Cache County keeping a close eye on Utah legislative actions

Local legislators will be meeting with local residents Saturday morning and it will be the last time because there is only one more week in the current legislative session. Cache County Executive Craig Buttars says the public meeting starts at 7:30 a.m. in the Cache County Administrative Building’s multi-purpose room.

He says anyone interested is invited to attend and there will be a question-answer period.

Buttars says the big issue this session seems to be the governor’s Healthy Utah health care plan. Buttars says the county has a special interest in House Bill 348, the Justice Reinvestment Act.

“That is going to change the way we deal with drug offenses,” Buttars says. “We are going to be doing more rehabilitation and working with drug offenses in the counties so we are very interested in seeing how that is funded.”

Buttars says part of the funding would come through the Healthy Utah Act.

Buttars is also cautiously optimistic about the county’s chances of getting some transportation money before the current session of the Utah Legislature ends. He says the county has huge road maintenance needs, and little money in the budget to get the work done.

Buttars says both the Utah House and Senate have made proposals.

“The House proposal indexes the fuel tax to inflation so that it would gradually increase,” explains Buttars. “The House proposal is actually a certain percentage of the price of fuel. It has a floor and it has a ceiling on it.

“That’s quite a bit different than the Senate proposal which was a .10 cents per gallon fuel tax.”

In Buttars’ words, “We’ll take what we can get.” But he says the council hopes for a lot of flexibility in how the road money can be used.

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