Silas Walker, Deseret News
FILE - The Capitol in Salt Lake City is pictured on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019.

SALT LAKE CITY — A handful of gun laws top the agenda for a House committee on Wednesday as the 2019 legislative session hits its halfway point.

The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee is scheduled to discuss four bills that touch on firearm safety and liability when it meets at 8 a.m.

HB17 would require the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to implement a firearm safety program and a suicide prevention education course.

HB87 makes it a criminal offense to store a firearm in a place that the gun owner knows or has reason to believe a minor or person legally restricted from possessing a firearm has access.

HB152 defines "owner cohabitant" for the purpose of the voluntary commitment of a firearm to law enforcement.

HB190 addresses liability when the gun is fired, holding an owner liable for personal injury or property damage if the weapon is used in a felony, regardless of whether the individual who engages in the conduct is charged with a felony. It makes exceptions for guns taken without an owner's permission

READ MORE: Two proposed Utah gun laws — including 'Lauren's Law' — stall, while others advance to House floor

Other issues on the agenda at the Statehouse during the day include:

  • The House Judiciary Committee will review HB136, which prohibits an abortion from being performed after the unborn child reaches 18 weeks gestational age except under certain circumstances. The bill was recently modified from the 15-week restriction originally proposed.

READ MORE: Utah House committee OKs bill to ban abortions after 18 weeks

  • The House Revenue and Taxation Standing Committee voted 6-4 on Wednesday to hold the Hygiene Tax Act. HB113 adds a sales tax exemption for certain incontinence care items, feminine hygiene products and diapers.

READ MORE: Utah committee halts bill to decrease sales tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products

  • The House Government Operations Committee will debate HB259, which would end the option of straight-ticket voting.
  • A bill on radioactive waste disposal received initial approval Wednesday in the Senate but needs another vote to clear that body and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's signature before it becomes law. It could allow disposal of depleted uranium waste.

READ MORE: Radioactive waste bill gets preliminary approval in Utah Senate

  • While coworking spaces have exploded along the Wasatch Front in recent years, rural Utah has been mostly left out of the mix on the new, flexible office space opportunities that are often equated with tech startups and outboard employment known as "remoting." But a proposal that won the unanimous support of a Utah legislative committee this week and passed onto the House's third reading calendar Wednesday is aiming to kickstart interest in the concept for cities and towns off the I-15 corridor via a new $2 million grant program.

READ MORE: Could coworking space jump-start rural Utah economies? Proposal aims to find out

  • The Senate Education Committee has endorsed a bill that would allow teachers to give class credit to students for their efforts on standardized tests.

READ MORE: Utah Senate panel backs incentives for students to do well on standardized tests

  • HB101, supported on a unanimous House vote on Wednesday, would allow for operation in Utah of all levels of autonomous vehicles, which are rated from 0, designating a vehicle with no automated assistance whatsoever, to a 5, which is a vehicle that can pilot itself regardless of conditions.

READ MORE: Driverless vehicle bill wins Utah House approval

  • Although its sponsor was wary of a fight in the House, the bill that would leverage state transportation dollars to encourage more cities to pave the way for affordable housing has cleared its next legislative hurdle without major changes.

READ MORE: Bill that leverages Utah dollars to urge cities to plan for affordable housing heads to House floor

Here's what happened on Feb. 19, the 22nd day of the 2019 session:

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  • Gov. Gary Herbert told Utahns that the state sales tax rate could drop to just 1.75 percent under what he's calling a tax modernization plan that imposes new taxes on services on top of a tax cut. But the GOP lawmakers putting the plan into an as-yet unseen bill continued Tuesday to say the governor's goal is not realistic and would require new sales taxes on everything from real estate transactions to health care to gasoline.
  • A majority of Sen. Daniel Thatcher's fellow Senate Republicans agreed his hate crimes bill should get a committee hearing. He said SB103 will be heard Thursday morning by the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee.
  • A bill making what were described as technical changes to the Utah Medical Cannabis Act passed in a special legislative session last year was unanimously advanced by a Senate committee.