SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah House of Representatives and the Utah Senate have announced they will consider two resolutions regarding Critical Race Theory and Utah becoming a Second Amendment Sanctuary state during a special session on Wednesday.
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The announcement from the Utah Senate comes after Utah Governor Spencer Cox left Critical Race Theory and making Utah a Second Amendment Sanctuary out of the special session agenda, saying in a letter to state lawmakers the two issues “would benefit from more time, thought, dialogue, and input.”
“While I’m sure someone might be able to point out differently, I can’t remember these types of hot-button issues ever being put on a special session call. It’s not that I disagree with the desire to act, but doing it the right way — and at the right time — will lead to better legislation,” Gov. Cox added.
The Senate Majority Caucus said they are against Critical Race Theory being taught in Utah schools, saying in a statement to ABC4:
“Everyone is created equal and should be judged by their character, not the color of their skin. For this reason, we oppose critical race theory being taught in schools. American history should be taught in a way that highlights our country’s highs and lows, triumphs, and mistakes. We do not want to erase or bypass history, but we need to prevent schools from endorsing discriminatory concepts.”
The Senate Majority Caucus says they do, however, support making Utah a Second Amendment sanctuary state, saying in part, “We are committed to protecting the Second Amendment rights defined in the U.S. Constitution by our Founding Fathers. Our most important duty as legislators is to preserve Utahns’ freedoms, including the freedom to bear arms without government interference.
The Utah House of Representatives announced they would also consider resolutions on Critical Race Theory and Second Amendment Sanctuary State.
In a statement to ABC4, Speaker of the House Brad Wilson said in part,
“Utahns — not federal bureaucrats — must remain in control of what is taught in our schools to ensure students understand both positive and negative events in American history, and their duty to be engaged, respectful members of society.
Wilson continued, “Similarly, constitutional rights should not be subject to the whims of executive orders. We are committed to working on legislation that reaffirms and safeguards the constitutional right of Utah citizens to keep and bear arms.”
The Utah House Democrats released a statement opposing the Utah Senate hearing the resolutions, saying in part, “We oppose holding an extraordinary special session to address the proposed issues not included on the Governor’s special session call. Democrats were excluded from discussions, we reject such divisive action, and we oppose the content of the resolutions,”
Gov. Cox has authorized 22 issues to be considered by lawmakers during the special session. This includes budget issues involving federal funds available through the American Rescue Plan, bills passed in the 2021 session, and new bills that include a prohibition on face mask requirements in schools and changes to electronic cigarettes.