SALT LAKE CITY — A Senate committee unanimously voted Monday to recommend HB225, which clarifies that the sheriff is the primary state law enforcer on federal land.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, wouldn't change current statute.

"This bill represents a baby step in the direction our state needs to move," said Tyler Cope, a real estate broker. "We are in the midst of a federal power grab that threatens our union, our state and us as individuals."

State lawmakers recognize they are operating in a "shrinking box," and they're trying to push back against the federal government, said Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, chairman of the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee.

"Oftentimes there's the desire or hope to take things back at a loaf at a time," Madsen said. "The prerogatives of the states have been eroded over time, and sometimes we have to be satisfied with taking it back a slice at a time. But I like this slice. I think it's moving in the right direction."