2019 Utah Legislature

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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed House Bill 411 into law Friday, setting up a framework for communities to move towards using net-100% renewably sourced electricity. 

Park City and Summit County backed HB 411, the Community Renewable Energy Act, along with Salt Lake City and Rocky Mountain Power. HB 411 creates guidelines for establishing a renewable energy program between a community and an electric utility, including rates and terms of service. The bill passed in the final hours of the 2019 legislative session.

The 2019 Utah legislature wrapped up last night. Summit County Council member Kim Carson said on Thursday that, overall, the county came out fairly well.

On the less positive side, Senate Bill 139, governing e-scooters, passed through the Legislature. Carson said the county’s concern is that it limits the ability of local governments to regulate the scooters.

Utah State Capitol
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House Bill 148 allows law enforcement to give only one warning before imposing a fine on drivers who leave their engines running, as opposed to the three warnings that state law previously required.

Bill sponsor Rep. Patrice Arent, a Democrat from Millcreek and co-chair of the Legislature’s Clean Air Caucus, said vehicle emissions contribute to almost half of the state’s air quality issues, and HB 148 would help curb that.

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A bill that would have prohibited local governments from banning plastic bags and other containers failed to advance in the state Legislature. 

A bill that creates a framework for communities to move towards using 100% renewably sourced electricity passed in the final hour of the Utah Legislature’s 2019 general session. 

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The state Senate gave final passage Thursday to a bill that would raise the alcohol limit of grocery and convenience store beer from 3.2% to 4%—with a few added conditions. 

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Utah law forbids health educators in public and charter schools to advocate for the use of contraception. HB 71 has now passed the senate and is waiting to be signed by Governor Gary Herbert. It permits teachers to explain the different contraceptive methods available while still refraining from advocating its use.

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With one day to go in this year’s legislative session, Utah lawmakers reached a compromise deal to increase the amount of alcohol available in beer in grocery and convenience stores. 

Many of us are feeling the effects of the time change, after setting the clocks ahead an hour for daylight saving time. But Utahns might not have to worry about resetting their clocks, if legislation sponsored by a Utah representative gets enough support. 

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A bill that supports Park City, Summit County and Salt Lake City’s renewable energy goals received a second chance, after failing in its first legislative hearing. 

Utah State Capitol
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The sales tax reform bill that has weighed heavy on the last half of the legislative session has met its end—at least for now. 

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, flanked by House and Senate Leadership as well as bill sponsor Rep. Tim Quinn, announced Thursday afternoon that the tax modernization under House Bill 441 would be delayed.

The bill would have lowered the sales tax rate and placed sales tax on services, in an effort to fill a depleted state general fund.

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A bill based on three years of negotiations by Park City, Summit County, Salt Lake City and Rocky Mountain Power failed at its first hearing at the state Legislature Wednesday, but after some updates to the bill language and discussion with committee members, HB 411 will see another day at the Capitol.  

Utah House

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. 

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A bill that would raise the alcohol content of beer in grocery and convenience stores from 3.2% to 4.8% was replaced Wednesday by a bill that creates a task force to study the availability and distribution of beer.

Senate Bill 132 sponsor Sen. Jerry Stevenson remarked that he was surprised the bill was being heard in the House Health and Human Services Committee because he views it as a commerce bill—not an alcohol bill. He figured it was for one reason: to kill the bill.

Utah State Capitol
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After pressure by Gov. Gary Herbert and House and Senate leadership at the start of the 2019 general session, the Utah Legislature’s race to change state tax law in less than two weeks begins. 

The long-awaited tax reform bill had its first hearing Friday. Sponsored by Wasatch and Summit Counties Rep. Tim Quinn, House Bill 441 lowers the sales tax rate while adding sales tax to a wide variety of services. The Heber Republican has reportedly been working on the bill, with other key players, for months.

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