FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2022
Salt Lake City, UT – Today, on the first day of the 45-day General Legislative Session, the Senate passed S.J.R. 3, Joint Resolution to Terminate Public Health Order Issued by Salt Lake County Health Department, (Senator Dan McCay, R). In order to rush the bill through, GOP leadership accelerated the timeline of this bill so that it would be debated and voted on without a public hearing or opportunity to give public comment.
Katie Matheson, deputy director of Alliance for a Better Utah, issued the following statement in response:
“Utahns want to be free to live their lives safely, but for almost two years COVID-19 has brought immeasurable harm to our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Last year, Utah lawmakers foolishly declared the pandemic over and insisted that only local leaders could make emergency orders for their communities. Only one year later, our case counts are higher than they’ve ever been, our hospitals are overrun and understaffed, medical workers are burned out, schools lack sufficient teachers, and the burden of this virus is being carried by all Utahns across the state. Legislative leaders are actively tying the hands of local leaders who are working hard everyday to protect their residents.
“Our hospitals, schools, and businesses are in a crisis. Even though they profess to dislike this crisis and want to get it over with, lawmakers, legislative leadership, and Governor Cox are prolonging and worsening this crisis by tying the hands of those who are on the ground trying to take commonsense actions to protect our communities’ health and safety.”
Alliance for a Better Utah is a nonprofit that holds politicians accountable and advocates for progressive policies that make Utah an even better place. The organization improves the lives of all Utahns through advocacy, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.