Utah House passes tweaked bill loosening restrictions on local anti-idling ordinances

Utah House passes tweaked bill loosening restrictions on local anti-idling ordinances

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SALT LAKE CITY — After a previous version of the bill failed in front of a committee, the Utah House of Representatives voted Tuesday to approve a watered-down bill to allow cities slightly more power to enforce anti-idling ordinances.

The previous version of HB148 would have repealed provisions of Utah law that the bill's sponsor, Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, said renders local idle-free ordinances virtually toothless, including the requirement that police give violators three warnings before they can issue a citation.

Because warnings are impossible to track, Arent argued the rule overly restricts cities and attempted to remove that requirement but was met with pushback from some lawmakers in the House.

After Arent revised the bill to keep a one-warning requirement, it advanced out of a House committee to the House floor.

"Vehicle emissions, as we know, cause almost half of our air pollution, and idling is a significant problem," Arent said, noting that other states have made efforts to allow anti-idling restrictions.

"No state has made it more difficult for local governments to restrict idling," Arent said.

The Legislature in 2012 passed a law to restrict what cities can or can't do to outlaw idling after Salt Lake City enacted its anti-idling ordinance.

The new version of HB148 was met with some resistance from the full House but passed with a 40-29 vote. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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Katie McKellar

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