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Council’s Corner

Utah Legislative Session Recap 2023

The Utah Legislature considered 926 bills and passed 575 into law (pending the Governor’s signature) during the 45 day session. They did not steer away from controversy taking on taxes, criminal justice, water, education, social media, and, like it or not, Utah has a new flag. The old flag will now become a ceremonial flag flown on special occasions. A record $29 billion dollar budget was passed that contained $850 million in tax cuts.  Education was the clear winner with an overall 18.5% increase and a 6% increase to the WPU. A $42 million pool for school choice passed for qualifying parents to receive $8,000 in state funds for various educational choices. Teachers will receive an additional $6,000 to their base pay as well. Kindergarten full day or half day is now a decision to be made by parents. Oh - and one more thing, there will be no more letter grades given in grading hw quality of schools. To my delight: Governor Cox took a strong stance against social media companies. Citing “alarming negative trends in minors mental health” and “becoming addicted to social media”, parents now must give approval for minors to join social media with age verifiers and the ability to sue companies for damages.  For the third straight year income taxes were reduced to the tune of $4oo million this year, reducing tax rates from 4.85% to 4.65%. If Utah voters pass a constitutional amendment in 2024 it would remove the state portion of sales tax on food as well. A carryover from last year, “Vaccine Passports” passed. An election audit bill passed. A bill and resolution was passed affirming the state’s seriousness to host the Olympics in Utah again.  Three of four of our local Representatives were rookies this year. They had immediate impact passing bills and building relationships. Our Senators were also available and responsive. Washington City was successful in advocating for and receiving $2.5 million in state transportation funds to help with construction cost increases. As a member of the Legislative Policy Committee, Land Use Task Force, and State Water Working Group I appreciate all our partners that make our advocacy successful in serving the residents of Washington City.

 –Kurt Ivie, Washington City Council


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