Bill to replace DEI offices in Utah government, schools passes out of Senate

Jan 19, 2024, 1:02 PM | Updated: Feb 26, 2024, 12:11 pm

Sean Oliver speaks with Rep. Katy Hall, R-South Ogden, after her anti-DEI bill passed out of a comm...

Sean Oliver speaks with Rep. Katy Hall, R-South Ogden, after her anti-DEI bill passed out of a committee meeting at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024. The bill, HB 261, titled “Equal Opportunity Initiatives” aims to outlaw DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) trainings, requirements, programs and offices at public universities, schools “or any other institution of the state” that engages in what the legislation calls “prohibited discriminatory practices. (Laura Seitx/KSL NewsRadio)

(Laura Seitx/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would prohibit diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, programs from government institutions like universities passed from the Utah senate to the house with amendments on Thursday. 23 legislators voted to pass the bill. 

Last week, the Utah House voted to pass HB261.  

The energy on the House floor was emotional at times as lawmakers debated the legislation, HB 261. 

Related: On the first day of the Utah legislative session, talk of changes to mail-in ballots

Rep. Katy Hall, R-Davis/Weber, fielded questions and comments from all sides about her bill.

Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Salt Lake, opposed the bill, saying it’s too early to get rid of Utah’s DEI programs while there is no data on whether they work at promoting equal representation of all walks of life in the workforce and academia. 

“Just because we don’t experience racism doesn’t mean they don’t,” said Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

Outside of Bonneville High School...

Heather Peterson

Bonneville High School opens new teen center to help students in crisis

Bonneville's new teen center has a kitchen, laundry, a shower, and a food pantry as well as a living room area, and study rooms.

12 hours ago

A small group gathered outside the committee room to protest agains HB261 prior to Senate members o...

Josuee Sanchez

Complaint hotline for DEI law already receiving false complaints

The DEI law hotline has received 27 false complaints in the last week, but that's far less than a hotline associated with a bathroom bill received.

1 day ago

The Utah Women & Leadership Project, based out of Utah State University in Logan, Utah, reports tha...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Report finds fewer Utah workers experiencing sexual harassment

For the first time in years, the number of sexual harassment reports filed with the EEOC places Utah in line with the national average.

2 days ago

A FingerPrint Pad and paperwork from Clean Slate Utah is laid out at Utah Support Advocates for Rec...

Eric Cabrera

Expungement clinic held today in Salt Lake City in honor of Juneteenth

Clean Slate Utah and the NAACP Utah is holding a free Juneteenth expungement clinic today.

2 days ago

File photo of a Utah elementary school. The School Safety Security Task Force met Monday, June 17, ...

Briana Chavez

School Safety Security Task Force discuss new requirements for schools as part of new bill

One of the biggest requirements includes a school safety needs assessment. Each school in the state must fill one out.

2 days ago

Image of the newest version of the Salt Lake Main Library....

Kennedy Camarena

LISTEN: The end of libraries?

These days, just about everything is electronic, including books. This begs us to ask the question, could we be seeing the end of school libraries?

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Bill to replace DEI offices in Utah government, schools passes out of Senate