LOCAL NEWS

Cox calls special session of Legislature on Juneteenth, drawing criticism from NAACP leader

Jun 14, 2024, 4:44 PM | Updated: Jun 16, 2024, 11:46 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has called state lawmakers into a special legislative session beginning Wednesday.

The announcement prompted criticism from an NAACP Salt Lake leader, who questioned the timing of the special session, calling it a “political campaign stunt.”

Cox issued a proclamation Friday, stating, “Certain matters have arisen which require immediate legislative attention.” The special session will begin Wednesday at 4 p.m. Although Wednesday is commemorated nationally as Juneteenth National Independence Day, Utah’s state holiday to commemorate the ending of slavery in the U.S. falls on Monday.

NAACP leader responds

NAACP Salt Lake President Jeanetta Williams in a statement noted that Juneteenth holiday “is considered the ‘longest-running African American holiday’ and has been called ‘America’s second Independence Day.'” She pointed to the holiday’s origin, when troops went to Galveston Bay, Texas, two years after President Abraham Lincoln emancipated slaves in America, and told slaves there they were free.

She pointed to Cox’s support of the bill passed by Utah legislators this year that effectively ended diversity, equity and inclusion programs in government entities, including schools — a bill that has drawn criticism from some who worry about impacts on students of color and others who have traditionally benefited from such programs.

Williams contended that the governor “has no interest about diversity and issues facing the minority communities.”

Issues to be considered during special session

Lawmakers will meet, in part, to try to stop a federal rule from going into effect in the state that would expand Title IX antidiscrimination to include gender identity and sexual orientation. The Utah Legislature passed a bill earlier this year restricting restroom access to transgender people in schools and other government buildings.

Under another recently passed bill, SB57, lawmakers in Utah can prohibit state employees from enforcing federal directives “within the state if the Legislature determines the federal directive violates the principles of state sovereignty.”

A resolution to push back on the Department of Education rule would be the first use of Utah’s sovereignty law. Text of the likely resolution has not yet been made public.

According to the proclamation, lawmakers will meet for the following:

 

  1. To consider amendments to SB161, energy security amendments, from the 2024 general session, and amendments related to the Project Entity Oversight Committee.
  2. To take action under SB57, Utah Constitutional Sovereignty Act, from the 2024 general session, with respect to the U.S. Department of Education’s new Title IX regulations slated to take effect on Aug. 1.
  3. To consider amendments to provisions of the Utah Code related to statutory repeal dates, including completing the standardization the Legislature adopted during the 2024 general session for Title 63I, Chapter 1, Part 2, repeal dates requiring committee review by title, and Title 63I, Chapter 2, Part 2, repeal dates by title.
  4. To consider the following actions related to countering federal overreach on public lands in the state of Utah: reallocating existing appropriations, making statutory amendments and facilitating public outreach efforts.
  5. To consider amendments to provisions of the Utah Code related to participation by exchange students in the statewide online education program.
  6. To consider amendments to provisions of the Utah Code related to SB221, school district amendments, from the 2024 general session.
  7. For the Senate to consent to appointments made by the governor.

 

Contributing: Ashley Imlay

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A former San Juan County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of child sex abuse. (San...

Daniel Woodruff

Former Utah sheriff’s deputy arrested in child sex abuse case

A former San Juan County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of child sex abuse.

2 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden participates in a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House, Dec. 2...

Mary Culbertson and Mark Jones

Utah leadership reacts to Biden’s decision to drop out of the 2024 presidential race

Following President Biden's announcement that he would stop his reelection campaign, leaders in Salt Lake City offered their thoughts.

4 hours ago

FILE -The Lucin Cutoff is seen in a flight over the Great Salt Lake on April 9, 2024. (Scott G Wint...

Mary Culbertson

Plane goes down in field near Great Salt Lake

A plane went down in a Weber County field. Authorities said there were no injuries.

4 hours ago

A man and young girl were injured following a motorcycle accident on Tuesday....

Mary Culbertson

One dead after semitruck, RV collided on I-70 in Grand County

One person is dead after a semitruck and an RV collided on I-70 near the Colorado border.

5 hours ago

West Valley City firefighters on the parking lot of the strip mall....

Mary Culbertson

33 Utah firefighters to deploy in Oregon through emergency compact law

Thirty-three firefighters are being deployed to Oregon through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

5 hours ago

Adre Seldon Jr. is pictured in his gear ahead of the Utah State University 2024 football season. (U...

Mary Culbertson

USU mourning loss of student-athlete whose body was found in Porcupine Reservoir

The body of a football player at Utah State University was found after he had been diving at a reservoir and didn't resurface.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Cox calls special session of Legislature on Juneteenth, drawing criticism from NAACP leader