Utah Marriage Commission gets final nod from Legislature

Published: Tuesday, March 12 2013 7:05 p.m. MDT

A new bill calls for the a marriage 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.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Senate gave final legislative approval Tuesday to a bill enshrining the Utah Marriage Commission in state law. 

HB147, sponsored by Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, sets aside $8,800 to pay for four meetings a year by the commission as well as staffing. Legislative leaders have committed to coming up with another $95,000 for the commission.

The commission was created by former Gov. Mike Leavitt by executive order and encourages healthy marriages through holding events and classes online and throughout the state.

Christensen has said the legislation was needed because the commission did not have a reliable source of funding. The Department of Workforce Services determined recently it would no longer use a portion of a federal grant to support the commission.

There had been plans to move the commission to Utah State University, which already hosts the commission's website, strongermarriage.org. Now the commission will be part of the Department of Human Services.

The bill now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his action.

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