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DAVIS LAWMAKERS GIVE '92 SESSION GOOD MARKS

The 1992 session of the Utah Legislature went well, lawmakers from Davis County said Wednesday at their annual post-session meeting with county government officials.

Four of the priority items listed by the Davis Council of Governments last fall received attention, and the new weekly caucus meeting between COG members and legislators opened new avenues of communication, according to Rep. Nancy Lyon, R-Bountiful.The Truth in Taxation law was amended to allow cities and counties to reap benefits of growth and increased property values without advertising a property tax increase, and sales tax revenue will now be collected and distributed monthly, lawmakers said.

And, despite a close call at the end, the school district capital spending equalization bill was passed and allowed to become law, although court challenges may hold it up. That legislation will benefit building projects for Davis schools.

Some funding was appropriated for the construction of the Antelope Island causeway (see related story) and more could be coming in the next session to open the state park, perhaps by 1993.

One item on the county's priority list - improvements in the I-15 and U.S. 89 transportation corridor - didn't fare as well, legislators reported.

"I feel very good about the session. There was greater cohesiveness and greater unity among the county's delegation," Lyon said. "The weekly caucus with local government officials made us more effective legislators and greater advocates for the county."

Rep. Joe Hull, D-Hooper, whose district overlaps Davis and Weber counties, said the Davis-area delegation gained in power while the Weber legislators fractured, losing some of their clout.

The Weber lobbying effort was guided by the Ogden Chamber of Commerce, and many local government concerns didn't get aired, Hull said, warning the COG members against drifting the same direction.

Rep. Kim Burninghman, R-Bountiful, said the last chapter hasn't been written yet on the school district equalization bill. Gov. Norm Bangerter allowed it to become law without his signature. Two school districts are considering a court challenge, Burningham said.

If it stays in effect, Burningham predicted, the law could free up an additional $3 million statewide in funding its first year, of which about $500,000 could come to Davis schools.