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Politics & Government

Utah Legislature Rushes Through Final Day

Dan Bammes
Utah Senate Clerk Paula Tew conducts a roll-call vote

  It’s the last day of Utah’s general legislative session.  State senators and representatives will be working ‘till midnight to get as many bills passed as they can. 

Whether it’s the chime that tells members of the House it’s time to vote, or state Senate clerk Paula Tew calling the roll, the final day of the legislative session is filled with vote after vote after vote.  Inevitably, there are many bills that won’t pass.  And there are issues that won’t be addressed in this session.

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser says the gasoline tax is one of them.  It hasn’t been raised in a generation and revenue hasn’t been keeping up as cars get more efficient.  He says that impacts other important priorities.

“When  we take general funds to pay for transportation," Niederhauser told reporters, "we are taking money away from education, because we have to pay more education dollars for higher ed to keep them whole and that makes less money available for our public education system.”

Republican Senator John Valentine sponsored a bill that would have added a tax based on the price of gasoline in addition to the fixed amount per gallon.  SB 60 passed the Senate, but it’s been held up in the House and it won’t pass this session.

(nat sound – Senate roll call)

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