SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — The Utah State Legislature has kicked off its 2022 legislative session.
On the agenda are a couple of bills that would take the power to enact COVID-19 measures by city and county officials, and consolidate that power in the hands of the state legislature.
The move to strip power from local jurisdictions has concerned democrats on the hill like State Sen. Gene Davis. He said local decisions are best made by local officials.
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“Whether it be masks, whether it be testing, whatever it is, I think local is the best to do that,” Davis said.
Despite spiking cases of the Omicron variant sweeping across the state and nation, Senate President Stuart Adams said Utah has done a good job weathering the COVID-19 storm, and added the legislature will take measures to protect people during the recent increase in cases.
“We are not sitting back, we are not doing nothing, we are doing everything we can," Adams said.
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However, State Sen. Todd Weiler said there may not be much lawmakers can do to slow the spread of Omicron.
“I think there is a slow realization that COVID is going to be with us for the rest of our lives, so we're going to have to find a path forward,” Weiler said.