In God We Trust license plate.

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to create a specialty license plate with the motto "In God We Trust" has cleared another legislative hurdle.

The Senate Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology Committee on Wednesday passed HB34 with a favorable recommendation. The proposed bill would authorize an "In God We Trust" special group license plate for programs that "support educational and community events that celebrate, teach or honor families, freedom, God and country.”

If eventually approved, the bill would require at least 500 applicants for the new plate to pay $43 in fees to get the plate produced. Right now, 12 other states already have such a specialty plate available.

The committee also advanced a bill to limit usage of high-occupancy lanes on Utah highways. HB23 would authorize the Utah Department of Transportation to restrict the number of clean fuel vehicle decals issued to eligible applicants across the state.

The measure would stipulate that a vehicle would only be eligible for a clean fuel vehicle permit and decal if the vehicle is registered in the Beehive State.

UDOT claims that the number of vehicles using the HOV lanes has grown to a point where the speed of traffic in those lanes has fallen significantly — increasing gridlock on interstate freeways. The agency added that by limiting the number of eligible vehicles in HOV lanes to Utah vehicles with clean fuel decals and those with at least two occupants, drivers will once again be able to employ the lanes for their intended use.

Both measures now go before the full Senate for consideration.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: JasenLee1