Lawmakers pass 534 bills, Guv says veto pen won’t run out of ink
The 2018 session of the Utah State Legislature wrapped up its 45-day law-making spree on March 8, passing 534 bills and a $16.7 billion budget, including bills designed to stave off ballot initiatives, while also expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income Utahns.
The session was not record breaking, but came in second in terms of both the number of bills filed (1,200) and passed. This year was only one bill shy of the record 535 bills passed in the 2017 legislative session.
Notable bills that passed this year included a $375 million bump in education funding, a narrow exception allowing terminally ill patients to try medical marijuana, a bill that would make an anticipated 60,000 Utahns eligible for Medicaid coverage, and several controversial bills dealing with the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.
Governor Herbert has until March 28 to sign or veto the bills passed, but suggested his veto pen wouldn’t run out of ink after praising lawmakers efforts.
“This may be the best legislative session I’ve been around in 12 years,” said Herbert.
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A full listing of all the bills introduced during this session can be found online at https://le.utah.gov/~2018/2018.htm.
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Promontory Point Resources withdraws Class 5 application
February 28, 2018 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
In a brief statement issued Thursday, Feb. 22, by public relations firm Richter 7, Promontory Point Resources (PPR) announced that it has withdrawn its application for a Class 5 landfill permit from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
“To ensure sufficient collaboration with the various stakeholders and to focus on effectively opening the state-of-the-art Class 1 facility this year, Promontory Point Resources has withdrawn its Class 5 permit application,” read the statement.
The statement continued that the company’s current plan now centers around three initiatives: collaboration with stakeholders to address all concerns regarding a Class 5 site; the opening and operation of the Class 1 landfill, developing a track record of “safe and compliant operation” taking Utah-generated waste; and continuing efforts at educating citizens, government leaders and interest groups to battle “misinformation” regarding the landfill, which is located on the southern tip of the Promontory peninsula.
BC man accidentally shoots himself in leg
A 21-year-old Brigham City man is recovering after accidentally shooting himself in the leg on Monday morning.
The accident happened at approximately 11:18 a.m. at a home located in the 100 South block of 400 West in Brigham City.
According to Lieutenant Chris Howard of the Brigham City Police Department, the man was loading a 9mm pistol as he prepared to take it out for the day, when he somehow managed to pull the trigger.
“The bullet went in and out of the left mid-thigh,” said Howard, who continued that the bullet exited the leg and x-rays were taken to see the extent of the damage.
Requirements of county fire sprinkler ordinance brought into question by resident
February 28, 2018 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
A Box Elder County ordinance requiring fire suppression sprinklers to be installed in new homes not served by fire hydrants was brought under fire at Wednesday’s County Commission meeting.
Brian Nelson, who is building a home not far from the Brigham City boundary at 270 North and 3000 West, appeared before the commission to make the case that the “one size fits all” ordinance shouldn’t apply in all circumstances, and needed to be amended.
Nelson said he fully expects the area where he is building his home to be annexed into Brigham City at some point in the not too distant future. He said he believes that municipal hydrants are available in the area, on Forest Street and 3000 West, but are not within what he deemed an arbitrary 500-foot limit recognized by the county fire marshall’s office.
“The county ordinance 404, nor state law, states anything about being 500 feet from a hydrant,” said Nelson. “Section B of the ordinance states that a fire suppression system is required if the structure is in an area where a public water distribution system with fire hydrants does not exist as required in Utah Code.”
Nelson went on to say that Utah Administrative Code doesn’t say anything about 500 feet either, and asked commissioners to find that requirement. He also said that entire sections of county ordinance that used to be in state code were removed in 2016, and that state code doesn’t require fire suppression systems in single family dwelling units, as his home would be.
Nelson further argued that his home is only five minutes away from the Brigham City fire station, and is actually closer to the station than homes in Perry, which is also served by Brigham City.
District nixes plans for new school due to projected enrollment declines
February 21, 2018 • Nancy Browne • Staff Writer
A new elementary school slated for Tremonton may not happen as soon as expected after the Box Elder School District Board of Education tabled approving construction bids Wednesday because the projected student population for next year doesn’t warrant the building.
Although the district must still pay nearly $1 million for design work completed so far and another $1million for infrastructure on the property, the board agreed that findings presented by Superintendent Steven Carlsen suggested putting the brakes on the project.
In a Feb. 8 letter to members of the board, Carlsen—whose contract was also renewed Wednesday by the board—noted that data provided by Assistant Superintendent Terry Jackson suggests “we are at the very least premature in building this building and even possibly wrong.”
Perry man found guilty of kidnapping, witness tampering
February 21, 2018 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
After a three-day jury trial at First District Court in Brigham City, a Perry man has been found guilty of felony kidnapping and witness tampering charges for an incident that took place in January of 2016.
It took jurors three hours to issue a verdict finding Joshua James Palmer, 40, guilty on one count of first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping and two counts of third-degree felony witness tampering. Palmer was found not guilty on one count of second-degree felony robbery.
Palmer was taken into custody by Tremonton Police at the Box Elder County Fairgrounds on Jan. 15, 2016, after his then-girlfriend, Nicole Wilson, made a 911 call from Palmer’s truck alleging she had been bound and kidnapped.
According to a report filed by Perry police officer, Kelly Zaugg, Wilson said that a “breakup fight” at her Perry apartment, which she shared with Palmer, had led to her being bound, assaulted and eventually kidnapped.
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