SALT LAKE CITY — It was a mixed bag for local issues during the 2019 legislative session — with efforts to place new requirements on cities to plan for affordable housing, to bills that would limit laws regulating gravel pits and plastic bags.

While some of those bills survived the session, others fell flat.

A high-priority affordable housing bill — backed by housing and advocates for the homeless, as well as developers — ultimately passed the Utah Legislature, but only after its $24 million fiscal note was wiped to $0 the last night of the session.

Absent of any additional money to pump into a state fund used for loans and grants to help develop moderate income housing, SB34 cleared the House and Senate on Thursday.

Its sponsor, Sen. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, said the money was a “casualty” of tax reform wrangling that complicated the budget, and he planned to revisit the issue during the Legislature’s summer special session.

Though Anderegg was “disappointed,” he said the bill was still a major step to encourage affordable housing through new policy.

If signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, SB34 will encourage more cities to pave the way for affordable housing in their communities by leveraging their eligibility for about $700 million in state transportation funds.

Another affordable housing bill, HB386, which would have allocated $20 million for affordable housing preservation, was lowered to $3 million but still failed in a Senate committee.

State vs. local control

Last year’s battle over the inland port continued, as did the divide between Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the City Council over the issue.

Biskupski went to war, filing a lawsuit challenging the very existence of the port authority. Meanwhile, the City Council worked to tweak and later endorsed HB433, a bill that allows the port to expand its …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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