Utah Legislature

Sen. Allen Christensen

After 16 years representing Utah Senate District 19, Sen. Allen Christensen recently announced he won’t be seeking another term in office. 

North Ogden Republican Allen Christensen told the audience at the Action Utah legislative preview in Park City Wednesday that, after his term ends this year, he won’t run again for the District 19 senate seat he’s held since 2005.

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KPCW Radio

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert addressed what he believes are myths about the recent tax reform at the Utah Taxpayers Association legislative preview Tuesday. 

The Utah Legislature passed a new tax law in a special session in December. The legislation cut the income tax rate; added income tax credits; and raised or added sales tax to groceries, gas and some services. The policy change results in a net tax cut of $160 million.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill into law shortly after. On Tuesday, he praised legislators’ initiative on tax reform.

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A group of Utahns is trying to put a citizen referendum on the November ballot, to overturn the tax bill the state legislature recently passed in a December special session. 

Park City resident Tom Horton has been politically active in Utah since the 1970s, canvassing and fundraising for issues and candidates. Now, he’s gathering signatures for a referendum to undo the Utah legislature’s tax overhaul.

The Utah Legislature recently passed a sweeping overhaul of the state tax system during a special session earlier in December. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill into law shortly after. Two Summit County legislators give their take on the bill.

Utah State Capitol
KPCW Radio

Some 50 members of the public gave comment at the state legislature’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force hearing Monday evening. 

The state legislature’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force met for the final time Monday, and a special session of the full-legislature could be held as soon as this week to approve this sweeping tax reform bill. 

The 199-page draft bill to shore up the state’s general fund includes a $160 million tax cut.

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Katy Owens

Although they won’t officially declare their candidacy until March, hopefuls for seats in the state legislature are getting ready for the race. One Wasatch Back resident wants to make the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot.

Katy Owens is a bit of a policy wonk. She specializes in election consulting and volunteers with the League of Women Voters. She also volunteers with Voterise, a non-partisan organization that registers young voters. Now, she plans to run as a Democrat for Senate District 19 because she wants to see a state legislature that’s more representative of its constituents.

Chris Neville

The 2020 general election is a little less than a year away, but candidates for the state legislature are already gearing up for the race. One Wasatch Back resident has thrown his hat into the ring.

Chris Neville’s campaign for state Senate District 19 is mission-oriented.

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The state legislature’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force met for five hours Tuesday to debate tax reform policy recommendations and take public comment. 

The co-chairs of the state legislature’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force have recommended removing the constitutional requirement to spend income tax revenue only on public education funding as one way to address the state’s tax revenue imbalance. 

House Minority Leader Brian King, a Democrat who represents part of Summit County, says there are many other options to address tax reform beside giving up the constitutional earmark on income tax for education.

The Park City Planning Commission meets Wednesday for a special meeting, to bring Park City’s affordable housing plan into compliance with state code. 

The Utah Legislature passed Senate Bill 34 during the 2019 general session. The bill requires local governments to incorporate an affordable housing plan into their general plans. Municipalities that fail to update the plans by Dec. 1 could lose access to state transportation and transit funding.

The Utah Legislature’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force met recently for its second study session. This time, lawmakers focused on education funding. 

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued a call for a special session of the State Legislature Thursday, to amend Utah’s medical cannabis law. 

The special session is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 16. In a press release from the governor’s office, Gov. Gary Herbert says taking the state-run, central fill pharmacy out of the equation will help ensure patients have access to medical cannabis by March 2020, the deadline set during a December 2018 special session when the legislature overrode the Proposition 2 medical cannabis ballot initiative.

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The Utah Legislature called a special session last December to replace the voter-approved medical marijuana law with new legislation. Now, there could be additional changes in yet another special session for lawmakers. 

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After hosting eight town halls across the state to hear questions, concerns and comments from approximately 1,500 Utahns, the state’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force has moved into the next phase of its attempt to address a revenue imbalance between the education and general fund. 

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