News & Events
Today is the start of the fifth week of the 2013 legislative session.
There are 17 days until the final day of the session.
Though no official action was taken, the word on the street is that the mandate that insurance companies cover autism diagnosis and treatment will not progress further and is effectively dead.
Rep. Chavez-Houck introduced House Bill 346 on Thursday as part of a package by Democratic lawmakers intended to address air quality in Utah. The bill repeals restrictions prohibiting the Division of Air Quality from adopting air quality rules more stringent than corresponding federal regulations. Existing law allows the division to adopt stricter rules if necessary to protect public health and the environment. Some business representatives are alarmed, feeling the existing law has protected industry from over regulation while still allowing for laws protective of the environment.
Numerous gun bills were considered at various points in the legislative process this week. House Bill 76 would allow almost all Utahns over the age of 21 to carry a concealed dangerous weapon without a permit. It also allows loaded firearms to be carried openly. House Bill 114 allows local sheriffs to arrest federal agents if they attempt to seize guns from Utah residents. The constitutional analysis that accompanies it notes that it likely violates the U.S. constitution. House Bill 268 seeks to remove disorderly conduct as a charge that could be leveled at a citizen for carrying or possessing a weapon.
Sen. Scott Jenkins’ Senate Bill 72 was discussed in committee this week, but committee members needed more time to consider it than was available, temporarily stalling it. Lawmakers were told the prison relocation project could bring 40,000 jobs and $20 billion in tax revenue over 25 years. The benefits would accrue from development of the land under the current prison. The cost of a new prison is estimated to be between $550 million and $600 million.