Local legislators busy during the 45-day Utah legislative season
The annual 45-day Utah State Legislative session is underway with lawmakers 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 four bills to the House, with four more in process to be introduced.
Among those numbered bills include HB 230, which amends legislative representation.
HB 230 addresses state representative district boundaries ahead of the redistricting effort which is scheduled to begin this year.
Lyman’s bill requires that when the Legislature draws Utah House of Representatives district boundaries, the Legislature shall ensure that each county has at least one House district that is located entirely within the county.
If passed, the result would be that San Juan County, along with the other 28 counties in the state would have at least one designated representative. Currently, the state House of Representative seats are based solely on population.
As of the press deadline, the bill was in the house rules committee.
Lyman has also introduced HB 109 Wildlife Amendments, which amends the circumstances in 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 the landowners property. The division may take the wildlife after delivering the notice.
The notice doesn’t apply when there is a threat to public safety. The bill passed out of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee with a favorable recommendation, and has had a second reading on the house floor at press deadline.
Lyman also is a co-sponsor of HB 60 Conceal Carry Firearms Amendment.
The bill provides that an individual who is 21 years old or older, and may lawfully possess a firearm, may carry a concealed firearm in a public area without a permit.
The bill also transfers unused funds from the concealed weapons account to suicide prevention efforts.
HB 60 has passed out of the house. It was sponsored in the senate by Senator Hinkins, of Ferron. The bill passed and now awaits the signature of Governor Spencer Cox to become law.
Senator Hinkins is also the floor sponsor of another house bill, HB 41, Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Task Force. The task force 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 operation of the task force in 2021 and $8,100 for the operation of the task force in 2022 and 2023.
The bill passed out of the house and now waits assignment in the senate.
Senator Hinkins also is sponsoring SB 144 Billboard Restriction Amendments. The bill restricts local municipalities and counties from taking certain regulations against the billboard industry.
The bill is in the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee.
Hinkins also sponsors SB 138 Violence, Disorder, and Looting Enforcement Protection Act.
The bill increases penalties for crimes that occur during rioting.
The bill also allows victims and property owners to sue local government entities for not protecting them or their property.
The bill is in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee.