Tom Smart, Deseret News
FILE - The State of Utah's only appointed "porn czar" Paula Houston at the Utah State Capitol Thursday, March 22, 2001. A Senate committee approved a bill with little discussion Thursday that will eliminate the "porn czar" position created in 2000.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Senate committee approved a bill with little discussion Thursday that will eliminate the "porn czar" position created in 2000.

Rep. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, is sponsoring HB50 to repeal the provision that created the Obscenity and Pornography Complaints Ombudsman Office. The position was created to help communities better understand and strengthen their pornography laws and ordinances and advise local governments about strategies to restrict, suppress or eliminate obscenity and pornography.

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McKell said HB50 is a "straight-up repeal." The committee voted unanimously to push it through.

"The simple reason (for the repeal) is because the position doesn't exist, and it hasn't been funded and it hasn't been functioning at all," McKell said in a telephone interview shortly before the 2018 legislative session started.

Paula Houston, a prosecutor from West Valley City, was the only ombudsman ever appointed. The position was chopped from the budget for fiscal year 2004 and has been empty ever since.