The final bills Utah lawmakers passed
The final days of Utah's 2023 legislative session sent a flurry of bills to the governor's desk.
- Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has 21 days to sign or veto the bills — or allow the measures to become law without his signature. Here are some that caught our eye:
A $400 million tax cut package approved by the Legislature includes lowering the state income tax rate from 4.85% to 4.65%.
- By the numbers: A family of four earning up to $80,000 annually would save $208 a year under the state income tax reduction, per the state Legislature.
- It also eliminates the 1.75% state sales tax on food if voters approve a constitutional amendment in 2024 to remove the earmark on education for income tax revenue.
Environment + wildlife
State air quality enforcers will be authorized to regulate the emissions of chemicals emitted by the U.S. Magnesium plant near the Great Salt Lake under a bill.
- A recent study found the plant was responsible for up to 25% of the pollution behind northern Utah's winter inversions.
Mountain lions would be subject to unlimited hunting year-round per a bill that passed despite objections from hunting and conservation groups.
A new "banquet license" rule would require restaurants to put private parties with alcohol in a room blocked from public view, in what some are calling a revival of Utah's infamous "Zion Curtain" partitions.
- The bill also bans mini bottles and adds licenses for 15 more bars and 30 full-service restaurants — down from an earlier proposal.
After exhaustive debate over whether the new state flag was too "woke," lawmakers approved the design and two other official state icons:
- The porcini was named the state mushroom, and the brine shrimp will now be the state crustacean.
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