he first became concerned about finding safer alternatives to opioids or prescription pain medications.[3] He has since become an advocate for the legalization of medicinal marijuana.


Political career

Madsen started his political career in 1984 when he lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. area.[2] He began in January 1984, as an intern for Utah U.S. Senator, Orrin Hatch. He then went on to work for lobbying organizations promoting Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative and a federal Balanced Budget Amendment.[2] Madsen was elected to City Council in 2001. He was sworn in January 7, 2002. He then ran for State Senate, and was first elected in 2004.[2] Madsen is affiliated with the Federalist Society and the American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork.[4] Madsen last ran for office in 2012 when we won unopposed. He plans to retire at the end of the 2016 session.[5]

In 2016, Madsen served on the following committees:[6]

At the end of the 2016 legislative session, Madsen announced that he no longer planned to run for office but would instead leave the United States to reside in South America for a time.[7]

In July 2016, Madsen switched from the Republican to the Libertarian Party and endorsed Gary Johnson for president.[8]


2016 sponsored bills

Bill Number and Title Bill Status
S.B. 73 Medical Cannabis Act Senate/Filed for bills not passed 3/10/2016
S.B. 221 Capitol Protocol Amendments Governor Signed 3/23/2016
S.B. 226 Civil Actions Involving Law Enforcement Officers or Emergency Vehicle Operators Senate/Filed for bills not passed 3/10/2016
S.B. 254 Administrative Subpoena Amendments Senate/Filed for bills not passed 3/10/2016


Notable legislation

In the 2008 session of the state legislature, Madsen was chief sponsor of SB 210,[10] a bill that required proof of citizenship to be presented in order for Utahns to register to vote.[11]

Local Salt Lake City media erroneously reported that S.B. 247,[12] which Madsen sponsored, would honor Utah native gun creator John M. Browning on the current Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, as Madsen had originally proposed.[13] He was criticized greatly for this.[13] However, the language that Madsen ultimately put into the bill, S.B. 247S03,[14] which passed both houses of the Utah Legislature and was signed into law, recognized John M. Browning on January 24, 2011.[13]

In 2015, Senator Madsen introduced a medical marijuana bill, S.B.259, which failed because the legislature wanted to study the issue further during the interim before acting.[15] In 2016, Madsen once again presented a medical marijuana bill. During this session, Madsen's bill had competition. Senator Evan Vickers introduced S.B. 89, this bill was a scaled back marijuana bill. During the session his difficulties increased when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints said it opposed his bill. Still, Madsen, who is Mormon, continued to support his bill because polls show most Utah residents support the proposed law. "It would be immoral to back down," he said.[3] After making 7 amendments to the bill, the LDS Church acknowledged that the changes were substantial.[16] The bill, S.B. 73, passed out of the Senate, but died in the House Health and Human Services Committee.[17] Neither of the marijuana bills passed during the 2016 Session.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Senator Mark Madsen Facebook". Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  2. 1 2 "After LDS church opposes medical marijuana bill, lawmaker will not back off". Salt Lake City, Utah: Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  3. "Madsen, Mark B.". Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah State Senate. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  4. "Mark Madsen - Ballotpedia". Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  5. "District 13 Senator - Utah State Senate". Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  6. Gehrke, Robert (March 7, 2016). "Madsen says he will move out of the country after Utah Legislature session". The Salt Lake Tribune.
  7. Doherty, Brian (July 25, 2016). "Utah State Sen. Mark Madsen Switching Parties from Republican to Libertarian, Endorsing Gary Johnson for President". Reason.
  8. "2016 -- Legislation(Senate)". Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  9. S.B. 210 Proof of Citizenship Required to Vote
  10. "Voting block: SB210 could disenfranchise citizens". Salt Lake City, Utah: Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  11. S.B 247 John M. Browning State Holiday
  12. 1 2 3 Lisa Riley Roche. "Utah Legislature: Madsen backs off honoring Browning on King holiday". Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  13. S.B 247S03 John M. Browning State Holiday
  14. "SB0259". Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  15. Romboy, Dennis. "Utah Senate passes controversial medical marijuana bill". Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  16. "SB0073". Retrieved 2016-03-31.
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