Ephraim lawmaker files bill to help rural cops file reports

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By Bryan Pearson

SALT LAKE CITY — Freshman lawmaker Rep. Jon  Cox, R-Ephraim, said that while he was hesitant to file unneeded bills on Capitol Hill, he is sponsoring a bill that would help rural law enforcement officers.

There are more than 1,000 proposed bills for the 2014 legislative session, something Cox says he sees as the primary reason for needing to show what he called “legislative restraint.”

Rep. Cox discusses HB85
Rep. Cox discusses HB85

Currently, Cox’s only filed bill is HB85.  This bill, “is trying to correct some problems from the last legislative session,” Cox said.

HB85 seeks to exempt smaller counties from electronic filing requirements for police citations.

“When you have an officer who isn’t in cell phone range, his laptop cannot connect to the electronic filing program.”  To comply with the law officers in areas without Internet access fill out the reports on paper then later file electronically.

“[The] intent is to save money and to speed up a process and make it more transparent, what [the bill has] actually done is increase work and increased costs. Essentially what we’ve done is we’ve created a cost shift from the state to the local level,” Cox said.

Currently HB85 is waiting to be heard in the House.

When asked what other issues he’s following that will affect his constituents, Cox referred to the Gunnison prison expansion of which he supports.

Cox is also supporting a move by Snow College, which hopes to receive funding for a new science building.

“It’s the second building on the priority list for the state.” Cox said. “Typically [the state] only funds one building a year but we’re pushing to see if we can get that funded.”

Photo by: Bryan Pearson

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