SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) –The 2023 Legislative Session is one of the books, with several controversial bills being brought up right off the bat… and it was intentional. 

Many of the controversial bills involved policy issues. Some examples include limiting access to abortion and transgender care… what teachers can and cannot do and how public education is funded. 

It will take some time to see the true impacts of these bills, including laws that will be challenged… with some organizations already vowing to sue if certain bills are signed into law. Experts say we can also expect to see various tweaks in future legislative sessions as we watch things develop. 

Why did leaders choose to bring up issues like this at the beginning of the session? There are several reasons for this strategy, but one mentioned often is having enough time to see how the public reacts and make the needed changes so they didn’t run out the clock. A great example of this is HB 467, which puts more limits on abortions including victims of sexual assault. This bill went back and forth between the House and Senate. 

Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, Jason Perry said Utah has the earliest legislative session in the region, which means a lot of leaders are watching. 

“Some of them will serve as sort of a policy idea going forward. In other states, the parts that were successful, maybe the parts that weren’t so much, but a lot of the testing of the messaging and the policy happened during the last 45 days,” said Perry. 

Perry also pointed out that when it comes to policy, democrats had a rough round, but they did have some wins for funding a few of their priorities.