Gov. Cox calls Utah Legislature to special session: Here’s what’s on the agenda

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Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox wears a mask before speaking during the daily briefing on the state’s efforts to fight COVID-19 Thursday, June 25, 2020, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A day after the Biden administration announced a new federal vaccine mandate and testing requirements that would affect working Americans, Gov. Spencer Cox, (R) Utah called the state legislature to a special session.

The widely anticipated session will take place on Nov. 9 and the public can attend and participate in committee meetings and watch floor sessions in person or virtually.

The main topic of discussion is redistricting.

On Monday, the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission presented its district maps for Congress, the State House and State Senate, and School Boards to the Utah Legislative Redistricting Committee, something the state has never done.

After concerns over possible gerrymandering, Utahns passed a ballot proposition creating the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission in 2018.

Although the commission serves as advisors, it has no binding authority, which means the legislature is free to do what they want with the proposed maps on Nov 9.

After concerns over possible gerrymandering, Utahns passed a ballot proposition creating the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission in 2018.

A variety of pressing issues will be covered including provisions related to COVID-19 and the workplace, a proposal to change the name of Dixie State University, and the financial transaction reporting requirements under consideration by Congress.

Senate President J. Stuart Adams, (R) Layton and Speaker Brad Wilson, (R) Kaysville issued the following statement on Friday:

“Lawmakers will debate several pressing issues during next week’s special session, including adopting new boundaries for congressional, legislative and school board districts, considering legislation to defend personal freedoms and individual choices and discussing other pertinent issues that deserve our immediate attention. We are honored to do the work of the people and look forward to fulfilling that duty.”

Just yesterday, Utah government officials including the Governor, along with Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson released statements addressing their opposition to Biden’s vaccine mandate. Gov. Cox said the decision was, “outside the authority of the federal government,” while Lt. Gov. Henderson encouraged vaccinations, but stated, “We’re committed to fighting the mandate through every possible avenue.”

Also on the agenda is the Dixie State University name change.

Earlier in the year, the Utah Board of Higher Education voted unanimously to change Dixie State University to Utah Tech University and the name change now lays in the hands of the state legislature.

Another controversial topic on hand deals with the Utah State Legislature expressing their opinion on certain banking and financial transaction reporting requirements under consideration by Congress and the federal government.

This discussion comes in response to Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda which would require banks to provide data on accounts with annual deposits or withdrawals that meet a certain threshold.

This reporting regimen would require financial institutions to report more information on the total inflows and outflows of bank accounts. The plan, which focuses on the total, annual flow of funds, has a low threshold that is designed to flag taxpayers who report little income but hide large amounts of money by moving it through different accounts.

The proposal was immediately met with backlash from Republicans who called this “an invasion of privacy.”

The Utah State Legislature will be meeting at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the issues mentioned above.


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