Utah Legislature

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.



A bill banning transgender girls from playing on women’s sports teams in Utah was making headlines throughout the legislative session before it died in a Senate committee meeting.

Utah was one of many state this year to introduce legislation barring transgender atheletes from playing on schools sports teams. Summit County Rep. Kera Birkeland sponsored Utah’s bill. 

MIke Kohler

Republican state representative Mike Kohler, who represents Wasatch County and the municipal area of Park City as part of House District 54, gave a recap of this year’s legislative session.


In Kohler’s first general session as a state representative after being elected to the House of Representatives last November, one of his signature pieces of legislation, HB390, was passed and now waits to be signed into law by Governor Spencer Cox.


Ronald Winerton

The Utah Legislative Session finished business on Friday. With over 1,000 bills filed during the session, legislators were able to pass around 500 new laws all while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.



Summit and Wasatch County Sen. Ron Winterton said all-in-all the session finished without a hitch.


Utah lawmakers wrapped up their 45-day session Friday.

After a rocky start to the legislative session with both a pandemic and the threat of possible protests. Lawmakers found their footing - working both on the hill and virtually. 

Two bills that received a lot of attention during the legislative session involved the pandemic. 

Military Installation Development Authority

At the 11th hour, the Utah legislature introduced a bill that would require state authorities to use a state fund to take out loans for future projects.

MIDA is the state authority building the Mayflower Resort adjacent to Deer Valley in Wasatch County. It is one of three land use authorities in the state along with Inland Port and Point of the Mountain Authority. 


The Utah State Legislative Session comes to an end Friday and some local officials have raised concerns about the legislature’s willingness to take authority away from Utah cities, towns, and counties. 


In only 45 days, the Utah Legislature conducts the business of the state each year. Hundreds of bills are considered each session, causing a whirlwind of committee hearings, votes, amendments, and more votes before it’s all over.



When the Old Town liquor store temporarily closed mid-January due to staff shortages, the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said it would be a minimum of three weeks before they reopened. 

However, after more than six weeks, the DABC director of communications Terry Wood said they still don’t have a set opening date. 


A bill that would raise the film tax incentives in Utah has been making its way through the legislature. Its impacts could directly affect Summit County.

The popular drama TV series Yellowstone moved production last September to Montana. The key driving factor was economic incentives offered by the state.

Two bills regarding billboards and local regulations have failed the Senate Floor.




Under Senate Bill 61, billboard companies would’ve been able to transition existing displays to electronic sign faces regardless of local regulations. 

Here’s the bill’s sponsor Republican Sen. Scott Sandall:

  A new bill could limit executive power during public health emergencies. 

Original state code for emergency powers dates back to the 1950s, long before Utah had any inclination that it would face a long term pandemic. 

Lawmakers raised concerns over the duration of the Emergency Management Act. The act allows the governor and state and local health departments to create public health orders and extend them after they expire. 

A bill that would ban transgender girls from playing on women’s sports teams in schools passed the House floor Wednesday. On Thursday, Utah’s Governor weighed in on the bill.



Summit County Rep. Kera Birkeland is sponsoring H.B. 302. During discussion on the floor, Birkeland said her bill is about creating fairness for cisgender women, meaning women who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.  

Utah Department of Health

Summit and Wasatch Counties Republican Sen. Ron Winterton is sponsoring a bill that would give school districts the ability to decide if face coverings are necessary.

Winterton said the basis for the bill started last summer. 

Protesting at private residences could be illegal if a bill passes the legislature.

Anti-mask protesters showed up at the houses of elected and appointed state officials last fall. Former Gov. Gary Herbert and State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn were among the targeted officials. 

In Summit County, Health Director Rich Bullough was also the victim of an anti-mask protest at his private residence. 

After three seasons of the popular cable-TV series Yellowstone, production left Utah for Montana. However, a new bill could incentivize film studios to move to Utah. 

The move to Montana directly affected Summit and Wasatch Counties. 

In an interview with KPCW, Utah Film Commission Executive Director Virginia Pearce said both counties tend to see a similar amount of activity because of their proximity.