Utah lawmakers vote on controversial issues; House Dems stage a walk-out

Local Politics

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — On Wednesday, state lawmakers voted on more than 20 bills and resolutions after Governor Spencer Cox called for a special session.

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Those all can be found here.

The most hot button topics included masks in schools, critical race theory in schools, and Utah becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary. The latter two were a part of the extraordinary session.

The Senate voted 21-6 in support of the critical race theory ban. The House voted 56-0; however, that does not include the House Democrats who walked out during the voting process.

The Senate voted 22-6 in support of the Second Amendment sanctuary bill while the House voted a unanimous yes.

Cox called the session to make sure certain things get done before the 2022 legislative session starts in January.

Masks in schools was one of the first items on the agenda.

That passed both the House and the Senate.

“As we continue to watch the numbers drop and as we continue to watch things improve, I think it’s important for our students and families to know they are going to go to school and they are going to do so without a mask,” said Rep. Val Peterson.

However as the bill sponsor, Peterson points out people can still wear masks if they want.

“We want to be mask friendly,” said Peterson. We want people to know if they want to wear a mask, they can wear a mask. That’s never not an option.”

Other issues that were talked about include federal funding and extending the emergency order due to Utah’s drought.

“I think we are all concerned with the federal funds we will be receiving and how best to spend that,” said Rep. Doug Owens. “There will be some priorities discussed this afternoon on that’s a lot of money and we need to invest that right for the state going forward.”

There could be more special sessions called throughout the year if Cox decides to do so. The reason for these is because some of the bills and resolutions need to be heard before next year’s session begins.

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