Despite big push to address housing crunch, Utah Legislature strips $24 million from affordable housing bill

SALT LAKE CITY — It was a combined bag for native points in the course of the 2019 legislative session — with efforts to put new necessities on cities to plan for reasonably priced housing, to bills that may restrict laws regulating gravel pits and plastic luggage.

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

A excessive-priority reasonably priced housing invoice — backed by housing and advocates for the homeless, as well as developers — finally passed the Utah Legislature, however only after its $24 million fiscal observe was wiped to $0 the final night time of the session.

Absent of any further cash to pump right into a state fund used for loans and grants to help develop average revenue housing, SB34 cleared the Home and Senate on Thursday.

Its sponsor, Sen. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, stated the cash was a “casualty” of tax reform wrangling that difficult the price range, and he planned to revisit the difficulty in the course of the Legislature’s summer time particular session.

Although Anderegg was “disillusioned,” he stated the bill was still a serious step to encourage reasonably priced housing by way of new policy.

If signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, SB34 will encourage more cities to pave the best way for reasonably priced housing of their communities by leveraging their eligibility for about $seven hundred million in state transportation funds.

Another reasonably priced housing invoice, HB386, which might have allocated $20 million for reasonably priced housing preservation, was lowered to $3 million but nonetheless failed in a Senate committee.

State vs. local management

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

Biskupski went to warfare, filing a lawsuit challenging the very existence of the port authority. In the meantime, the City Council worked to tweak and later endorsed HB433, a bill that permits the port to increase its reach into even the furthest corners of the state, where rural areas need to associate to maximise exports of coal, oil or alfalfa. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

Different payments exerting state energy over cities made their approach by way of the session but either have been watered-down or fizzled.

One bill, HB288, prompted a stir in cities, together with Draper, where residents breathe dust of gravel pits because it might have created safety zones for gravel operations. Beforehand, the bill would have taken away native governments’ energy to manage the pits, however earlier than it cleared the Senate and Home late Thursday night time, it was scaled again considerably to provide cities extra say.

A renewed effort from last yr’s failed try to dam cities like Park Metropolis from banning plastic luggage gained some traction however finally stalled after it was actually shouted down on the House flooring — twice. Two voice votes and division vote of 43-32 blocked the invoice from even being debated.

There was one other small win for cities in the course of the 2019 session when Rep. Patrice Arent,…

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