SALT LAKE CITY — While 218 bills already have passed both chambers, the 2019 Legislature still has plenty on its plate, including deciding whether stronger beer should be allowed to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.
The need arises as major brewers are eliminating 3.2 precent beer from their product lines. Under current law, any beer stronger than that must be sold in the state liquor stores. The House Health and Human Services Committee is considering the Senate-approved SB132, which would raise the percentage of alcohol of beer permitted to be sold in grocery stores to 4.8 percent.
Other issues at the Statehouse during the day include:
- A bill banning conversion therapy for gay teens in Utah will not move forward, according to representatives from the gay rights advocacy group Equality Utah, who say the edited version of the bill will provide a "safe harbor" for conversion therapists, rather than banning the practice.
- The Senate natural resources committee gave approval Wednesday to a pair of water measures that will enact significant reforms on the delivery of water beyond a municipality's boundaries. The measures provide greater clarity to ratepayers and cities.
- The Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved HB100, which would allow victims of sexual violence to apply for a protective order.
- The Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee is considering HB360, which requires the Drinking Water Board to make administrative rules that create a program related to lead concentration in the drinking water of schools and child care centers.
- The House has passed SB151, which requires statewide voter initiatives to state clearly how much they would cost and where the funding will come from.
- A bill making a slew of tweaks to the sweeping transportation bill the Utah Legislature approved last year is nearing final approval.
- A threat against a school, whether real or a hoax, could be charged and punished as a third-degree felony under legislation introduced in the Utah House of Representatives on Wednesday.
- With a unanimous House vote, the Legislature approved a resolution to make the Utah Constitution gender neutral.
Here's what happened on March 5, the 36th day of the 2019 session:2 comments on this story
- The Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a hate crimes bill. There was no debate before the 18-11 vote sending SB103 to the House.
- Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted Tuesday to recommend a bill that would ban the practice of conversion therapy for gay teens in Utah. But advocates don't agree with the way conversion therapy is defined in the version of the bill that was approved.
- There's going to be a $75 million cut in the state sales tax rate in the massive tax reform bill that's now being revised, House Speaker Brad Wilson said Tuesday.