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352 new laws take effect in Utah Tuesday
New laws include banning panhandling and “revenge porn” and adding 80 mph zones.

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HB74 continues a program providing tax credits for the purchase of alternative-fuel vehicles and for conversion to natural gas or propane. HB61 provides $200,000 for grants to replace old yard and maintenance equipment with high-efficiency models, and makes electric-hybrid vehicles eligible for an existing grant program.

• Payday loans. HB127 includes numerous reforms for the payday loan industry, including giving borrowers time to pay off loans without interest or sanction after 10 weeks of high-interest payments. It comes after the industry was involved in scandals that led to the resignation of former Attorney General John Swallow.

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• Elections. SB245 creates a pilot program to allow online voting for disabled people or Utahns in the military. HB156 allows counties to participate in a pilot program allowing election-day voter registration.

• Homeless. HB140 creates tax credits for employers who hire homeless people. HB176 exempts volunteers serving meals to the homeless from a requirement to have a food handler’s permit, which had thrown a wrench into volunteer-provided meals at The Road Home shelter.

• Suicide. HB134 creates a suicide-prevention program that includes distribution of free cable-style gun locks, and offers a redeemable coupon program for discounts on gun safes.

HB23 will let teachers, resource officers and others ask a student questions about suicidal thoughts, self-destructive behavior, or thoughts of harming others — and refer them for help, and contact their parents.

• Hunting. SB165 will allow people to try out hunting without first completing a hunter-education course. Officials hope it may lead to more hunting licenses, and more money for wildlife management.

• Autism. SB57 will require insurance companies to pay for autism treatment for children.


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Twitter: @LeeHDavidson

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