SALT LAKE CITY — With a little over a week remaining in the current Utah Legislative session, there was plenty of activity Wednesday on Capitol Hill:
The Senate approved a pair of bills that tweak Utah’s medical cannabis laws. The bills expand the state’s programs, but some changes were made. One bill removes a provision that would have allowed child patients to access doses on school grounds. Another requires all CBD or hemp products to explicitly state on the label that they are not medical cannabis, but also allows terminal patients to quickly access it. Both bills will now go to the House.
The Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that says people can still be cited for DUI in a self-driving car because someone still has to be in charge of the vehicle. The bill now goes to Gov. Spencer Cox’s desk for his signature or veto.
The Senate voted 20-7 to pass a big alcohol bill that allows some hard seltzers to stay on grocery and convenience store shelves. However, others will have to go back to state-run liquor stores because of how they’re made. The bill also does not grant new bar licenses, but re-works how they are distributed. It now goes to the House for consideration.
A bill that blocks counties from imposing things like background checks at gun shows has cleared the legislature. The bill does allow homeless shelters to prohibit firearms in their facilities. It now also goes to the Gov. Cox for his signature or veto.
A House committee voted 9-1 in support of the latest inland port bill; one which Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall actually supports.
The bill strips the city of its voting power on the port authority board. But the city gets a cut of tax income from the massive project, which is a huge point of contention.
"Overall, it’s a great win for us because it gives us legal certainty through a contract that’s yet to be negotiated over the next eight months. Twenty-five years of environmental certainty and investment in our west side communities," said Mendenhall.
Environmental groups are still fighting the bill which does not stop Salt Lake City’s overall lawsuit over the inland port. The port is still pending before the state supreme court and now goes to the full House for a vote.
A resolution expressing support for Salt Lake City hosting a future Olympics is getting a gold-medal endorsement. A Senate committee voted unanimously in favor of Sen. Derek Kitchen’s resolution whichsays Salt Lake City is ready, willing and able to host a future winter games.
SAVE THE GREAT SALT LAKE
There was a unanimous vote to pass House Speaker Brad Wilson’s mega-bill on the Great Salt Lake that will allocate $40 million dollars to help get water to the lake, which has shrunk 11 feet since Brigham Young entered the area and started measuring it.