Feb 2, 2024 - News

Utah legislative recap: What you missed during Week 3

Illustration of the Utah State Capitol with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Another high-profile bill Gov. Spencer Cox signed this week is S.B. 57, which establishes a process for state lawmakers to ignore directives from the federal government.

Details: The law, now in effect, allows state lawmakers to not comply with a directive or regulation they perceive as unconstitutional.

  • If a court finds the rules are constitutional, the state would be forced to comply.

The big picture: The bill's introduction comes more than a year after the state sued the Biden administration for its decision to restore Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

Flashback: The monuments were significantly reduced in 2017 by former President Trump — "the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation's history," per the New York Times.

What he's saying: "Balancing power between state and federal sovereignty is an essential part of our constitutional system. This legislation gives us another way to push back on federal overreach and maintain that balance," Cox said in a statement.

What we're watching: H.B. 55 would make nondisclosure and non-disparagement agreements related to sexual assault and sexual harassment unenforceable.

H.B. 284 would alter the Utah Constitution by raising the number of votes required for a ballot initiative related to a new tax or tax increase to pass.

  • Under the bill, such ballot initiatives would require 60% of the total votes cast to pass, instead of 50%.
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