Legislative session nears close
The annual 45-day Utah State Legislative session is nearly complete Utah lawmakers have been busy making and changing bills for the state.
San Juan County is represented in the state legislature by Republican Representative Phil Lyman of District 73 and Republican Senator David Hinkins of District 27.
Representative Lyman, of Blanding, has introduced several bills to the House, including house bill 109, which now awaits the signature of Governor Spencer Cox to become law.
House Bill 109 Wildlife Amendments amends the circumstances by which the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources can take animals on private property.
Lyman’s bill would require that the division deliver notice to landowners, written or orally, before taking game on private land. The division may take the wildlife after delivering the notice. The notice doesn’t apply when there is an immediate threat to public safety. The bill was also supported by the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Lyman is also the author of house bill 415, which would require a state Constitutional Defense Council to review certain executive orders by the President of the United States.
The bill authorizes the Utah attorney general or governor to have an executive order declared an unconstitutional exercise of legislative authority by the president, and restricts enforcing certain executive orders.
The legislation includes a list of possible executive order subjects that a Utah Attorney General could rule as unconstitutional, including executive orders related to a public health emergency, the regulation of the second amendment, or the regulation of land use, natural resources or the agricultural industry along with others.
Lyman’s bill is sponsored on the floor by Senator Hinkins.
As of press deadline the bill had passed out of the house and now waits for its first reading on the senate floor.
Senator Hinkins is also the Floor Sponsor of House Concurrent Resolution 12.
The resolution from the Utah State Legislature encourages President Biden to work with Utah’s congressional delegation, the state legislative and executive branches, local communities, and the tribes to develop long-term, sustainable solutions for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument boundaries.
As of the press deadline the resolution had passed out of the house and the senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee, the resolution now awaits a second and third reading on the senate floor.
Other legislators are working on bills of interest to San Juan County. One is for the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Task Force.
The bill has passed out of the house and now awaits its third and final reading on the senate floor. It re-establishes a state task force that seeks to understand the epidemic impacting Indigenous families throughout the United States and addresses the impacts here in Utah.
HB 41 re-establishes the task force which went into effect last year. The bill also appropriates $1,100 for the task force in 2021 and $8,100 for the operation of the task force in 2022 and 2023.
The bill is authored by Rep. Angela Romero, a Democrat from Salt Lake City. The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Hinkins.
Another resolution of interest fis sponsored by Rep. Doug Owens, a Democrat of Millcreek.
House concurrent resolution 18 asks the federal government to expand the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act benefits.
The federal act and later expansions of the act have provided compensation for Americans who suffered health impacts from nuclear weapons testing in the west.
HCR 18 expresses the Utah Legislature’s support of expanding the deadline for filing claims and increasing the compensation.
The resolution was supported by San Juan County Commissioners at their February 16 meeting.
As of the press deadline the resolution had passed out of the house and the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee, the resolution now awaits a second and third reading on the senate floor.