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Gov. Herbert signs more education, public lands, election bills

First Published      Last Updated Mar 21 2017 03:17 pm


Update » He has now signed 183 of 535 bills passed by Legislature and has until March 29 to act on the rest.

Gov. Gary Herbert announced Monday that he has signed another 80 bills passed by this year's Legislature — including some on federal lands, education and election reform.

He has now signed into law 183 of the record 535 bills passed by the Legislature. He has until March 29 to decide whether to veto, sign or allow the remaining bills to become law without his signature.

Among the newly signed bills are:

SB196 • Strikes the prohibition on "advocacy of homosexuality" from Utah's sex education law.

The state is currently being sued over the law, dubbed the "no-promo homo" statute, which critics describe as discriminatory. Sponsor Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said the revision was needed to comply with recent court rulings regarding same-gender relationships and to lessen the state's legal liability.




HB92 • Restricts the physical restraint of students to incidents where the child's safety, or the safety of their classmates, is threatened.

It ends the ability of educators to use physical restraint when a student is damaging school property, but allows administrators to require restitution of costs for damages. School resource officers are excluded from the bill.

HCR1 • Calls for Congress to give Utah control of most federal public lands in the state. It calls for preparation of a lawsuit to achieve that, but only for use as a last resort if Congress fails to act.

In the past, Utah passed fiery resolutions calling for a lawsuit first, which is expected to cost $14 million. But with the election of Donald Trump and GOP control of Congress, Utah leaders passed kinder, more gently worded resolutions instead.

HB95 • Allows the state to negotiate with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to try to create a state park at the Little Sahara sand dunes.

HB178 • Stops Utah cities from offering financial incentives to landlords who do not rent to people with criminal records — a practice that some see as contributing to the state's homelessness crisis. Ogden and West Valley City, which host halfway houses, are exempted from the law.

SB155 • Allows the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to retain $1 million of its profits a year for employee incentives, capital and equipment purchases and technology upgrades.

Current law requires DABC to return all of its annual profits to the state, with the liquor agency's operating budget set each year by the Legislature.

HB119 • Clarifies and accelerates the process for a school district board to fill midterm vacancies.

It allows a replacement candidate to be considered and selected after a board member submits his or her resignation but before the resignation takes effect, mitigating the lag between an outgoing board member and the successor.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Susan Pulsipher, R-South Jordan, pushed the bill after she was elected to the Utah House in November while serving as president of the Jordan School District Board of Education.

HB105 • Allows county clerks to offer early voting up to Election Day itself. Currently, early voting at special balloting locations may begin two weeks before Election Day and extend until the Friday before Tuesday elections.

HB160 • Clearly prohibits a person from using the email of a public entity to solicit a campaign contribution.

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