November 17, 2017 •

Utah Lawmakers Reject Lobbyist Harassment Training Requirement

Utah lawmakers rejected a proposal Wednesday to require lobbyists to undergo annual anti-harassment training as a requirement to be a licensed lobbyist. Utah currently requires lawmakers and staff to undergo training about harassment, but no such requirement exists for lobbyists who visit the […]

Utah lawmakers rejected a proposal Wednesday to require lobbyists to undergo annual anti-harassment training as a requirement to be a licensed lobbyist. Utah currently requires lawmakers and staff to undergo training about harassment, but no such requirement exists for lobbyists who visit the Capitol and meet with lawmakers and staff.

The proposal comes after sexual harassment allegations have increased across the country and can still be considered during the next legislative session. Some legislators worry about the burden it would put on lobbyists and those who regulate them.

The proposal allows the lieutenant governor’s office to issue fines and suspend lobbyist licenses for up to five years if a lobbyist is found to have harassed.

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September 19, 2017 •

Utah Special Session Called

The Utah Legislature will meet in a special legislative session Wednesday September 20, 2017, to consider a proposed $11.4 million settlement to be paid to the state by a contractor responsible for faulty renovations to one of the state’s highways. […]

The Utah Legislature will meet in a special legislative session Wednesday September 20, 2017, to consider a proposed $11.4 million settlement to be paid to the state by a contractor responsible for faulty renovations to one of the state’s highways.

The settlement agreement requires the contractor to pay for long term repairs to the highway and includes a provision requiring the governor and Legislature to approve settlements over $1 million for state agencies moving forward.

Gov. Gary Herbert also called the session in order to set aside money to curb crime in Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande neighborhood. The special session is set to convene at 2 p.m.

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August 7, 2017 •

Talk of Utah Special Session

Rumors of a special session of the Utah Legislature to allocate money or legislation concerning the homeless and lawlessness in downtown Salt Lake City have been circling this week. Gov. Gary Herbert said he’s willing to call a special session […]

Rumors of a special session of the Utah Legislature to allocate money or legislation concerning the homeless and lawlessness in downtown Salt Lake City have been circling this week.

Gov. Gary Herbert said he’s willing to call a special session of the Utah Legislature if necessary to put the proper steps in motion to rid the Rio Grande area of the city of its drug dealing. A stepped-up effort to clean up downtown’s Rio Grande area has been created to transform downtown into a safe place that residents can once again enjoy without fear.

House Speaker Greg Hughes called the rumors premature but progress in the coming weeks will tell.

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June 22, 2017 •

The United Utah Party, a state party created at the end of May, will likely file suit to compel the Utah Elections Office to certify its candidate for the 3rd Congressional District after the office refused to permit the candidate […]

The United Utah Party, a state party created at the end of May, will likely file suit to compel the Utah Elections Office to certify its candidate for the 3rd Congressional District after the office refused to permit the candidate to file provisionally before the United Utah Party’s qualified party status was certified.

The United Utah Party and Utah lawmakers are unhappy with the special election process and timeline Gov. Gary Herbert has chosen for the special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Lawmakers originally wanted a special session of the Legislature to clarify the process as none is set by state law, but Gov. Herbert refused.

Utah House leaders reached out to State Attorney General Sean Reyes for a legal opinion on whether Gov. Herbert’s process was valid, but Gov. Herbert moved to block the opinion stating the Attorney General represents his office and not the Legislature.

Utah law establishes a 300-day process for a special election to fill a congressional vacancy. Lawmakers and state and local officials are concerned the abbreviated timeline Gov. Herbert set for this special election violates the law and could be rejected with high costs to counties who will start mailing primary ballots by the end of the month.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz will remain in office until June 30, 2017. The Governor’s office believes the process is legal and has approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and Congress.

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May 2, 2017 •

Party Leaders Ask Utah Governor for Special Session

On April 27, leaders of the Utah Republican and Democratic parties sent a joint letter to Gov. Gary Herbert requesting a special session to clarify state law on calling a special election for a U.S. House member midterm. Utah Rep. […]

Utah State CapitolOn April 27, leaders of the Utah Republican and Democratic parties sent a joint letter to Gov. Gary Herbert requesting a special session to clarify state law on calling a special election for a U.S. House member midterm.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced he will not run for office in 2018, and will likely step down before his current term ends. Current law says the governor shall call a special election for a U.S. House vacancy, but does not lay out any details for the process.

Gov. Herbert does not believe a special session is necessary and believes some state lawmakers could have a vested interest in amending the law in order to increase their own chances to win the seat.

Members of the Legislature stated they want to offer their perspective to Herbert to show it is a bipartisan effort to work towards a process needing to be put in place.

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March 10, 2017 •

Utah Legislative Session Adjourns Sine Die

The Utah Legislature adjourned its 2017 regular legislative session sine die on March 9, 2017. Lawmakers worked just beyond their midnight deadline and passed a record 535 bills and resolutions during the 45-day session. The passed bills include House Bill […]

Utah State CapitolThe Utah Legislature adjourned its 2017 regular legislative session sine die on March 9, 2017.

Lawmakers worked just beyond their midnight deadline and passed a record 535 bills and resolutions during the 45-day session.

The passed bills include House Bill 52 creating a misdemeanor when a person conspires to make a contribution through one or more persons to avoid disclosure, House Bill 204 requiring the state to hold a presidential primary in every year a presidential election is held, and Senate Bill 275 repealing provisions requiring in certain circumstances a corporation to disclose donor identity and notify donors if the corporation uses the money to influence the outcome of an election.

In a statement to the Utah House of Representatives, Gov. Gary Herbert said it was the best legislative session he has ever seen by the state.

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November 17, 2016 •

Utah Special Session Adjourned

The Utah Legislature adjourned a one day special session sine die on November 16, 2017. Lawmakers unanimously passed a bill to fix a complicated gas tax distribution formula in order to evenly distribute revenue and reflect the legislative intent of […]

Seal of UtahThe Utah Legislature adjourned a one day special session sine die on November 16, 2017. Lawmakers unanimously passed a bill to fix a complicated gas tax distribution formula in order to evenly distribute revenue and reflect the legislative intent of the original bill passed last year.

Lawmakers also passed a bill clarifying the definitions of solid waste and solid waste management facility, seeking approval from Gov. Gary Herbert who vetoed similar legislation earlier this year and requested changes.

Per Utah law, the ban on contributions during a special legislative session concludes at the time of adjournment.

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November 15, 2016 •

Utah Special Session Called

Gov. Gary Herbert has called a special legislative session beginning November 16 to fix a flawed gas tax formula. The session was called after the Utah League of Cities and Towns and the Utah Association of Counties negotiated a solution […]

Utah State CapitolGov. Gary Herbert has called a special legislative session beginning November 16 to fix a flawed gas tax formula.

The session was called after the Utah League of Cities and Towns and the Utah Association of Counties negotiated a solution to redistribute the tax revenue evenly.

The special session, Utah’s fourth this year, is also expected to consider a bill aimed at exempting some recycling facilities from certain licensing requirements.

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November 9, 2016 •

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert Re-elected for Third Term

On November 8, incumbent Republican Gov. Gary Herbert won his third election as Utah governor defeating Democratic challenger Mike Weinholtz 73.9 percent to 22.1 percent. Herbert first became governor in 2009 when then-governor John Huntsman became the American ambassador to […]

gary_r_herbertOn November 8, incumbent Republican Gov. Gary Herbert won his third election as Utah governor defeating Democratic challenger Mike Weinholtz 73.9 percent to 22.1 percent.

Herbert first became governor in 2009 when then-governor John Huntsman became the American ambassador to Singapore. Herbert was then elected in a special election in 2010, and again in the general election in 2012.

Utah, a Republican stronghold state, has not elected a Democratic governor in over 20 years.

Photo of Gov. Gary Herbert by 32ATPs on Wikimedia Commons.

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October 28, 2016 •

Utah Special Session Expected

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will likely call a special session in mid-November to remedy a flawed road funding formula based on a statewide gas price increase. The faulty gas tax bill was passed earlier this year in the Legislature’s general […]

Utah State CapitolUtah Gov. Gary Herbert will likely call a special session in mid-November to remedy a flawed road funding formula based on a statewide gas price increase.

The faulty gas tax bill was passed earlier this year in the Legislature’s general session to correct a mistake in the 2015 transportation funding reform. The 2016 bill was based on differing calculations resulting in a funding deficit for some cities and counties in the state.

No other items are expected to be added to the special session agenda.

In Utah, special sessions typically take place on the monthly interim study days with November 16 being the only such day remaining this year.

Photo of the Utah State Capitol by Robert Cutts on Wikimedia Commons.

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July 15, 2016 •

Utah Special Session Adjourns

On July 13, the Utah Legislature adjourned its special session sine die. Lawmakers voted for the state to allocate up to $10 million in funds for a new stadium in the Fairpark area of Salt Lake City. An additional bill […]

Utah's Capitol Hill

On July 13, the Utah Legislature adjourned its special session sine die.

Lawmakers voted for the state to allocate up to $10 million in funds for a new stadium in the Fairpark area of Salt Lake City.

An additional bill passed during the one-day special session regulates the use of personal drones over wildfires.

Photo of the Utah State Capitol by Scott Catron on Wikimedia Commons.

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July 12, 2016 •

Special Session Called in Utah

On Monday, July 11, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued a call for a special legislative session to be held this Wednesday, July 13. The session was called to consider legislation related the Judicial Nomination Commission, the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, the […]

Gary Herbert proclamationOn Monday, July 11, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued a call for a special legislative session to be held this Wednesday, July 13. The session was called to consider legislation related the Judicial Nomination Commission, the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, the Utah State Fairpark, and other matters.

One major concern the governor wants addressed in the special session is unmanned aircrafts being used near wildland fires. “This summer, wildfires in the state have become significantly worse due to drones interrupting air operations,” Gov. Herbert said in his press release.

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May 19, 2016 •

Utah Special Session Adjourns

On May 18, the 2016 second special session of the 61st Utah Legislature adjourned sine die. The one-day special session restored funding to various educational programs throughout the state. The funding had been vetoed by Gov. Gary Herbert earlier this […]

Seal of UtahOn May 18, the 2016 second special session of the 61st Utah Legislature adjourned sine die.

The one-day special session restored funding to various educational programs throughout the state. The funding had been vetoed by Gov. Gary Herbert earlier this year.

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April 20, 2016 •

Utah to Have Special Session in May

On April 18, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, and Speaker of the House Greg Hughes announced an agreement to convene a special legislative session in May. The purpose of the session is to address education funding for […]

Seal of UtahOn April 18, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, and Speaker of the House Greg Hughes announced an agreement to convene a special legislative session in May. The purpose of the session is to address education funding for the state.

The special session will be called to match the legislature’s regularly scheduled interim meetings. The veto override poll in the House of Representatives and Senate will be temporarily suspended, pending the issuance of a call to special session, according to the governor’s press release.

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