The Utah House voted Friday to codify and save the Utah Marriage Commission as federal funding that has supported it is evaporating.
It voted 59-11 to pass HB147 to write into state law the commission that was created 15 years ago by administrative action, and provide an estimated $8,800 a year to fund its activities. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Its sponsor, Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, said it is needed because since 1960, "the marriage rate has declined by one-third, the divorce rate has doubled, and more than one half of all first-born children are born out of wedlock."
The commission does such things as help provide marriage handbooks for those obtaining marriage licenses, supports the strongermarriage.org website and hosts classes and seminars with tips to form strong marriages.