Bill would continue funding Utah Murdered and Missing Indigenous Relatives Task Force

Feb 19, 2024, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:29 pm

Tayler Gutierrez, of Sandy, performs the Jingle Dress dance during an event to raise awareness for ...

FILE: Tayler Gutierrez, of Sandy, performs the Jingle Dress dance during an event to raise awareness for bill that created the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Task Force in 2020. Now, a lawmakers is lobbying to extend the program's funding. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Murdered and Missing Indigenous Relatives Task Force is facing a 2024 sunset or expiration date.

Utah House Minority Leader Angela Romero (D-Salt Lake City) is sponsoring a bill that would extend the life of the Utah Murdered and Missing Indigenous Relatives Task Force until late 2029.

Lawmakers created the bill in 2020. Since then, they’ve been working to build relationships with tribal leaders. They’ve also been trying to figure out why Utah’s ingenious people are disproportionately impacted by violent crime.

Utah’s record for murdered and missing Indigenous population

According to a report from the task force, Indigenous people account for 1.5% of Utah’s population. However Indigenous people make up over 5% of all murder victims in the state.

A national report also found that Salt Lake City has the eighth most cases of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

Dustin Jansen, the director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs, is pleased the bill got unanimous support from the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee on Friday.

“It gives us time to figure out why these things are happening, and come up with ways to prevent it from happening again,” Jansen said. “Having more time … will only help our work in the future.”

The bill needs to clear the House and Senate and get the governor’s signature before the end of the Utah General Legislative Session on March 1 to become law.

Keep reading:

Missing and murdered Indigenous women cases getting new attention

Great Salt Lake rally brings Native and youth voices to Utah’s Capitol Hill

U of U to offer scholarships to Indigenous students in Utah


We want to hear from you.

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

Politics + Government

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives for an Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Town Hall, Sat...

Emma Keddington

Kamala Harris intends to “earn and win” Democratic presidential nomination

Vice President Kamala Harris will seek the Democratic nomination for president, following Biden's presidential race resignation. 

9 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference July 11, 2024, in Washington. President Joe ...

Kennedy Camarena and Emma Keddington

Utah officials react to President Biden dropping out of presidential race

President Joe Biden's resignation sparked reactions throughout Utah not long after the news was announced.

10 hours ago

Biden set to come back to the campaign trail next week. Howell reacts. ( April 27, 2024. Marielle S...

Diana Jones

Is Biden ready to return to the campaign trail? Expert says its up to Biden

President Biden's campaign says he's returning to the campaign trail next week amidst rumors of stepping down.

2 days ago

gov spencer cox shown speaking, cox endorsed trump on Friday...

Sam Herrera

Gov. Cox says he plans to vote for Trump, offers former president support

Gov. Spencer Cox expressed his support and confirmed his endorsement of the former president during his monthly press conference.

2 days ago

president joe biden shown, former president obama has expressed concerns about biden's campaign...

Sam Herrera

LISTEN: Obama expresses concerns over Biden’s chances for reelection

Former President Barack Obama has privately expressed that President Joe Biden should reconsider his campaign's chances.

3 days ago

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks during the Republican National...

Emma Keddington

JD Vance closes out day 3 at Republican National Convention, officially accepts VP nomination

JD Vance described his upbringing, called housing affordability and pledged that he will "give [Americans] everything I have."

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

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.

Bill would continue funding Utah Murdered and Missing Indigenous Relatives Task Force