Governor signs 11 bills from special session to address coronavirus impacts

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed 11 bills into law on Monday from a special legislative session held earlier this month to address the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among them is SB5006, which authorizes court-ordered coronavirus testing of a person who has coughed on an officer. The original bill, sponsored by Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, contained penalties for someone who coughed on an officer, but those were removed in the version that ultimately passed the Legislature.

Herbert also signed several bills related to budgets in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged the state’s economy, as well as a measure eliminating the statutory deadline for unveiling the statue of Martha Hughes Cannon in Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C. That effort has been delayed because of COVID-19.

Not all of the bills signed Monday are related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Herbert inked one, for example, that eliminates a requirement that private investigators live in Utah to obtain a license — a direct response to a lawsuit filed earlier this year by an Idaho man who wanted to work as a private investigator here but was prohibited from doing so because of the state’s residency rules.

“We’re being told it’s not a defensible requirement,” Sen. Todd Weiler, the bill’s sponsor, said during floor debate of the bill. ”Either we’re going to change it, or we expect the court to change it.”

The governor has now signed a total of 22 bills from this month’s special session. The full list of those signed on Monday is below:

HB5010, Covid-19 Economic Recovery Program

HB5011, WPU Value Increase Guarantee

HB5012, Public Education Budget Amendments

SB5004, Municipal Annexation Amendments

SB5006, Public Safety Worker Protection Amendments

SB5007, Unemployment Insurance Rates Amendments

SB5008, Private Investigator License Qualifications,

SB5009, Martha Hughes Cannon Statue Amendments

SB5012, Statutory Adjustments Related to Budget Changes

SCR501, Concurrent Resolution Honoring the Graduating Class of 2020

SCR502, Concurrent Resolution on Refunding Excess Reserves from the State Insurance Risk Pools