When the sun breaks Monday morning, you will have 194 new laws to obey.
Many of the new statutes passed by the 1988 Legislature and signed into law become effective April 25. Most new laws dealing with the fiscal nature of government take effect July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year. Still other laws passed by two-thirds votes and became law with Gov. Norm Bangerter's signature in early March.Some of the new laws that take effect Monday you could probably live without. Some you may never hear of. And some may change your life, if only in a small way.
Perhaps the most notable will be the new liquor law (see accompanying story). If you drink alcohol, you'll be able to have a drink brought to your restaurant table. No longer must you get up from the table and walk to the cashier's counter to buy the liquor yourself. If you don't drink, you'll still notice minibottles being shuttled around by waitresses.
Here are some other of the most visible new laws:
If there is a surplus from the income tax this year and state officials now estimate a $25 million surplus you'll get a tax credit on your 1988 state income taxes.
The big game hunting age will be 14 instead of 16. Young hunters still must take hunter safety programs and can only hunt when accompanied by an adult.
Dogs who aid handicapped persons can't be kept out of public accommodations, nor can persons who use such animals be discriminated against for housing, etc., because they live and travel with the dogs.
Judges in divorce cases must now consider joint legal custody of children, instead of just awarding custody to one parent or the other.
If child abuse is alleged in a divorce case, the case can't be settled until the charge is investigated by state officials.
Over-the-clothing touching can now be cause for sexual abuse of children charges.
In an attempt to find missing children, birth certificates must now be shown when children are registered in school.
Members of the Utah National Guard can be tried by a military court for a number of offenses, including refusing to honor their enlistment or obtaining a false discharge.
You won't have to fill out a survey of vehicle insurance the pesky form was eliminated.
Kids can't be kept after school for discipline unless parents are notified first.
Retirees will get more tax exempt income, but wealthier retirees pay more income tax, proportionately, than poorer retirees.
You can now donate, through an income tax check-off, money to help the homeless in Utah.
Parents can commit a drug-using child to treatment programs easier now.
Liens on property to collect back child support payments are now easier to get.
If a crime victim, you can now testify before the Board of Pardons when the person who harmed you appears for a parole hearing.
And the allosaurus is now the official state fossil. Whew! Finally, a state fossil.