A tax reform bill was a major focus at the end of the fifth week of the 2019 legislative session. Though a number of business representatives voiced their concern about the bill, members of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, in a 12-2 vote, advanced HB441 to the House floor on Friday.
Other important issues included a proposal aimed at dismantling the Utah Science, Technology and Research initiative, a push to toughen penalties for drug dealing near homeless shelters and a bill that would strengthen Utah's stand-your-ground law.
Here's a brief look at five other major legislature stories from last week:
Gov. Gary Herbert endorsed HB399, a bill that would ban the practice of conversion therapy on minors in the state of Utah, the bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, announced during a House Judiciary Committee meeting on Friday.
However, some legislators found the bill’s definition of conversion therapy to be too restrictive, especially as it limits what therapists are allowed to say when they are administering talk therapy.
A bill that would raise the minimum age cutoff for legal marriage in Utah won approval from the Utah House of Representatives on Friday. It's a watered-down version of a bill that would have initially raised the minimum age from 15 to 18. Instead, the bill would raise Utah's legal age to 16, while requiring 16- and 17-year-olds to marry only with permission of parents and a juvenile court judge.
The Utah House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would put popular flavors of electronic cigarette cartridges further out of the reach of teens. The hope is to prevent nicotine addiction in rising generations, said HB274 sponsor Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost, D-Salt Lake City.Comment on this story
A bill banning abortions solely based on a Down syndrome diagnosis passed the Senate without debate Thursday and now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his action. The governor, at his monthly KUED news conference Thursday, said he will weigh the pros and cons of HB166 like any other bill that comes to his desk and then make a decision.
A Utah Senate resolution with the endorsement of Gov. Gary Herbert received unanimous approval in a legislative committee Wednesday encouraging the pursuit of a new federal designation for the Wasatch canyons.