Legislative Session Digest: Weeks One and Two

Today wraps up the second week of the 2024 legislative session! We have been up at the Utah State Capitol these last couple weeks talking with lawmakers, attending committee meetings, and tracking proposed legislation. Needless to say, we have a lot to report! 

Read on to find out which bills we are supporting and opposing this session, and sign up for our Community Lobby Day on Feb. 15 to join us in advocating for positive environmental policy in Utah. 

Bills We Support:

H.B. 279: Air Quality Amendments (Rep. Tyler Clancy): This bill mandates a 50% reduction in air pollutants - including fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide - in the Wasatch Front by 2033.

H.B. 126: Emissions Regulation Amendments (Rep. Andrew Stoddard): This bill prevents certain counties from registering motor vehicles over certain weight and emissions limits, and removes a provision that allows certain exemptions from emission limits.

S.B. 142: Lawn Equipment Tax Credit Amendments (Sen. Stephanie Pitcher): This bill provides a tax credit to electric lawn equipment sellers who offer a 30% discount on the equipment.

H.B. 242: Water Usage Data Amendments (Sen. David Hinkins and Rep. Melissa Ballard): This bill requires the Division of Water Resources to conduct a study of public school water use, requires publication and reporting of study findings and recommendations, and provides for procurement of smart irrigation controllers.

Bills We Oppose:

H.B. 373: Environmental Quality Amendments (Rep. Casey Snider): This bill stacks the Air Quality Advisory Board with politically appointed fossil fuel interests, and allows them to negate fines levied against polluters. 

H.B. 262: School and Institutional Trust Lands Amendments (Rep. Casey Snider): This bill makes changes relating to the State Institutional Trust Lands Management Act, specifically exempting the sale or lease of certain large aggregations of trust lands from advertising requirements and mineral rights restrictions.

H.B. 353: Mining Operations Amendments (Rep. Bridger Bolinder): This bill limits public intervention in the mining permit request process to a 30-day period.

S.B. 120: Intermountain Power Agency Modifications (Sen. Scott Sandall): This bill sets up a legislative takeover of the Intermountain Power Agency governing board in order to install a governing board that supports running the Intermountain Power Project's coal-fired generators past the agreed-upon 2025 shutdown date.

H.B. 280: Water Related Changes (Rep. Casey Snider): This bill will consolidate money and decision-making power for water infrastructure projects into the hands of political appointees on the Water Resources Board, opening the door for disastrous water projects like the Bear River Development.