2019 Utah Legislative Session in Review

Fresh off the presses we are excited to announce that Governor Herbert signed both our Safe Routes to School and Tobacco to 21 legislation!

Thanks to the amazing efforts of volunteers like you we were able to see these two important policies pass in the state.


Tobacco to 21:  

  • 95% of smokers start using tobacco before the age of 21. Taxing tobacco products and raising the age when it can be legally purchased are proven and effective means of helping people to quit and deterring youth from starting.
  • The Institute of Medicine concluded that raising the age would result in a 25% drop in youth beginning smoking.

Safe Routes to School:

  • Safe Routes to School is a Utah-run program through the Department of Transportation. Their goal is to improve the safety of students walking to and from school. Safe Routes to School projects improve sidewalks, create crosswalks, educate children in pedestrian safety, and provide signage that helps to keep kids and drivers safe.  
  • Making these programs part of State Code (codifying) gives stability and longevity to these programs. For example, the Safe Sidewalk Construction Program has been in state code since 1953 (or before, UCA in its present form only goes back that far). Why is this in state code? Because it’s needed, the funds are used each year, and our state roads are better off because of it. The same is true for Safe Routes to School. This program has been around for many years. Why? Because it’s needed, the funds are used each year, and our school children are safer because of it.
  • Codification, and the rulemaking authority requested by the Department of Transportation help bring transparency to the program. With this bill the Department will have authority to set criteria for determining meritorious applications and have these publicly posted for all to see. It also holds the Department of Transportation accountable for those rules. Transparency and accountability will make this program even stronger
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