Grass Roots
Committed to Promoting the Principles of Limited Government, Constitution, Representative Government,
Participatory Republic, Free Market Economy, Family and Separation of Powers

Legislative Updates - 5 February 2024

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Dear Friends:

This is GrassRoots’ 3rd legislative update of this year’s General Session of the Utah State Legislature. At this time (3 weeks into the session), there are about 700 numbered bills for this session on the Utah Legislature website. Here are some bills and issues that we consider to be noteworthy.

Resolutions supporting bringing more spectator sports to Utah:

Should we invite an NHL franchise to Utah? How about Major League Baseball? How about an NFL franchise? Or should we go with a bit more of an international flavor with a rugby franchise? GrassRoots is not inclined to take a position on any of these (though individuals among us may have one preference or the other).

On each of these, we are inclined to say: “Let the free market decide. Let free individuals and associations decide, based on their own market research, hunches, gut feelings, resources, etc, whether they would like to make the investment required to bring any of these about.”

Should the Utah State Legislature encourage 1 or more of these? We are inclined to say “No”. We are concerned about both the appearance and the reality of the Legislature showing favoritism toward one group or industry over another. We believe in the principle of Equal Treatment Under The Law. Why should the Legislature favor Big Sports Business over any other business large or small? And is this the first step toward tax-dollar subsidies of Big Sports projects? We do not know. But we do know tax-dollars subsidized a baseball park in Utah in the 1990s. And this has frequently happened around the country. And we oppose such schemes as an inappropriate use of government force.

We have an idea of some of the arguments in favor of such legislative encouragement. “It will help Utah’s tourism industry.” “It will create jobs.” “It will be fun.” Also, a mere resolution may be as harmless as various other non-binding legislative resolutions recognizing individuals, groups, and organizations for their various accomplishments. “What’s the harm in saying we would like to have Major League Baseball in Utah?”

We admit these non-binding resolutions may be relatively harmless. But we also believe the Legislature should mostly avoid, “like the plague”, actions that would, or would appear to, pick winners and losers in the marketplace. GrassRoots tentatively favors a “no” vote on such resolutions.

*SJR12, “Joint Resolution Supporting a National Hockey League Franchise in Utah”, sponsored by Senator McCay and Representative Hawkins, would resolve “that the Legislature of the state of Utah supports the efforts of Smith Entertainment Group in the pursuit of bringing the National Hockey League to the great state of Utah”.

SJR12 passed the Senate 29-0 on January 29th, and awaits consideration by the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee, and is currently scheduled as Item 1 on the agenda of the Monday, February 5th, 3:40 PM meeting of the committee at 110 Senate Building.

Is this a harmless (other than time-consuming-for-the-Legislature) “we love hockey” resolution? Or a sign of a cozy, crony-capitalist relationship between the Legislature and the Smith Entertainment Group? Or is it something else? We do not know for sure. GrassRoots tentatively favors a “no” vote on SJR12.

*SCR3, “Concurrent Resolution Supporting Major League Baseball in Utah”, sponsored by Senator Fillmore and Representative Wilcox, would express “the strong support from the Legislature and the Governor to bring Major League Baseball to the great state of Utah.” Additional coverage of SCR3 may be found in our updates of January 22nd and January 29th.

SCR3 passed the Senate 26-3 on January 23rd, and the House 68-2 on Jan 31st., and awaits action by the Governor.

It is not the proper role of government to be in, or interfering in, the sports business. GrassRoots tentatively favors a veto of SCR3 by the Governor.

Other bills catching our attention this week:

*HB29, “Sensitive Material Review Amendments”, sponsored by Representative Ivory and Senator Weiler, would:

  • require the prioritization of protecting children from illicit pornography over other considerations in evaluating instructional material;
  • specify individuals who may trigger a formal sensitive material review;
  • establish certain required processes for the evaluation and review of sensitive material allegations, including distinct requirements for objective sensitive material and subjective sensitive material;
  • require the removal of certain instructional material statewide if a certain threshold of local education agencies determine that the instructional material constitutes objective sensitive material;
  • provide indemnification for claims arising from sensitive materials requirements; and
  • require the Office of the Legislative Auditor General to audit school district compliance with sensitive materials requirements.

HB29 passed the House 51-16 on Jan 30th, and awaits action by the Senate Rules Committee.

If our government is going to run a school system, then its top priority should be to “First, Do No Harm” to the children and youth in that system. And that would include keeping pornographic materials out of instructional materials and out of libraries in the government school system. The processes for triggering and conducting evaluations of sensitive materials, specified in HB29, look like reasonable steps for protecting our children from pornography within the government school system. GrassRoots tentatively favors a “yes” vote on HB29.

*SB69, “Income Tax Amendments”, sponsored by Senator Wilson and Representative Christofferson, would reduce corporate and individual income tax rates from 4.65% to 4.55%.

SB69 passed the Senate 23-6 on Jan 31st, and awaits action by the House Rules Committee.

Government in Utah is bigger than it ought to be. Taxes and spending ought to be cut. If there is any problem with SB69, it is that the tax cut may be smaller than it ought to be. Still it qualifies as a step in the right direction. GrassRoots favors a “yes” vote on SB69.

Updated status on bills covered in our last weekly update:

*HB78, “Motion Picture Incentives Amendments”, sponsored by Representative Stenquist and Senator Winterton, would repeal the sunset date that applies to certain motion picture incentives available only for rural productions. Additional coverage of HB78 may be found in our update of January 29th.

HB78 passed the House 55-18 on Feb 1st, and awaits consideration by Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee.

Picking winners and losers in the marketplace through subsidies, unequal tax treatment, and other “incentives” is not a proper role of government. GrassRoots still favors a “no” vote on HB78.

*HB164, “Digital Currency Modifications”, sponsored by Representative Clancy and Senator Kennedy, would exclude certain digital currencies, including Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) from the definition of legal tender in the state of Utah. Additional coverage of HB164 may be found in our update of January 29th.

HB164 passed the House 68-0 on January 30th, and the Senate Business and Labor Committee 3-1 on Feb 2nd, and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

It is necessary and proper for our state to resist measures to eliminate privacy in our monetary transactions. GrassRoots still favors a “yes” vote on HB164.

*SB56, “Home School Amendments”, sponsored by Senator Grover and Representative Hawkins, would remove the notary requirement on a home school affidavit. Additional coverage of SB56 may be found in our updates of January 22nd and January 29th.

SB56 passed the Senate 29-0 on Jan 29th, and awaits action by House Rules Committee.

GrassRoots still favors a “yes” vote on SB56.

If you have any questions about these bills, GrassRoots’ position on these bills, or related matters, please contact either of us or any other member of the Board of Utah GrassRoots.


Steve Stromness
Vice-Chairman, Bill Review Coordinator, Utah GrassRoots

Don Guymon
Chairman, Utah GrassRoots

PS Do you want to contact a legislator? Go to and click on “Legislators”.

Do you want to read and follow legislation yourself? Go to and click on “2024 General Session Page” then click on “2024 Bills”.

Do you have other questions about how to effectively participate in the political process? Please contact us, and we will try to help as appropriate.

Do you have friends that would appreciate this legislative update? Please feel free to forward it to them.

Would you like to help us with review of legislation in a small or large way? Consider taking a special look at bills sponsored by your own representative or senator. Please contact us with your findings and/or with any questions we might be able to help you with.

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