Leading Business Group Backs Statewide Nondiscrimination Law

Ron Jibson, President and CEO of Questar Corporation, with Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie (left)

(KCPW News) Utah’s largest business association, the Salt Lake Chamber, is calling on Utahns to make “big decisions” as the 2012 legislative session begins next week. One of them is for the legislature to pass a statewide nondiscrimination law, modeled after the ordinance passed in Salt Lake City and 11 other municipalities.

“We feel like it’s an unwise policy to have it just limited to certain cities, where we end up with a patchwork of following through on such an important issue,” Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie explained.

Salt Lake City’s ordinance protects gay and transgender residents from discrimination in both employment and housing.

Ron Jibson, President and CEO of Questar Corporation and the chamber’s public policy chair, says the group also wants to see Utah continue to be a leader in immigration reform.

“The Utah guest worker law is a model for the nation, but it is not perfect. We must continue to refine it, and we certainly support ways to improve it, but we would certainly not support that it should be repealed. Ultimately, immigration is an issue that requires a federal solution,” said Jibson.

Other 2012 priorities of the Salt Lake Chamber include modernizing Utah’s liquor laws, restoring funding for the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, and funding tax credits for Utah’s blooming life sciences industry.