CEDAR CITY – Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson signed a total of 56 bills into law in Cedar City on Monday afternoon, with many of them focused on or significantly impacting rural Utah.
The ceremonial signings took place on the Southern Utah University campus, where the governor’s rural office is located.
Several legislators, most of whom had sponsored or co-sponsored one or more of the bills, attended Monday’s signing event, including Rep. Carl Albrecht, Rep. Scott Chew, Sen. Luz Escamilla, Sen. David Hinkins, Sen. Don Ipson, Rep. Steven Lund, Rep. Ashlee Matthews, Sen. Derrin Owens, Sen. Lowry Snow and Sen. Evan Vickers.
“These legislative partners represent the interests of their communities and all Utahns admirably,” Cox said in a news release issued by the governor’s office. “We thank them for their service and look forward to continuing to serve Utahns together through meaningful and productive legislation.”
Immediately following the event, Rep. Albrecht spoke to Cedar City News about one of his sponsored bills Rural Economic Development Tax Increment Financing, designated HB 356 in the 2021 Utah Legislature.
“This bill was probably one of the best bills that was passed in the session this year,” Albrecht said. “The governor will tell you that as well as the lieutenant governor. We hope that it does the things for Utah that we think it will.”
Albrecht said the legislation provides tax incentives to companies looking to expand into rural Utah.
“It provides tax incentive credit to any company out of state, in state, maybe Wasatch Front, that wants to move to rural Utah, or an existing company that wants to upgrade,” he explained. “If they spend up to $250,000, in a county on fourth, fifth or sixth class, which is your rural counties, then they’ll get a tax incentive of 50% of that. And that’s huge for rural Utah.”
Henderson agreed as she thanked Albrecht for his efforts.
“We are really grateful to Rep. Albrecht for his incredibly hard work on this bill,” Henderson said. “He was a champion.”
Sen. Derrin Owens, who served as the bill’s Senate sponsor, said the bill is the culmination of various efforts that have been in the works for a number of years.
“It brings industry, investment, jobs and stability to our rural neighborhoods,” Owens told Cedar City News. “And I couldn’t be more proud of this bill because now it’ll allow some of the rural community partners to keep their children home instead of having them be our exports.”
The bill met very little opposition when it came to a vote, passing in the Utah House by a vote of 72-2 and in the Senate 25-2.
The 56 bills signed by Cox and Henderson on Monday brings the total number of bills signed into law to 446 since the legislature session ended March 5. The governor has until Thursday to sign any remaining bills on his desk.
To see an electronic copy of Monday’s press release, which includes a list of all 56 pieces of legislation, with links to their respective pages on the Utah Legislature website, click here.
For a complete list of contacts for Southern Utah representatives and senators, click here.
Check out all of St. George News’ coverage of the 2021 Utah Legislature here.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.