Herbert signs bill delaying guest-worker law
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed more than 40 more bills into law, with a Wednesday deadline looming for him to act on the remaining legislation on his desk.
The most recent batch of bill signings include legislation postponing the implementation of Utah's guest-worker law for undocumented immigrants, a measure enabling those adjudicated mentally incompetent to petition to have their right to own a gun restored, and a liquor-reform bill.
Utah passed legislation in 2011 that would have established a way for those in the country illegally to receive a guest-worker card from the state after passing background checks and paying a fine.
The program was scheduled to take effect in July, but SB225, sponsored by Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, postpones its implementation for two years, citing optimism for immigration reform at the federal level.
Herbert signed SB80, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, which allows individuals who are on a federal database restricting their ability to own a firearm because of their having been adjudicated not guilty of a crime due to mental illness or civilly committed to petition to have their gun rights restored.
Thatcher said during debate on the bill that the standard is high but argued there needed to be some mechanism for an appeal of the prohibition.
And a bill that makes minor tweaks to Utah's liquor laws creating a master restaurant liquor license, presumably freeing up the scarce licenses, and allowing tastings of liquor, wine or beer also received Herbert's signature.
The governor also signed HB43, beefing up disclosure requirements for corporations that contribute to political campaigns; HB75, requiring the state to prove a compelling need before it licenses new occupations; and SB196, which requires law enforcement to purge information gathered by license-plate readers after nine months.
More than 500 pieces of legislation ended up on the governor's desk. He has until Wednesday to sign, veto or abstain, in which case the bill becomes a law without his signature.
Among those still awaiting action is a bill that restricts drivers under age 18 from talking on a cellphone while driving and a controversial bill setting up a system for grading schools. Some educators argued the system was skewed against public schools.
He has signed more than 400 bills and vetoed one HB76, which would have allowed Utahns to carry a concealed firearm without having to first obtain a concealed weapons permit.