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Utah State Legislature calls itself into special session to deal with COVID-19

Utah State Capitol
Posted at 8:30 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 12:31:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Legislature has called itself into special session to deal with coronavirus.

In a proclamation issued Monday night, the legislature invoked its newly granted authority to call itself together to discuss a variety of topics. The topics include the budget impact of the pandemic; rising unemployment; tax changes and economic stimulus plans; regulations dealing with medical treatment and other assistance to medical professionals; local governments' powers during a pandemic; and changes to the upcoming primary election.

The session will be historic -- not only will it be the first time lawmakers have called themselves into special session since voters approved the constitutional amendment in 2018 to allow it, it will also be the first special session where most lawmakers aren't even in the building. Because of concerns of COVID-19, lawmakers will be meeting "virtually."

The House and Senate chambers don't accommodate for social distancing, so House Speaker Brad Wilson and Senate President J. Stuart Adams will be presiding from the dais.

The session begins Thursday and could last up to 10 days. The proposed bills have yet to be made public. Anyone who wants to weigh in on the session is asked to contact their elected lawmakers or comment at the legislature's website, le.utah.gov. The public will also not be allowed in the chambers, but the proceedings will be streamed and broadcast on KUEN (a public broadcasting channel).

Read the proclamation here: