News & Events
Monday was the start of the second week of the 2015 legislative session.
There are 36 days until the final day of the session.
With three prospective locations selected last year for a new prison, relocation was originally thought to be a done deal. However, with the resignation of Speaker Hughes from the Prison Relocation Commission and backlash from elected officials and residents of the proposed areas, it might not be resolved this session. It now seems the original list of the three proposed sites will be expanded again to include sites in less populated areas.
With a projected $11 billion shortfall to fund the 2040 Unified Transportation Plan, House and Senate leaders are both looking for additional revenues from the gas tax, but with radically different approaches. The House is looking to revamp the gas tax to make up for the shortage, converting it from a per-gallon tax to a percentage tax, which would increase revenue with the rise of fuel prices. The Senate, on the other hand, is looking at an increase in the cents per gallon tax.
Last year was the most successful legislative session for clean air in Utah’s history. The Clean Air Caucus held a press conference last week to outline a package of potential bills. With the clean air rally held last Saturday and attended by an estimated 2,500 to 3,500 people, clean air is posed to have another big session.
The House and Senate seem to be going in opposite directions on the issue of daylight savings. A current bill in the House would rid Utah of daylight savings while a Senate bill would have Utah practice daylight savings year round. This past year the Governor’s Office for Economic Development in 2014 studied the issue of daylight savings and found most Utahns supported abandoning it.
Anti-Discrimination laws for the LGBT community seemingly gained traction this week as the LDS Church announced support for such a law, as long as it still protected religious freedom. Yet both leadership in the House and Senate believe there will still be a fight trying to find the right balance between religious freedom and anti-discrimination protection.
If you need additional information on any of these issues or bills, please contact David Bird at 801.536.6824, Mike Bailey at 801.201.0115, Shelly Cordon Teuscher at 801.541.5918 or visit le.utah.gov.