What Utah lawmakers sent to Gov. Cox’s desk during the special session

The Utah Legislature passed several bills during a special session this week, including new electoral district maps, a bail reform, and a bill allowing Dixie State University to change its name. Governor Spencer Cox has signaled that he will not veto the redistribution of the cards that split Salt Lake City into four parts.

State lawmakers also passed a toothless resolution condemning a proposal by the Biden government aimed at curbing tax offlaws.

The legislature will meet next week for a fall interim session at the Utah Capitol.

Democrats quartered by the legislature’s redistribution cards

The Utah legislature has almost assured that Republicans will continue to have a greater influence than actual GOP voters for at least the next 10 years, to the horror of the hundreds of protesters and Utahners who urged them to reconsider.

Wednesday’s warp-speed crossing, a decision that will determine Utah’s four members of the U.S. House of Representatives, received just two hours of committee debate and public comment and less than 90 minutes of floor debate in the Utah House and Senate.

The state legislature’s map divides Salt Lake County into four parts, watering down the capital’s Democratic majority.

At a protest outside the Capitol on Wednesday night, Evan McMullin, an independent who ran to depose Senator Mike Lee, did not hold back. “[Those in power are] to share their opposition until their voice is too weak to be heard in a meaningful way and not to represent, ”McMullin told the crowd of protesters from the steps of the Capitol. “Today our legislators did just that.”

“Gerrymandering,” he said, “is a modern form of taxation without representation.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Evan McMullin speaks on the steps of the Capitol as hundreds of protesters gather for a gerrymandering protest on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.

New cards for the Senate, Home, and Utah state education board were also approved by lawmakers on Wednesday.

The cards did not use any of the proposals made by the voter-approved Utah Independent Redistricting Commission.

Legislators approve name change for Dixie State

A bill allowing Dixie State University to get past its controversial name and advance a new tech mission has been finalized in the Utah legislature. The bill is likely to be signed and the school will be called Utah Teach University next summer.

Wednesday’s votes set a wild path for the measure, which was marked last year by violent protests, cries for “culture break”, continued revisions and uncertainty about whether the bill itself had enough votes in the final to pass Protocol.

“This gives them the power to do something much, much bigger,” said Republican Senator Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, the bill’s floor sponsor. “We strengthen the institution”

Utah reforms cash deposit system

Months of intense negotiations and heated debate over Utah’s provisional release system culminated on Wednesday in two airy votes for a bill that would dissuade the state from a cash deposit model.

The proposal, approved by the House and Senate, would instruct judges and judges to consider a person’s risk when setting the conditions for release from prison prior to trial. These conditions can range from monitoring the ankle to taking random drug or alcohol tests.

Each of the restrictions should aim to protect victims, witnesses, and the public; To prevent the accused from skipping future court dates and to prevent him from manipulating the criminal case.

It’s a long-awaited reform for those who say Utah’s previous cash bail model unfairly impacted lower-income defendants who couldn’t afford to get out of jail. Critics of the system also argue that it does not keep dangerous criminals off the streets as it links a person’s freedom to their property rather than to public safety risk.

The proposal would also set up a three-year pilot program to review the financial information of defendants who say they cannot afford to pay their own legal counsel and need a free court-appointed attorney.

Legislature passes a resolution condemning the White House’s IRS proposal

Utah lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate have denounced a banking reporting system proposed by President Joe Biden’s administration to catch tax evaders.

A resolution passed by the state legislature stated that the White House plan would “compromise the privacy and security of accounts and personal information” and create significant additional work for financial institutions.

Originally, the Biden administrative action would have asked banks to provide the Internal Revenue Service with information about accounts with annual deposits or withdrawals totaling more than $ 600. That amount was later adjusted to $ 10,000 in response to critics – but even this watered down proposal seems unlikely to succeed.

Nevertheless, the Utah legislature wanted to make its opinion on this matter clear with a non-binding opinion.

Zwischenbergmacht punished by the legislature

Millard County’s long-simmering beef, with its largest employer and taxpayer, the Intermountain Power Agency, was exposed during the special session of the Legislature where lawmakers passed a surprise bill that would exempt the IPA from its exemptions from state transparency laws.

With just two days’ notice, Senator Derrin Owens, R-Fountain Green, revealed SB2002 what he called an urgent move needed to contain a California-controlled company whose interests have diverged greatly from Utah’s.

IPA is not controlled by California, as Owens claimed, but is a political division of the state of Utah. The 23 Utah communities that receive power from the IPA also rule it, although 98% of its power is sent to Southern California.

“What was intended to create jobs and energy in Utah has grown into a large public facility without supervision,” Owens said during the session on Wednesday.

The bill would reverse some of the “special treatment” IPA has received from the legislature since 2002, which equates to 71 changes to state law for interlocal entities like IPA.

IPA officials and other stakeholders were dismayed that they were only informed of the legislation two days before the special session. Attorney Eric Bawden suggested that these regulations could undo the IPA’s switch from coal to natural gas, which could result in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

“The effects of this bill would have to be found out,” said IPA spokesman John Ward in an interview. “We remain negative in terms of both politics and the process. It is fundamentally not fair to pass a bill that affects the basic structure of a company without consulting that company at all. “

Cox: “I’m not a bomb thrower”

The redistribution cards proposed by the legislature, along with the other laws passed during the special session, are now being sent to Cox’s desk for signature.

Despite the public outcry over the cards and the process of their distribution, Cox told voters in a 35-minute question and answer on social media Tuesday night that he would not veto the decision of state lawmakers, saying the constitution of Utah gave the legislature – and the legislature alone – a redistribution of forces.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters “veto” as they gather for a gerrymandering protest at the State Capitol on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.

“I am a very practical person. I am not a bomb thrower and I believe in good governance, ”he said. “I was told that I should only veto for the sake of a veto. I just think that’s a mistake. “

Bethany Rodgers, Brian Maffly, Bryan Schott, Courtney Tanner, and Jordan Miller of The Salt Lake Tribune reported and wrote this story.

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