GOVERNMENT

Last day of 2019 legislative session

Mar 14, 2019, 9:20 AM
medicaid...
File: Utah State Capitol

SALT LAKE CITY — Thursday is the last day for Utah’s 2019 legislative session, and it may not end until midnight.

So far this session, legislators have passed more than 400 bills and resolutions, but not tax reform.

“We’ve got to modernize our tax structure so we are stable, and we have equal opportunity in our economy to contribute to the cost of government; broadening the base coupled with lowering the rate,” said Gov. Gary Herbert live on Utah’s Morning News.

State Senator Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said they didn’t want to rush it through.

“We balanced the budget, and we are saying we will continue to study this, and get input from the community, and when we are ready, we can come back,” he said.

Many expect a special session will be called in the summer to talk about it.

In the meantime, they did recently pass hate crimes legislation, a bill to raise the strength of beer from 3.2 to 4.0 percent, campus safety legislation, tweaks to the voter initiative process, and a bill to help students pay for college. Also moving forward is an 86 percent tax increase on e-cigarettes.

Gov. Herbert says he’ll be busy over the next few weeks working his way through all of the legislation and signing bills. He told Utah’s Morning News he has not yet decided whether he will sign a bill that would ban most abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy, saying all legislative matters will get his careful review.

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Last day of 2019 legislative session