January 27, 2019

Accentuate the Positive: Good Bills in the 2019 Utah Legislature

By John Worlock, Member of Save Our Canyons.


Join us on a short expedition, exploring the positive propositions that will come before the imminent 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature. Imminent it is, as in convenes tomorrow, Monday January 28.

But the convening represents no real emergency, and the first few weeks will go along smoothly, with much of the time spent on committee meetings, trying to agree on some amendments to the bills as written. It’s a good time to pay attention to those committee meetings, and to begin to organize the visits to the capitol to testify in committee or just to lobby some legislators.

We recommend the legislature’s website LE.Utah.gov, and we’ve recently been there scanning the schedule of 2019 bills. In accord with our recent decision to “Accentuate the Positive,” we noticed quite a few bills that we thought offered some benefit to Utah’s beleaguered environment. Many of them, of course, will need help from the electorate to become law, but there they are.

Of the 185 House Bills, we found 10 that sound good, offering benefits from water conservation to bike lanes and a variety of schemes to reduce pollution from vehicle emissions.
Let’s choose one for example, namely HB 143, Water Conservation Plan Amendments, which proposes to help us, in this dry state, to plan for water conservation instead of expensive and harmful water diversion projects. HB 143.

In the Senate, of their 100 bills, we found five worthy of our support, though three of those were housekeeping, extending the lives of existing air and water quality acts.

Okay! That’s a positive score of just a bit over 5%, but let’s take it and run with it!

While you’re running, stop by the following websites for inspiration: Save Our Canyons, Great Salt Lake Audubon, Utah Rivers, Utah Sierra Club and HEAL Utah. They will help you to make positive contributions to the multitude of legislative offerings you found on LE.Utah.gov.

Let’s get to work, with a right good will, and help the legislature make Utah a safer, healthier and more beautiful place to live.