SALT LAKE CITY — As lawmakers arrive for the second-to-last day of the 2019 legislative session Wednesday, it will be with a lighter load than the day before after a deal was reached Tuesday on budgeting for the fiscal year and pushing tax reform down the road.
While Utah's first hate crimes bill passed the House Tuesday, there still remain plenty of bills awaiting debate on some hot-button issues, including:
- HB433, which authorizes the Utah Inland Port Authority to adopt a project area plan for an area outside its current jurisdiction.
- SB134, which requires campus safety plans and training at institutions of higher education.
The sixth version of a bill intended to improve school safety in Utah won final passage in the Utah House of Representatives on Wednesday.
- HB393, which requires the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, in conjunction with the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, to create a suicide prevention web-accessible video.
- HB320, which restricts cities from banning plastic grocery bags.
- HB324, which raises the legal age to use tobacco products.
- HB136, which bans abortions after 18 weeks of gestation.
College students of limited means would pay no tuition or fees for four semesters to attend state colleges, universities and technical colleges under HB260, which reached final passage Wednesday.
A final vote in the Utah Senate on Wednesday officially approved a bill that gives teeth to Utah's hate crimes law, sending the bill to Gov. Gary Herbert, who is expected to sign it into law.
A $5 million gauntlet dropped by Utah tech leaders earlier this year on Utah lawmakers to boost computer science offerings in Utah schools — or leave the money on the table — earned at least a partial riposte on Wednesday.
Here's what happened on March 12, the 43rd day of the 2019 session:
- The budget impasse between the House and the Senate was resolved, with Republican legislative leaders agreeing to provide only temporary funding for $320 million in government services.
- After years of struggle, a bill that would give teeth to Utah's hate crime law blasted through a major legislative hurdle — almost clearing its way to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk for final approval.
- The House of Representatives joined the Senate by passing unanimously a bill that requires campus police organizations — including the department at BYU — to follow the same public records rules as all other public police agencies.
- A bill to modify the Utah Medical Cannabis Act passed through the Utah Legislature Tuesday with a unanimous vote in the House, and later in the Senate to approve changes.
- Legislators passed a bill Tuesday banning pelvic examinations on patients under anesthesia who have not knowingly given consent to the procedure.