Utah’s “porn czar” office — once the butt of national jokes — appears about to be erased.

The House voted unanimously Thursday to pass HB50, which formally removes from state code the “obscenity and pornography complaints ombudsman.” The measure now goes to the Senate.

The Legislature created the position in 2000, saying it would provide resources for residents to curb pornography in their neighborhoods and online. Attorney Paula Houston was hired and given a budget of $150,000 a year, and became the nation’s first and only “porn czar” in 2001.

“Of course, the whole thing was a public-relations nightmare and kind of made Utah the laughingstock of the nation,” Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, cosponsor of the new bill, said recently. It attracted news stories by media from around the world and jokes by late-night comedians.

A Washington Post story told how Houston was called on by residents to “persuade supermarkets to display racy magazines at adult-eye level, intercept a Victoria’s Secret catalog from a family’s mailbox, remove R-rated videos from public libraries, forbid the display of unclothed mannequins at department stores and outlaw strip clubs.”

Houston told The Post, “One of the first things I tell people is that what the government can do is very limited. … But the power of the people is very strong. They can have a huge impact on the community.”

Then-Attorney General Mark Shurtleff conceded to The Post that Houston’s job was “mainly symbolic.”

It also soon became expendable. When the attorney general’s office had to cut its budget, the ombudsman post was among items axed in 2003 — although language allowing an ombudsman remained on the books.

While Weiler is the Senate sponsor of HB50 to remove the office of ombudsman, earlier this year he said he was considering reviving the office to have a wider scope than just pornography, “allowing residents to seek legal guidance from the state on many issues.”