POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

These are the biggest unresolved issues as Utah lawmakers enter last week of session

Feb 26, 2024, 8:00 AM

Utah capitol clock...

Details of the House of Representatives Chamber at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Jan. 10. Utah lawmakers will tackle possible tax cuts, social media regulations and funding for sports stadiums during the last week of the 2024 general session. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers have just five days left to pass hundreds of bills before time runs out for the legislative session on midnight on March 1.

Lawmakers passed a record number of bills last session and still managed to adjourn with a couple of hours to spare — a rarity that seldom replaces the scramble to pass as much as possible before the clock strikes midnight — but have their work cut out for them this year.

The 2024 session was off to a slower start than usual through the first five weeks, according to Adam Brown, a political scientist at Brigham Young University who has tracked the workload of lawmakers going back to 2007. Legislators picked up the pace during the last week, and the House of Representatives worked until nearly 10 p.m. Thursday to vote on dozens of bills.

Nearly 180 bills have passed both chambers as of Wednesday, and lawmakers will likely approve more than 500 of the nearly 1,000 numbered bills The by the time the dust has settled.

Here are a few key proposals still on the table to watch over the next week:

Tax cuts?

Republican legislative leaders have consistently touted major tax relief passed in recent sessions, and have long had their eye on yet another tax cut in 2024. Lawmakers are considering reducing the state’s income tax rate from 4.65% to 4.55% at a cost of nearly $170 million.

“I call it a tax cut again, again, again and again now,” Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said Thursday. “Some of us think it’s a really good idea.”

SB69, Income Tax Amendments, passed the Senate on Jan. 31 and got approval from the House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Friday morning. It now awaits a vote in the House of Representatives.

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These are the biggest unresolved issues as Utah lawmakers enter last week of session