RELEASE: Party of Local Control? Utah Republicans Unilaterally Overrule Local Leaders and Health Departments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ben Anderson, Communications Director

Phone: +1 (801) 830-0645

Email: press@utdem.org

PARTY OF LOCAL CONTROL? UTAH REPUBLICANS UNILATERALLY OVERRULE LOCAL LEADERS AND HEALTH DEPARTMENTS

 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, January 21, 2022 — On Tuesday, the very first day of the 2022 Legislative Session, the Utah Senate suspended the rules to pass S.J.R. 3, a rushed and irresponsible measure to overrule local health departments and elected officials in Salt Lake County and Summit County, and the Utah House followed suit today. Despite claiming to be the “party of local control,” Utah Republicans seem intent on using their supermajority to push aside local elected officials and health departments whenever they do something that GOP leadership doesn’t like.

“This resolution is a complete and total affront to the role of local elected officials in making decisions that are right for their communities,” said Utah Democratic Party Chair Diane Lewis. “With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing across the state, leaders in Salt Lake and Summit Counties, as well as Salt Lake City, used the authority given to them by the legislature just last year to institute temporary mask mandates, at the recommendation of local health departments, that will help mitigate the ongoing public health crisis. But Republicans at the Capitol decided that they know better than the experts and local leaders, and they bypassed the usual committee process to unilaterally impose their will on the people of Utah without even allowing a public hearing on the issue. The Republican Party cannot be trusted to respect the decisions of voters and the local leaders they’ve elected.”

Democrats in the House and Senate spoke out strongly against S.J.R. 3, pointing out that, by overruling public health measures meant to keep people safe, Republicans in the legislature would be putting further strain on our already struggling hospitals, schools, and local businesses. Make no mistake: this rash and ill-informed decision by the Republican supermajority will have real, adverse impacts on communities across Summit and Salt Lake Counties, and the Utah Democratic Party opposes it in the strongest possible terms.

The Utah Democratic Party is the face and voice of Democrats in the State of Utah. We believe that Utahns deserve strong, competent leadership that puts the people and democracy first. 

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For more information, contact Ben Anderson at press@utdem.org or +1 (801) 830-0645.