You'll have 212 new laws to obey Monday.
Most of the 287 bills passed by the 1989 Legislature and either signed by the governor or allowed to become law without the governor's signature become law 60 days after the end of the session. That's Monday.Even though the 45-day session started slowly, lawmakers hustled toward the end. The 287 new laws approved by the House and Senate are a record; lawmakers approved 267 new laws last year, 259 in 1987, 230 in 1986 and 273 in 1985.
Legislators could have created more laws. There were 678 bills introduced this year, so they only approved about 40 percent of what was before them.
Some laws, passed by two-thirds majorities, became law upon Gov. Norm Bangerter's signature. Others become law the first of the fiscal year, July 1.
Here's how your life might be affected by some of the 212 new laws:
- You might be called before the new Noxious Weed Committee and asked to explain what's growing in your back yard.
- People knocking on your door no longer have to wear "solicitor permits" in clear view, but if you ask, they have to show you their's.
- You get a preliminary notice of a mechanic's lien before your property is actually attached for non-payment of bills.
- If you ever become a presidential elector (the real people who chose our U.S. presidents) you have to sign a document promising you'll cast your vote for the person who carried Utah. Up to now, an elector could vote for anyone, regardless of who won the state.
- You might get a few more political telephone calls - voter registration forms (public documents) will now include your telephone number.
- If you donate your eyes, heart, big toe or other organ to transplantation, your insurance company, estate or heirs no longer have to pay the cost of removing the organ.
- If you're not feeling well, a new law establishes a uniform determination of death.
- You'll start seeing Utah Department of Transportation signs along freeways tastefully advertising motels, restaurants, ski resorts, etc., paid for by those establishments.
- Car-rental agencies will have to tell you all costs related to buying collision insurance on a rental car.
- You are specifically protected against employment discrimination for pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions.
- You can legally drive your "low-rider" cars on roads, as long as the car's undercarriage is two inches above the wheels' rims.
- If you buy a car and the dealer doesn't deliver a clear title in 30 days, you can return the car and get a complete refund.
- Your local school board can now offer child care in the schools.
- You can graduate from high school at the end of the 11th grade, if the school and your parents agree to it.
- If you smoke something akin to marijuana, tough luck. A new law broadens the definition of the illegal drug to include all species of the genus cannabis.
- Only doctors can prescribe steroids for you. They're now controlled substances.
- If you're a low-income senior citizen, you probably now qualify for some kind of property tax relief under the state's expanded Circuit Breaker program.
- If your ex-spouse won't tell you where your children are so you can visit them, the state's Office of Recovery Services will now help you find them.
- If you don't pay your water bill, now the water district can make you pay its attorney's fees and costs in collecting the bill.
- You can't enter into a surrogate parenthood contract. The Legislature will study the matter and report in 1990.
- Fraternities and sororities can't "haze" you or other new members.
- You're guilty of theft if you use the cable TV service left by the previous renter or owner and don't pay for it.