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Summit County Braces for New State Laws to Take Effect, Watches for More

Utah State Capitol
KPCW Radio

The Utah State Legislature’s 2021 general session ended three weeks ago, but Summit County officials are still waiting to see how they’re impacted by the decisions handed down from the lawmakers.


Summit County Manager Tom Fisher said the county is still opposed to the implementation of House Bill 98, a bill allowing private contractors to bypass county officials and hire their own building inspectors that passed out of the legislature.


Fisher said that, at this point, the county hasn’t heard whether Gov. Spencer Cox intends to sign the bill into law.


“According to the staff report, there was still some intrigue of different interests that might be resisting that, and encouraging the governor not to sign it,” Fisher said. “I have not heard of specific bills that the governor is indicating that he’s not going to sign up until this point. I’ve been trying to keep track of that. That bill does concern us, and I’m guessing that if it goes into law, we’re going to be working with the Utah Association of Counties and the League of Cities and Towns to see where we have the pinch-points to see, if in a special session or later sessions, we can try and modify that.”


He said the bill’s language still isn’t very clear.


“I believe that at the end of the day, that the local government would still be responsible for that final thing, and perhaps liable,” Fisher said. “I don’t really understand how that all works, because we are the regulator at the end of the day. Perhaps there’s ways that the builder or whoever is paying that private building inspector takes on that liability. But I don’t get it at this point.”


He said the county is still figuring out how to implement several new laws.


“Whether it’s emergency authorities, which is changing a little bit, in-county or cross-county annexations, incorporations, accessory dwelling units, and one that’s become more and more important in the county is EMS services,” he said. “And then, of course, we’re going to be seeing what happens with ranked-choice voting as well.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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