Lawmakers are on the clock to pass bills and agree on budget

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) -The Utah State Legislature has only four days to get bills passed and work on the budget.

Lawmakers are still divided on Medicaid and thousands of Utahns are out of health insurance.

“The president told me, the last thing he said was we’re looking for more flexibility, if you’ve got a better way to do things come and talk to me about it,” said Governor Gary Herbert.

The state senate and the governor share similar ideas when it comes to using the federal funds to cover 111,000 Utahns, but the proposal in the state house would use state tax dollars and only cover some of those.

“Most of the people that I know that need Medicaid are working, a part time job or two part-time jobs,” says Dr. Ray Word a supporter of Medicaid expansion.

The topic won’t go away any time soon. If something isn’t done, a special session will be planned.

It could also be the last breath of fresh air for air quality bills.

On the table is a bill that would add more UTA bus routes. Another would bring green buses to Utah to transport students.

One bill would allow homeowners to trade up their wood burning stove for a cleaner natural gas heating system.

“For every one of those homes they are putting out as much pollution as 200 homes heated by natural gas,” says Rep. Patrice Arent.

Another bill ends in a standoff. Senate Bill 100 protects the LGBT community against employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Lawmakers took it off the table, but that didn’t stop 13 people from being arrested because the state senate won’t hear it.

“We are never going away. We will come back to the Capitol time and time again until we are fully protected under the law. This is our state and we are apart of it and we’re going to raise our voice loudly,” says protester Troy Williams.

Some of the bills that are headed to the governor’s desk are how we look at special trust in authority figures, the use of Narcan or Naloxone for first responders and the Count My Vote compromise.

When the clock strikes midnight law makers have only 90 hours to get everything accomplished.

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