Utah governor calls for legislative special session to address flooding

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox in Salt Lake City on April 13. The governor called Friday for the Utah Legislature to hold a Special Session.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox in Salt Lake City on April 13. The governor called Friday for the Utah Legislature to hold a Special Session. (Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox declared a special session for the Utah Legislature to address flooding, the reallocation of funds for flooding mitigation and to consider amendments for a firearm bill.

Cox said in his declaration he is calling for the special session because "certain matters have arisen which require immediate legislative attention." The session will be held on May 17 at 4 p.m.

The first item of business will be to consider extending the state of emergency that was issued on April 18 to address flooding in Utah communities. Because of continued flooding, landslides, mudslides and other impacts from melting snowpack, Cox wants to extend the state of emergency, he said in his declaration.

The special session will also consider reallocating funds in the 2023 and 2024 budgets to address costs of snow removal, flooding, flood response and mitigation and all other costs associated with the state of emergency.

House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, said in a separate statement, "As temperatures continue to warm, we must prepare for increased flooding. Extending the current state of emergency will allow sufficient time for the reaction, repair and restoration phases that will need to occur on both the state and local levels due to this historic flooding. I look forward to meeting with my colleagues in the upcoming special session to plan and prepare for the needs of our state at this time."

Lastly, the session will look at amendments on HB225 from the 2023 general session, which discusses firearms restrictions and possession.

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Cassidy Wixom covers Utah County communities and is the evening breaking news reporter for KSL.com.


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