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Guns, inland port and taxes on tap for Utah lawmakers as citizens hope to raise voices

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s rally day at the Capitol as three groups plan to lobby lawmakers on Thursday.

Inland port protesters are meeting at 10 a.m. to discuss their opposition to House Majority Leader Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, bill unveiled last week. HB347 cuts down the 100% tax increment the port authority would capture and also seeks to address Salt Lake City’s concern with the port authority’s land use power.

Also beginning at 10 a.m., gun rights activists are planning to gather to show their opposition to so-called “red flag” laws that would remove guns from people considered at risk of harming themselves or others.

And at 12:30 p.m., a coalition of organizations representing the poor, Utahns with disabilities, education, health care and clean air will hold a press conference calling on the Utah Legislature to avoid cutting taxes until it has developed a comprehensive plan to address the state’s top priorities.

Other bills of note in committee:

• Members of the House Education Committee are hearing HB242, which creates an initial review period before a charter school receives final approval, requires a charter school to use the same accounting methods as district schools; and deals with handling the closure of a charter school.

• The House Health and Human Services Committee will again discuss HB207 that creates an incentive for health benefit plans to reduce the required copayments for insulin.

The panel is also discussing SB67, which sets requirements for disposition of fetal remains The senate passed the bill Feb. 11 on a 22-6 vote.