Liquor bills pass as Utah lawmakers rush to end legislative session

SALT LAKE CITY — With Utah’s current legislative session set to end Friday, lawmakers were busy in the House and Senate with a variety of bills:


The Legislature has approved a bill allowing “Wine of the Month” club memberships in Utah, but there’s a catch: Residents still have to pay the state-mandated cost plus an 88% markup. In addition to this, the wine must be picked up at a local DABC store. The bill now goes to Governor Spencer Cox for his signature or veto.


The Omnibus Liquor Bill authorized the Utah State Legislature, which means some popular hard seltzer will be pulled from convenience and grocery store shelves because they don’t meet Utah’s legal definition of beer. However, 10 bar licenses will be released as part of an overhaul of hotel and resort licensing, which will help alleviate a problem that even the DABC commission has complained about. The lack of bar licenses is something the legislature has refused to fix, even after complaints from businesses, the commission and the governor.


The Legislature has given final approval to a food truck licensing bill that does much more than that. The bill also contains a provision blocking the enforcement of a noise ordinance related to business licenses for ATV and ORV rental stores, which impacts the Grand County and Moab area. The bill was amended to preserve Moab’s noise and curfew ordinance, and block business licensing.


A major election security bill has been approved by the legislature, putting security cameras on drop boxes, along with new rules to secure ballots and tabulation, as well as annual ballot tabulation audits. voters. Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, who has criticized other voting bills in the Legislative Assembly, is supporting this one, which is now heading for the governor’s office.


The legislature has approved a bill to try to reduce food insecurity in Utah. Senate Minority Whip Luz Escamilla’s bill creates an office at Utah State University to address the problem of people who do not have adequate access to food. This is something that has become a bigger issue during the COVID-19 pandemic.


For residents who have already been evicted, the legislature is creating a way to erase it from their records. Provo Rep. Marsha Judkins introduced an expungement bill that cleared the House and Senate and now goes to Governor Cox for his signature or veto.


The Legislature approved a bill giving 18% of sales tax revenue to the state to enhance outdoor recreation experiences. Paradise Rep. Casey Snider’s bill helps with infrastructure, which has been a particular strain on Utah with more and more people going outdoors during the pandemic.

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