Legislators deny student eviction bill

By Jed Layton, Asst. News Editor

Utah legislators are holding a bill that would allow the U to more quickly evict students in the dorms who don’t pay rent.

On Friday, the Senate Education Committee failed to recommend H.B. 238 to the Senate floor with a vote of 2-4-1. Sen. Brent Goodfellow, D-West Valley City, said the bill was held because legislators worried it would unfairly benefit the U compared to private businesses that rent to students.

If the bill were passed, students behind on rent or with serious conduct violations could be evicted quicker than Utah law currently allows. The Utah House unanimously passed the measure Jan. 29.

“Renters outside the university have to go through a process that is already in statute,” he said. “There was a question about why treat them differently if they face the same problem.”

Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, said he voted against the bill because it would make a university above the law.

“Universities always want to have something more than anyone else,” he said. “What gives them the right? If the law needs to be changed for them, then it needs to be changed for everybody.”

Rep. Kory Holdaway, R-Taylorsville, sponsored the bill. Holdaway was unavailable for comment Sunday.

Goodfellow voted in favor of recommending the bill to the Senate floor, but was not joined by fellow committee members, including Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, chairman of the committee.

Currently, U Housing and Residential Education must submit evictions to the Attorney General’s office for approval. This process takes approximately six weeks.

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