Charter school zoning, wild horses, wildfire suppression among items on Vickers’ agenda this session

Sen. Evan Vickers, Republican, District 28, Cedar City, Utah | Image by St. George News

CEDAR CITY – As this year’s legislative session unfolds, lawmakers are considering legislation and proposing their own along the way. Among them is Republican Sen. Evan Vickers who represents Beaver and Iron counties and the Eastern part of Washington County.

Now serving his sixth year in the in the Legislature, Vickers offers thoughts on current issues facing the state, as well as keeping constituents apprised of pending legislation he plans to introduce as the session progress:

Let me update you on a few pieces of legislation I’m running this year.

Senate Bill 29School Planning and Zoning Process came about due to a situation that arose in Washington City during construction of a charter school there. Nine years ago when legislation was passed to implement the construction of charter schools, those schools were listed as permitted use in any zone, where traditional public schools have to go through a conditional use process. This worked fairly well when there weren’t many charter schools, but now with so many throughout the state and even more being constructed, the local government entities and residents feel they don’t have enough say in the process. SB 29 will allow the local government and citizens more input into the process. This bill is a product of many meetings and discussions with the various stakeholders to find a good solution to the problem.

Senate Joint Resolution 7 – Joint Resolution on Wild Horses and Burros is legislation that allows a process to be set up where the state will implement a management plan if and when the federal government gives the state authority to do so.  I have been working in cooperation with Congressman Chris Stewart’s office, and received a letter from the Congressman in support of this effort.

Senate Bill 56 – Wildland Fire Policy is a product of almost two years of work with the State Forester Brian Cottam, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, the Utah State Fire Chiefs Association, the Utah Association of Counties and others to develop a policy as to how we can better prevent and suppress wildland fires in our state. Over time this new policy will save the state millions of dollars in spending.

Included in the many other issues I’m working on is funding to implement the Utah State Prairie Dog Management Plan.  This is in response to the court ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson in November 2014 regarding the lawsuit from Pacific Legal Foundation representing the People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO).   As I get new information I will keep you updated.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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