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Legislative Updates

Moving Right Along

March 3, 2021

Tuesday saw movement on a number of our watch list bills and issues.  Here’s a rundown by topic:

 

Housing

 

In  Senate committee yesterday, a 5th substitute version and an amendment for HB82 – Single-Family Housing Modifications, and then passed out the bill favorably.  The newest version of the bill makes a number of technical changes and some more adjustments based on comments and negotiations with municipal officials.  My opinion, it’s good to see some acknowledgement of ADUs as a legitimate housing option and putting some limits on prohibitions, but again the arcane nature of all the provisions that have been negotiated means you’ll have to read carefully (and long!) to make sure all the rules are followed and understood.  The bill now goes to the Senate floor for voting.

 

Also in Senate committee yesterday, HB98 – Local Government Building Regulation Amendments was amended to exempt the design elements prohibition for dwellings located in a mountainous planning district (Wasatch canyons), and passed out favorably.  This bill now also moves on to the Senate floor for a vote, but the Senate sponsor of the bill has a new substitute version that has just been released which would limit the exemption for meeting current building codes for structures damaged by natural disaster or fire to single and two-family dwellings.

 

And finally, again in Senate committee, the 2nd substitute version of SB164 – Utah Housing Affordability Amendments was adopted and passed out favorably, then later in the day was passed unanimously by the full Senate.  The bill now moves on for action in the House.

 

Trib writer Tony Semerad yesterday ran a good story about legislative actions on housing, giving a good summary of what’s going on.

And the DesNews ran a story this morning that gives a good rundown on the financial programs for housing affordability the legislature is moving along, as well as some news on the ADU bill.

 

 

LUDMA

 

Yesterday on the House floor, a 2nd substitute for HB409 – Municipal and County Land Use and Development Revisions was adopted and then the bill was passed by the House.  The modifications in the 2nd substitute were minor changes to language on lot line adjustments (which language was extensively revised in the 1st substitute bill!).  The bill moves on to the Senate for action.

 

 

Infrastructure Funding

 

Here’s a summary from the WFRC about the infrastructure funding bill:

 

H.B.433sub2 (Amendments Related to Infrastructure Funding) (Rep. Mike Schultz / Senator Kirk Cullimore)

 

HB433 has been substituted (revised), reflecting the outcome of discussions about the size, scope, and mix of funding sources for state infrastructure investment. The bill was passed by the House today unanimously. Below is a list of key modifications to the bill. Following that is a full updated summary of the bill.

 

Key modifications to HB433sub2 (incorporating revisions from sub1 and sub2):

  • Total funding for transportation authorized by the bill changes from $2.2B to $1.1B.
  • One-time funding for transportation projects is increased from $755.4M to $869.6M, and several projects to be funded are added.
  • New bond authorization is reduced from $1.4B to $264M, and that bonding is used for public transit, mainly enhancements of FrontRunner. There was hesitation about the level of bonding proposed in the introduced version of HB433, given the significant one-time funds available to commit to infrastructure and the significant ongoing funding that goes into the UDOT Transportation Investment Fund (TIF).
  • Even without issuing bonds for road projects, projects will still move forward through the State Transportation Commission prioritization process. Projects will be selected from the TIF Ranked List, which automatically considers projects that are included in phase one of Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan.
  • Funding for some items that were in the introduced version of HB433 are now removed from this bill and are funded through other appropriations bills, including $35M (increased from $32.5M) for active transportation, as well as additional funding for trails, outdoor recreation, open space, and state parks.

 

Summary of HB433sub2

 

HB433sub2 authorizes $1.1 billion in investments in state roads, public transportation, and active transportation, through a combination of the authorization of new bonding and the appropriation of available one-time revenues (here is a reminder about the recently updated “consensus” revenue estimates for state fiscal years 2021 and 2022).

 

As we reported to you before the legislative session began, the Governor and Legislature have been expected to authorize additional investments in infrastructure because of the historically low interest rates, a desire to support strong economic performance, and an ongoing need for transportation projects to accommodate growth.

 

Here’s a link to read more about it.

 

Also, here are stories from the Trib and DesNews about it:

https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2021/03/02/legislative-leaders-back/

 

https://www.deseret.com/utah/2021/3/2/22309776/2021-legislature-lawmakers-land-on-smaller-infrastructure-plan-construction-roads

 

 

Billboards

 

Yesterday, the Senate by voice vote removed SB144 from the calendar and struck its enacting clause, which basically means the bill failed and is dead.  Also, there has been no movement on SB61 either, so it sort of looks like the billboard bills are dead for this session.  But with these, never day never!  I’ve seen billboard bills come back late on the last night of a session and give everybody a real run, so we shall see.  Whew!

 

Three days to go!

 

 

Wilf Sommerkorn

Co-Chair, APA Utah Legislative Committee

 

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) The Clearfield FrontRunner station is shown in this July 7, 2017, file photo. Lawmakers are coming to agreement on a big investment in transit and construction after Senate Republicans turned thumbs down on a proposal to borrow $1 billion.

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