Electricity was in the air at 10:00 AM today as representatives from Utah’s numerous cities, counties and townships as well as the Utah League of Cities and Towns, The Association of Community Councils Together, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, Utah Association of Special Districts, Rio Tinto, and members of the general public all converged on the Senate floor and gallery. They came to show their support for Senator Karen Mayne’s S.B. 73 – Unincorporated Areas Amendments. The bill gives citizens of townships a higher degree of self-determination, allowing them to either join a city, or resist being annexed into a city, depending on the will of the people. Senator Mayne worked to formulate a compromise amongst individuals from the cities, counties, and townships for months, until finally reaching an agreement with everyone this week.
S.B. 73 passed the Senate unanimously with 19 co-sponsors. The other senators spoke about how this would help benefit their own constituents, and complimented Senator Mayne on bringing everyone together. As Senate Minority Leader Pat Jones exclaimed, “This has been a very arduous process. I have to tell you this is a huge issue in the Millcreek area that I represent…I really appreciate what Senator Mayne has done on this. She has worked tirelessly.”
S.B. 73 not only received praise from Democrats, but also reached across party lines. Senator Niederhauser stated, “I also applaud those who have worked on this. In my senate district, I probably have more county islands than any other senate district in the Salt Lake Valley – one of which is near and dear to me, the Granite area. So I appreciate what Senator Mayne has done and all of those that have worked on this.”
Senator Mayne also complimented all of those who came together: “I would just like to thank all of the people that are involved with this. It has taken skill, it has taken patience, and it has taken love to make this happen. All of these people from all over the valley have come together for this common purpose.”
After the senators voted on the bill, Senate President Michael Waddoups stated, “First substitute Senate bill 73 having received twenty-six yea votes, zero nay votes, and three being absent passes this body under suspension of the rules and is the best bill in the Universe.” S.B. 73 will now move to the House where Representative Greg Hughes will be the floor sponsor.