Bills from Utah State legislature will impact San Juan County
The 45-day Utah legislative session came to a conclusion on Friday, March 4. Hundreds of bills passed and billions of dollars were budgeted by the 75 members of the Utah House of Representatives and the 29 members of the Utah State Senate.
While the San Juan Record cannot claim complete comprehensive coverage of the entire session and how it will impact San Juan County, we can bring you what we believe are the most relevant items from the session.
Finalized during the final days of the session, the $25 billion budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 has a few projects of particular interest to San Juan County.
Among the budgeted items passed includes $5 million toward a proposed new Utah State University education building in Monument Valley.
Another $400,000 is set aside to update the capital facilities improvement plan associated with the Utah Navajo Water Settlement.
The settlement between Utah, the United States, and the Navajo Nation will see $220 million from the federal government and $8 million from Utah for projects in the Navajo Nation portion of Utah. They will include drinking water access in isolated and underserved communities.
The Utah Division of Water Rights claims the project could begin as soon as 2023. The $400,000 will be used for community planning to maximize efficiency in building infrastructure to deliver water to Utah Navajo.
Another project seeing funding is $100,000 for planning for the North Lake Powell Accord. The accord includes San Juan, Wayne, Garfield and Kane counties. They all have an interest in developing infrastructure needs and opportunities for northern Lake Powell.
Other funding includes for projects with indirect impacts on San Juan County, including $2 million in ongoing funds to support Domestic Violence Shelters, including the Gentle Ironhawk Shelter in Blanding.
Another project with potential impact to San Juan County is an $80 million one-time small school critical capital needs fund. The funds will be available for the smallest populated counties in the state to apply for school building needs.
A total of $12 million in ongoing film incentives also passed in the form of SB49. The bill incentivizes filming in rural Utah by providing up to $12 million in tax incentives to those who film 75 percent or more of a film in rural Utah.
San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams reported in a recent commission meeting that Kevin Costner has indicated an interest in making as many as five films in San Juan County.
A total of $25 million in one-time funding will go to rural drinking water projects, in addition to $20.5 million in Utah Education and Telehealth Network projects, $16 million in one-time funding to the Colorado River Authority, $1.45 million in one-time funding for a rural county grant program, $135,000 for the murdered and missing indigenous women and girls taskforce, and $69,000 for a state program documenting rock art in Utah.