Environews, Environews

Environews: Beware! Utah Legislature in Session

By Amy Brunvand

The 2018 General Session of the Utah Legislature runs from January 22 to March 8, 2018. Here’s what you need to do:

1) find out who represents you and know how to contact them https://le.utah.gov/GIS/ findDistrict.jsp

2) Sign up for email alerts and social media from your favorite Utah-based environmental organizations. They’ll let you know when it’s time to take action. And then do it! The Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club also maintains a legislative tracker for priority environmental bills at utah.sierraclub.org/priority-bills

Here are some bills and resolutions currently in the works:
  • Good for air quality, HB 38: James Dunnigan (R-Taylorsville) and Jani Iwamoto (D-SLC) are teaming up with a “Fireworks Restrictions” bill.
  • Good for bikes, HB58: Carol S. Moss (D-SLC) would let bicycles treat stoplights like stop signs and proceed through after stopping if all is clear.
  • Bad for clean water, HR 135: Mike Noel (R-Kanab), long a foe of environmental protection, has sponsored a bill to prevent the Wasatch Front from having clean drinking water. HB 135, “Extraterritorial jurisdiction Amendments” would remove language from the Utah Code that enables Utah cities to protect their watersheds which nearly always lie outside of city and county boundaries. The bill would deliver SLC residents both dirty water high-priced water treatment. Watersheds are so important that in an ideal world, political boundaries would have been drawn around watersheds.
  • Good for carbon emissions and air quality, HCR 1: Raymond Ward (R-Bountiful) acknowledges human-caused climate change and calls upon state government to base policies on scientific evidence. HCR 4: Rebecca Edwards (R- North Salt Lake) has sponsored a similar Resolution, but without acknowledging human causes.
  • Bad for public lands, HJR1: Carl Albrecht (R-SLC) and David Hinkins (R- Orangeville) call on the U.S. Congress to exempt Utah from the Antiquities Act of 1906.
  • Bad for public lands, HJR 2: Carl Albrecht (R-SLC) and David Hinkins (R-Orangeville) call on the federal government to move the headquarters of the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service to Utah.

This article was originally published on February 5, 2018.