LOCAL NEWS

Gov. Cox signs Dixie State name change and new congressional district maps into law 

Nov 12, 2021, 4:11 PM | Updated: 4:49 pm
FILE: The Utah State Capitol (Jason Olson, Deseret News Archives)...
FILE: The Utah State Capitol (Jason Olson, Deseret News Archives)
(Jason Olson, Deseret News Archives)

SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Spencer Cox signed two bills into law Friday, one that changed the name for Dixie State University to Utah Tech and a second bill that redraws the state’s congressional district maps. 

Both bills were the result of much contentious debate during this week’s special session at the state legislature. 

UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY 

Dixie State University is now officially Utah Tech University after the governor signed HB2001 into law Friday afternoon. 

The new name surfaced after a lengthy process to replace Dixie State which was often mistakenly associated with the U.S. Deep South and slavery outside of Utah. 

There was resistance to the change, with residents citing “heritage” as one of the reasons to retain the name they claim is regionally significant and historic. The vote from Utah’s Senate joined earlier approval by the state’s House, both controlled by Republicans. Cox is also a Republican. 

REDISTRICTING MAPS 

Cox also signed HB2004 into law that designated the state’s new congressional districts. 

Democrats expressed disappointment earlier this week with how quickly the Republican-led legislature approved the new maps and sent them to Cox for his signature. Many citizens were also angry and spoke against the change before it was finalized and then protested the selection.

The group Better Boundaries said the maps were heavily gerrymandered and that it will consider legal and legislative options to get the maps repealed and replaced.  

“We are extremely disappointed the Legislative Redistricting Committee decided to forward maps that don’t meet what Utahns want, which is keeping Utah’s cities and counties intact and keeping politics out of redistricting,” Katie Wright from Better Boundaries said. 

House Speaker Brad Wilson said they are selecting maps that best serve the state, while Democrats said they will do what they can to change them.  

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Gov. Cox signs Dixie State name change and new congressional district maps into law