SALT LAKE CITY — The 2019 legislative session is down to its final four days, and Monday promises to be eventful as lawmakers are expected to settle on budget numbers after last week's dramatic collapse of plans for reforming the state's sales tax structure.
More than a dozen committee meetings are scheduled with time running out to advance bills for approval by both chambers before the session ends at midnight Thursday.
Other issues expected to be discussed at the Statehouse during the day include:
- Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced Monday evening she directed city attorneys to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the creation of the Utah Inland Port Authority.
- The House Judiciary Committee will now take up so-called "Lauren's Law." HB190 would place liability on a gun owner when a firearm they have loaned out is used to commit a felony. It is nicknamed "Lauren's Law" for University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey, who was murdered by a bitter ex-boyfriend who borrowed a gun and tracked her down on campus. The bill was transferred last week from the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee at the request of the sponsor, Rep. Andrew Stoddard, D-Sandy.
- The Senate Education Committee will take up HB219, which would create a commission to determine whether Utah needs a new state flag. The bill flew through the House Friday with a vote of 46-26.
- The Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy and Technology Committee will discuss HB354, which prohibits a public entity from regulating a peer-to-peer car sharing company or a peer-to-peer vehicle owner in the same manner as a car rental company.
- The Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee is considering HB357, which modifies the requirements to be eligible for funding to convert wood-burning stoves, and requests $14 million in the clean-air effort.
- Utah would join other states in holding a presidential primary on Super Tuesday next year under a bill passed Monday to the House that has a nearly $3 million price tag.
Here's what happened on March 8, the 39th day of the 2019 session:
- A bill that would allow the Utah Inland Port Authority to branch out to areas outside of Salt Lake County steamrolled through a major legislative hurdle.
- A House committee advanced a hate crimes bill despite some friction between committee members and the bill's sponsor.
- A bill that calls for revision of the state's required semesterlong financial and economic literacy course for high schoolers to include units on socialism, communism won final passage in the Utah Senate by a vote 21-6.