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House and governor discussing 'options' on Utah mask mandates

Masks Line.jpg
Posted at 9:48 AM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 16:45:00-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House of Representatives did not immediately take up a resolution to overturn Salt Lake and Summit counties' mask mandates.

The resolution, which rocketed through the Utah State Senate on the opening day of the legislative session, has yet to be considered in the House. Representatives adjourned for the day on Wednesday without taking it up.

POLL: Do you support the legislature's efforts to overturn mask mandates?

"The House Majority Caucus is in widespread agreement that mask mandates are not the answer. However, we are still looking at the resolution and discussing a variety of options," a spokesperson for House Speaker Brad Wilson told FOX 13.

On Wednesday, Governor Spencer Cox suggested he was now involved in discussions about Senate Joint Resolution 3's fate.

"We’re still talking with the House. We’ll see what happens there," Gov. Cox said in a brief comment to FOX 13.

The resolution could still be considered at any time during the legislature's 45-day session. The Utah State Senate wasted no time passing SJR 3, which overturns the mandates. On the opening day of the session, it was introduced and passed without a public hearing on a party line vote of 22-5.

The resolution overturns the mask mandates issued by local health departments and upheld by the respective county commissions and councils. But under laws passed by lawmakers last year, the legislature can act as a final check on public health orders.