Hillyard: issues with Rio Grande are not isolated to Salt Lake City

FILE - This Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, people gather near the downtown Rio Grande emergency shelter, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Wednesday’s special session of the Utah legislature did what it was intended to do, according to Utah Republican Senator Lyle Hillyard of Logan. Lawmakers passed bills that he hopes will help Operation Rio Grande deal with crime and improve homeless services in downtown Salt Lake City.

Sen. Hillyard says Ogden representatives noted there is a problem in that city as well.

“St. George says they’re having problems with people coming down there,” Hillyard continues. “It’s kind of like pushing down on a balloon, you push down in one place and it pops up someplace else.

“It’s not something we can handle in just one fail swoop. It requires a long time commitment to try to solve the problem. For those who have been down there looking at the problem it was something that we had to do.”

Among the bills passed on Wednesday are those that would fund fencing off the streets, also employing more people to help with mental health and medical care.

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