Utah legislative session to tackle diverse issues

SALT LAKE CITY — The new Utah legislative session begins Monday.

One of the biggest issues lawmakers will be tackling is funding for public education. Rep. Brian King said one option for generating more money for education is to raise the state’s income tax.

Another Democratic lawmaker will be pushing to ban smoking in cars while children are present.

Rep. Todd Weiler would like to implement a mandatory helmet law.

Sen. John Valentine will propose hiking the food tax. The long-service lawmaker will also push to make some major changes to Utah’s liquor laws.

Rep. Kraig Powell wants to limit the amount of money one person or organization can donate to a candidate’s campaign. There is currently no limit on how much can be given to a candidate for state office in Utah.

Sen. Gene Davis teamed up with national and local animal welfare groups as he prepares legislation to address animal protection. He plans to introduce bills that would make cockfighting a felony, propose restrictions on the tethering of dogs and prohibit the sale of dogs in public places.

Related: Expected bills for 2013 Utah legislative session

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