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Legislators discuss rural issues with press

Sen. David Hinkins (left) and Reps. Christine Watkins and John Mathis discuss legislative issues with the press Friday at the Capitol.

By JOHN SERFUSTINI
Sun Advocate reporter

Closure of some Utah state parks is not on the table as a way of cutting back on state spending, according to Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal.

Mathis told members of the Utah Press Association Friday that the parks are too important to rural Utah and there are alternatives to outright closure. It may be necessary to curtail operating hours in some parks, or have seasonal closings in others.

In other comments of interest to Southeastern Utah and Castle Country, Sen. David Hinkins and Rep. Christine Watkins said that a bill designed to protect cities like Wellington and Helper from drastic losses of revenue is moving along.

Those two cities have experienced losses because of a legislative action three years ago that exempted certain mining equipment from sales tax.

HB 125, the Community Impact Alleviation Amendments, has been sponsored in the House by Watkins.

She said the finishing touches are being put on the wording.

Her bill to designate October as Italian-American month in Utah has cleared both houses and is awaiting the governor's signature.

A resolution supporting efforts to honor the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II and document their contributions had cleared the House. as of Friday. On Wednesday, the Senate passed HJR 9 and the bll is ready to be enrolled.




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