- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Senate has voted down a bill that would require couples to pay $20 more to get a marriage license unless they take a six-hour course on marriage skills or undergo three hours of premarital counseling.

Without any debate, lawmakers on Monday squashed a plan that was aimed at cutting down the estimated 10,000 divorces in Utah each year.

Proposal sponsor Sen. Allen Christensen has said divorces contribute to societal problems that cost the government money and counseling could help couples learn to communicate better and solve problems.

Legislators considered a similar bill last year but it lost steam at the end of the lawmaking session amid a crush of other bills. Marriage license costs vary around Utah’s 29 counties—from $50 in Salt Lake County to $30 in Washington County.

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