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Utah lawmakers face over 2 dozen items in fifth special session of year

Governor’s agenda covers multitude COVID-19 impacts as well as police training changes

Utah state Capitol building Adobe Stock

SALT LAKE CITY — Numerous issues surrounding fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic — including how budgets for every aspect of state government and education are adjusted — are on the agenda for a fifth special session of the Utah Legislature that will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Gov. Gary Herbert issued a proclamation Tuesday outlining those and other issues to be considered. The Capitol remains closed to the public, and lawmakers have the option of attending in person or by videoconference. The public can watch proceedings via the legislative website.

Coronavirus-related items include:

• Adjusting the fiscal year 2020 budget that ends June 30 and fiscal year 2021 budget that begins July 1.

• Making changes to data privacy provisions relating to the state’s response to COVID-19.

• Providing rent and mortgage assistance for individuals and small businesses affected by COVID-19.

• Modifying unemployment insurance provisions.

• Extending the COVID-19 state of emergency.

• Making changes to the Federal Funds Procedures Act and the Emergency Management Act to require notification by the governor to the Legislature before the expenditure of federal funds received during a pandemic emergency.

• Addressing the operation of the Open and Public Meetings Act during an emergency.

• Addressing governmental immunity related to exposure to COVID-19.

• Addressing exposure to bodily fluids by first responders and correctional facilities staff.

• Addressing testing for COVID-19 of staff and residents of residential care facilities.

• Establishing targeted assistance programs with Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding.

• Making adjustments to the Utah Fund of Funds.

• Addressing the transfer of reserve funds from the state health insurance pool to the state.

• Modifying Section 53F‐8‐303 to allow school districts to use revenue generated by the Capital Levy to fund the school district’s general fund for the fiscal year 2021.

• Making changes to the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program related to first responders who allege that they contracted COVID-19 during the performance of their job duties.

Other issues on the session agenda:

• Addressing certain methods of restraint by peace officers.

• Modifying alcohol policies at Salt Lake City International Airport.

• Recognizing the students graduating from high school and institutions of higher education in 2020.

• Changing private investigator residency requirements.

• Amending provisions relating to the unveiling of the statue of Martha Hughes Cannon in the U.S. Capitol and extending the repeal date of the Martha Hughes Cannon Capitol Statue Oversight Committee.

• Correcting a mistake made in SB90 amending procurement procedures from the 2020 legislative session.

• Making technical corrections to the Utah Code.

• Making changes to municipal annexation requirements.

• Providing approval of the purchase of two pieces of real property and transferring funds from the Fleet Motor Pool Fund to the State Fuel Network Fund for the purchase of the real property.

• Approving a proposed settlement agreement to resolve the hepatitis C class action lawsuit against the state and the Department of Corrections.

• Consenting to governor appointments.