The third week of the 2019 Utah Legislature began with the Republican leadership-backed replacement for the voter-approved full Medicaid expansion ballot initiative clearing its final legislative hurdle. Gov. Gary Herbert signed it into law a few hours later.
Here's a brief look at five other major legislature stories from last week that you won't want to miss:
A bill that would outlaw abortions solely based on a Down syndrome diagnosis cleared the Utah House of Representatives on Friday.
Unlike a version of the bill that died after the clock ran out during last year's legislative session, HB166 includes a provision that its sponsor, Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, said addresses concerns that the bill would be unconstitutional and result in millions of taxpayer dollars spent to defend it in court.
It looks like lawmakers will wait until next session to take on Proposition 4, the Better Boundaries ballot initiative passed by voters last November that creates an independent redistricting commission.
"It doesn't need to be addressed this session," House Majority Leader Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, said Friday. "We'll just wait and see. We'll look at it in interim and see what happens next session."
A bill that would restrict Utahns from changing their sex listed on their birth certificates has been dropped.
Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, told the Deseret News he decided to pull HB153 from a House committee agenda that had been scheduled for Thursday to give the issue more "time and study."
Herbert said Thursday he expects to see a tax reform plan passed by lawmakers this session, but he wasn't ready to say which, if any, services should not be taxed.
One of the lawmakers quietly putting together the plan, Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan,told the Deseret News Wednesday there's agreement that the broad categories of prescribed medical services, buying a house or paying rent, and tuition are off the table.2 comments on this story
Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, said he no longer intends to try to repeal a controversial law known as SB54 that gives candidates an alternative path to a primary ballot.
McCay said he had a repeal bill drafted but has decided not to introduce it because opponents of the bill are waiting to hear if the U.S. Supreme Court will hear their case to overturn lower court rulings upholding the 2014 law.