State Government Overreach

In 2015, members of the Utah Legislature got the impression that cities in Utah had outlawed short-term rentals like Air BNB. In response, they proposed legislation that would make it unlawful for communities to restrict short-term rental in Utah. The problem was, however, that most city councils in Utah had done nothing to restrict short-term rentals. The few that had restricted rentals had done so sparingly and in response to voice of their community.

Fortunately, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, along with mayors and city councilmen across the state intervened, and a compromise was made that preserved the local authority over zoning. As a city councilman of North Salt Lake, I had the opportunity to participate in that process.

This is just one example of the dozens of laws proposed every year that aim to usurp the powers of local governments. Unlike states, cities are not sovereign, and only enjoy the powers and authorities that have been granted them by the state. I believe that we should trust local elected officials to make decisions for their communities. The one-size-fits-all solutions that are sometimes proposed by the Legislature are rarely the solutions to the issues that face our cities.

Just as the Federal Government should refrain from interfering in state governments, state officials should empower local mayors and city councils. If problems can be solved at the city level, then city officials should solve them. Similarly, issues that can be resolved at the county level should be resolved by county officials.

As your elected representative to the state, I will fight for cities to keep the power and fight against laws that attempt to centralize powers to the state government.