SALT LAKE CITY — A bill creating a new Utah Marriage Commission was introduced Tuesday in the House.

HB147, sponsored by Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, would establish a 17-member commission in the state Department of Health to promote efforts "to uphold and encourage a strong and healthy culture of strong and lasting marriages."

Earlier this year, the state Department of Workforce Services decided to stop diverting about $700,000 in federal funds annually to the existing Utah Commission on Marriage. The commission was expected to be moved to Utah State University. 

Christensen's bill does not yet have a fiscal note, but calls for the new commission to be funded by the state and private contributions. When the existing commission was created in 1998, it was at first privately funded and then relied on federal grants.

Christensen's bill calls for the new commission to provide services and host events, including marriage education conferences and enrichment seminars to teach Utahns to strengthen relationships between husbands and wives, and parents and children.

Lisa Riley Roche

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