Utah’s 2019 Legislative session ended on March 14. Perhaps now the 104 legislators and Capitol Hill staff can breathe a sigh of relief. The jam-packed 45-day session included numerous bills that affect economic development in rural Utah.

Here’s an overview of a few:

HB276 – Rural Economic Development Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Watkins and Sen. Hinkins
Creates the Rural Rapid Manufacturing Grant Program to be administered by GOED’s Office of Rural Development.  

HB296 – Rural Online Working Hubs Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Albrecht and Sen. Okerlund
Creates the Rural Online Working Hubs grant program, to be administered by GOED’s Office of Rural Development.

HB84 Economic Development Programs Amendments
Sponsored by Rep. Watkins and Sen. Hinkins
Changes Rural Fast Track (RFT) employee “lookback” period to 12 months from 24 months. Eliminates the $30,000 cap on Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) contracts.

HB110Rural Economic Development Incentives
Sponsored by Rep. Albrecht and Sen. Okerlund
Changes Rural Economic Development Incentive (REDI) – required 125 percent wage to be paid at the end of 12 months and increases the total annual award limit to $250,000.

HB50 – County Classification Changes
Sponsored by Rep. Wilde and Sen. Winterton
Delays action by the Lt. Gov. in changing a county’s classification to after July 1, 2021.

SB34 – Affordable Housing Modifications
Sponsored by Rep. Potter and Sen. Anderegg
Modifies the reporting and requirements of certain municipalities and counties related to the moderate-income housing plan element of their general plan. Also addresses provisions related to the use of Transportation Investment Fund money and provisions related to the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund Board.