State Senator Ron Winterton, who represents Park City and Wasatch County in the Utah State Senate, provided KPCW with an update on the state of the sponsored legislation during the general session of 2021 in progress, which will run until March 5.
One of the bills the Republican who represents the 26th District sponsored was Senate Bill 186, which would give local education agencies (LEAs) control over the application of masks on campuses. school. The bill passed in committee with a favorable recommendation after being amended to require LEAs to consult with the governor, the Department of Health or a local health agency before deciding whether or not to apply the masks.
Winterton said he first heard of the bill in November and that it was not an attempt to circumvent the state’s progress in reducing COVID transmission rates -19.
“If there’s a public health order or order that is issued, they need to consult with those affected,” Winterton said. Most of the time I get a phone call and someone was telling me about a decree that I had no clue had happened. And that is not fair. I’m here to represent the people, and if we don’t have a say, I don’t think that’s fair representation. “
Winterton said the Utah Medical Association supported the bill. He said he had not spoken to officials in the Wasatch County or Summit County School District since the bill was withdrawn from the committee, but consulted with other school districts he represents .
“I’ve talked to a few small school districts in the Senate District, he said. I’ve talked to the school in Tabiona. And I’ve talked to Superintendent Daggett, and you know, they’re struggling. to wonder why they have to be so strict with when they haven’t been affected as drastically as the big school districts. “
Senate Bill 167, another of Wintertons’ proposals to keep Utah attractive to movie studios, received a favorable recommendation from the Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee of the Senate. If approved, it would increase state tax incentives from $ 6.8 million to $ 15 million. State Representative Mike Kohler, House District 24 representative from Park City and Heber, co-sponsored the bill alongside Winterton.
Winterton said he received opposition when he introduced the bill to the Senate from skeptics claiming the state had no money to support ongoing projects.
“We have a lot of naysayers there,” he said. “I thought that was obvious too. So, I circled him. We met in caucus yesterday. I asked the Members of the Senate who were there, what can I do with this bill to get you to accept it. So I have a substitute to present that will reduce that $ 15 million to $ 10 million. “
Winterton said if the bill passes, the Economic Development Office is set to approach producers of the popular television series Yellowstone, which had been filmed in Summit County for several seasons before moving to the Montana, regarding a possible return,
Meanwhile, House Concurrent Resolution 03, a resolution regarding Native American-themed sports mascots that Winterton had co-sponsored alongside House Representative Elizabeth Weight (DSalt Lake), failed in the House. Winterton had agreed to sponsor the resolution approving the elimination of American Indians as school mascots. He is neutral on eliminating First Nations mascots because he contacted Ute leaders who he said were not taking a position on the issue. Much of the Uintah and Ouray reserve lies within the boundaries of District 26.
“I’m going to stay neutral on this,” he said. “They said that, you know, they hate people putting words in their mouths or thinking they can’t defend themselves. in himself had good intentions, and that I guess we’ll see if that goes forward next year, and I will contact the tribe for further clarification, but they were not involved in this resolution, nor consulted. “
The eastern half of the Winterton District also includes the oil shale and Uintah Basin mineral extraction industry. He did not think that SB 129, concerning changes to the registration of immovable property, had time to deal with this session. Winterton said county recorders asked him to clarify surface and mining lease filings and land ownership.
“The minerals that these companies are leasing and that, and they’re just going to put a cover on it,” he said. “It obscures the rest of the minerals section.”
Winterton said lawmakers could address the issue in an interim session. There has been a lot of interest from those dealing with the deeds, and he thinks there should be legal clarification.
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