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In Final Days Of Session, Wilde Encouraging Others To Vote Against Plastic Bag Ban Ban

Utah House of Representatives

The 45-day legislative session is nearing its end, keeping lawmakers busy as they try to debate and vote on hundreds of bills. District 53 Rep. Logan Wilde shared his thoughts on some legislation that Summit County and Park City have been watching. 

Wilde, a Republican who is based out of Croydon and represents a portion of Summit County, says his phone has been ringing off the hook, as constituents have expressed concerns over the tax reform bill sponsored by Rep. Tim Quinn. Wilde has read about two-thirds of the nearly 300-page House Bill 441, and while he’s not sure any amendments need to be made, Wilde says perhaps there could be more clarification on the impacts of removing tax exemptions from things like water and electricity that powers ski lifts.

“We’ve added a lot of exemptions over time, and now that we have the public asking for greater and greater services within the state—you know, the public went through and said, 'we want Medicaid services, and we want expanded Medicaid within our state'—now we have to figure out how to pay for it," Wilde said. "How are we going to make it so that it’s sustainable moving forward into the future? Those kinds of things we’re going to have to come back and look at.”

Still, Wilde says the House will likely vote to pass the bill.

Another bill that has kept Wilde busy is HB 320, prohibiting cities from banning plastic bags. Park City Assistant City Manager Matt Dias said Wilde and Quinn have been encouraging lawmakers to oppose the bill, in anticipation of the House vote on it. Wilde says his message to his colleagues in the House of Representatives points to Park City and Summit County’s recycling programs and how plastic bags affect local waste management.

"Those bags get wrapped around every little cog and wheel that happens when they go through those conveyor belts, and it becomes costly and really expensive," Wilde said. "If we don’t want local government to have good practices in their land waste management, then yeah, banning the ban would be good. But if we want good practices, we want to make sure that that equipment can last forever or as long as it can; if we don’t want to incur more costs on locals, then we need to allow the locals to make those decisions."

Wilde has also spent a lot of time on his own HB 288, which would allow local municipalities to zone protected areas around gravel pits for expanding operations as well as giving vested rights to pits. After strong pushback from local governments, Wilde says he’s worked closely with affected cities and counties to substitute the bill to give them more rights. HB 288 has passed the full House and now waits to be heard by a Senate committee.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.