The Utah Senate has passed the first clean air bill of 2014. Sen. Scott Jenkins (R) sponsored Senate Bill 99 that would require the state to purchase more natural gas, hybrid or electric vehicles.
Utah State representative Jerry Anderson, a republican from Price, has introduced a bill, HB 229, which would allow no more regulation on carbon dioxide and received national attention for his ignorant statements.
“We are short of carbon dioxide for the needs of the plants,” said Anderson at a committee hearing. “Concentrations reached 600 parts per million at the time of the dinosaurs and they did quite well. I think we could double the carbon dioxide and not have any adverse effects.”
The committee put the bill on hold though the Salt Lake Tribune noted that “Anderson’s climate change skepticism enjoyed a receptive hearing from committee members.”
Tighter enforcement on electronic cigarettes is at the heart of House Bill 112. Rep. Paul Ray (R) is calling for regulation on the popular vapor devices, similar to how tobacco products are governed. If the bill were passed, it would mark Utah as the first state to place regulation on electronic smoking devices.
A bill has been presented which will provide more accountability on the part of Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) program. Sen. Brian Shiozawa, (R) drafted Senate Bill 62 to better identify goal measuring and accountability within the program.
The $334 million initiative began in March 2006, providing funding to Utah’s research universities. The goal of the USTAR program was to create new, higher paying jobs within new technology startups.
The Utah Senate has passed the Higher Budget Funding bill to the governor on Feb. 7. According to le.ut.gov, it is still under consideration by the governor.