Briefly at the Utah Legislature

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21 2012 10:13 p.m. MST

House approves bill outlawing online gambling

SALT LAKE CITY — The House approved a bill Tuesday intended to make it clear that online gambling is illegal in Utah — even if Congress changes the law.

"I think it's critical that we keep Utah free of any gambling. This is the time to act," the sponsor of HB108, Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, said.

The Utah Constitution already prohibits gambling but Sandstrom said the state could be affected if Congress decides to legalize online gambling.

His bill requires the governor to notify Washington that, should a new federal law pass allowing states to permit online gaming, Utah isn't interested.

"This is a states rights bill," Sandstrom said.

— Lisa Riley Roche

Senate gives preliminary OK to stricter tanning salon rules

Utah parents would be required to accompany minors and give their written consent at each session at a tanning salon under a bill given preliminary approval Tuesday by the Utah Senate.

SB41, sponsored by Sen. Patricia Jones, D-Salt Lake, would establish similar requirements to minors obtaining body piercing or tattoos. "If we do it for tattoos, if we can do it for body piercing, why wouldn't we do that for tanning, which is much more dangerous?" Jones said.

Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, a melanoma survivor, said he worries about Utah becoming a "nanny state."

While he did not support Jones' bill, and said he will introduce a substitute. A parental consent form should have a Utah Department of Health logo. Stephenson said he would also like the state to provide photographs of melanomas so the public can identify them early and seek medical care.

Stephenson said he looks forward to the day that the pale, skin tone of actress Nicole Kidman is the "desirable object instead of everybody wanting to be tan."

— Marjorie Cortez

House passes bill reinforcing right to carry gun

Utah House members have approved a bill making it clear that a person cannot be charged with disorderly conduct simply for carrying a gun.

Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield says Tuesday that HB49 would clarify for police that openly carrying an unloaded gun is allowed in Utah as long as the person isn't doing anything else threatening. Police can still question a person openly carrying a gun.

Ray says the bill reinforces the constitutional rights of Utah residents. It passed the House 49-21 and now moves to the Senate.

Democratic Rep. Carol Spackman Moss of Holladay says constitutional rights come with responsibilities, and a person carrying a gun can be disruptive in places such as malls or restaurants.

— Associated Press

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