Utah State Legislature Calls Virtual Special Session
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – State leaders have called a special session of the Utah State Legislature to address pressing issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The session, which may last up to 10 days — the maximum allowed under the state constitution — will be the legislature’s first-ever virtual session. It will begin on April 16.
Officials said they will re-examine the state’s budget and address critical issues to meet Utah’s needs during the outbreak.
“We are working together to achieve the most favorable outcomes in our state’s fight against the virus, protecting Utah’s families as well as Utah’s businesses,” said Senate President J. Stuart Adams. “Utah is nationally recognized as one of the states best-prepared to handle unexpected situations. As a state, we don’t just sit back and wait. We always look for options on how to conquer problems. Our private and public sectors have joined forces to win this battle together. As we navigate these unprecedented times, we are committed to finding innovative solutions to do what is in the best interest of all Utahns. Together, we will get through this.”
Among those needs will be formally accepting emergency federal funding, extending the deadline to submit state taxes to July 15, ensuring access to medication and preparing for the state’s primary election in June.
Officials with the Utah State Tax Commission previously said any changes to the state’s sales tax deadline would have to come through a special session of the legislature.
“In this regard, we have been asked by legislative leadership, with concurrence of the governor’s office, to defer any action on addressing COVID-19 impacts on sales tax until after the legislature can meet in special session later this month,” they said.
Lawmakers will also discuss “protocols, requirements, and processes to guide the state toward economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 emergency” and end-of-year testing for schools.
A full list of items to be considered can be found in a joint proclamation issued Friday evening by Adams and Wilson.
Officials said proposed legislation will be made available online in advance. They encouraged Utahns to participate by submitting inquiries and feedback directly to their representatives or by commenting on legislation here.
“We are navigating uncharted territory as a state and as a nation,” said House Speaker Brad Wilson. “The good news is that thanks to our sound fiscal practices and long-term commitment to rainy day savings, Utah is better equipped to handle a crisis of this magnitude than almost any other state. We are also witnessing remarkable leadership and collaboration between public and private sector organizations dedicated to seeing us through this challenge as quickly and safely as possible.”
Floor proceedings will be streamed on the legislative website and broadcast on television on KUEN channel 9, thanks to a partnership with Utah Education Network.
Speaker @BradWilsonGOP and I, in coordination with the @GovHerbert, issued a proclamation to call the Legislature into a special session. We are working together to achieve the most favorable outcomes in our state's fight against the virus. https://t.co/UfS2akCB9r #utpol #utleg pic.twitter.com/1SaBspERA5
— Stuart Adams (@JStuartAdams) April 14, 2020
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