POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah lawmaker weighs in on federal power in Utah

Jun 20, 2024, 1:00 PM

Utah lawmakers begin addressing several issues in a special session called by Gov. Spencer Cox....

Utah lawmakers begin addressing several issues in a special session called by Gov. Spencer Cox. (Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio)

(Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Wednesday, the Utah Legislature was brought together by Gov. Spencer Cox to discuss six bills that needed more work.

Utah House lawmakers ended up passing HCR301. The bill passed with 57 yes votes to 14 no and is meant to keep portions of the law known as Title IX from taking effect in Utah. 

According to Speaker of the House Mike Schultz, Title IX is in direct conflict with a Utah law passed last year. That Utah law does not allow biological males to enter women’s locker rooms or bathrooms, or to play female sports.

Schultz says the Biden Administration has attempted to rewrite Title IX, and laws passed by Congress, by allowing biological males who identify as female to play in women’s sports, and be able to enter the locker rooms or shower areas of biological females.

“That’s just not okay in the state of Utah,” Schultz said. “All they had to do is identify as a female and then they could play sports, female sports and go into locker rooms. And it’s just not okay.”

Addresses perceived constitutional issues

Schultz said the Legislature is expecting legal action in response to passing HCR301, specifically, a lawsuit by the federal government.

“And so [the bill] directs all of our state agencies. Our school districts, our universities to follow state law, not the rule that was imposed by the unelected bureaucrats from Washington DC in the Biden Administration,” Schultz said.

“We believe and we know there’s some real constitutional issues with what came out of the Biden Administration and so we’re willing to take a stand and try to do what’s right for Utah.”

The Legislature also passed HJR301, which is a joint resolution in relation to HCR301. In general terms, it reasserts existing Utah law regarding state sovereignty and that application to new regulations adopted under Title IX.

According to the bill’s text, “This joint resolution declares that Utah has the sovereign authority and responsibility to safeguard the state’s health, safety, and welfare of, and to promote the prosperity of Utah residents and that the federal government’s overreach in regard to the new regulations adopted under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, effective August 1, 2024, infringes upon this authority and responsibility.”

Related:

Utah House passes bill requiring government to comply with Utah law, not portions of federal Title IX law

Utahn who’s served 24 years in the legislature, is stepping down

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Utah lawmaker weighs in on federal power in Utah