POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Governor talks record number of bills and safety on Utah roads

Mar 21, 2024, 6:56 PM | Updated: Mar 22, 2024, 12:44 pm

Gov. Spencer Cox explains portions of the proposal as he and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson sit down wit...

Gov. Spencer Cox explains portions of the proposal as he and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson sit down with Deseret News reporters and editors to discuss the state budget proposal, including his desire to build more starter homes, at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. (Scott G. Winterton /Deseret News 2023)

(Scott G. Winterton /Deseret News 2023)

SALT LAKE CITY — A record number of bills — 591 — were introduced during the 45-day Utah legislative session which ended March 1. Gov. Spencer Cox addressed some of the bills during his monthly news conference Thursday. He also spoke about road safety.

“I don’t know our state needed 591 to remain functional after what I thought was a pretty good year before. We probably could have not had any of them and still gotten along pretty well,” Cox said.

Cox had until midnight on March 21, 2024, to finish signing or vetoing any remaining bills. He said there’s a good chance a special session of the Legislature will be held during the spring to address additional issues.

Along with bills, Cox addressed wrong-way crashes in Utah

Cox also spoke about a spate of fatal wrong-way crashes on Utah roads.

He said the state government is implementing technology to alert other motorists if a wrong-way driver is in their area.

“With every single fatality we’ve had so far, there has been impairment — either drugs, alcohol, or both,” he said.

Equal opportunity initiatives

The governor also spoke about signing  HB 261 into law. He said the Equal Opportunity Initiatives law prohibits practices that focus on personal characteristics being superior or inferior to others. He also said schools and workplaces should be even playing fields.

“This is not about removing resources that would help students … it’s about making sure we have resources to help all students who need that help,” he said.

Cox previously called requiring employees to sign statements in support of workplace and campus diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), “awful, bordering on evil,” as reported by Fortune.

Other reading: Wrong-way crash kills one and closes down I-15 in SLC

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Governor talks record number of bills and safety on Utah roads