Murray legislators start session with 20 billsJan 26, 2021 12:36PM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Utah State Capitol Senate chamber. (Photo courtesy Utah State Legislature)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
Murray legislators headed back to the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 19 for this year’s legislative session. On opening day, they had 20 numbered bills ready to be presented. They will have until March 5 to include other bills for consideration.
Rep. Andrew Stoddard sponsored HB0059, Law Enforcement Investigation Amendments. This bill provides criminal penalties for misuse of evidence by a law enforcement official. Stoddard, a Murray City prosecutor, has been critical of the way University of Utah Police handled evidence in the case of Lauren McCluskey’s murder. Stoddard’s bill institutes criminal penalties for any law enforcement officer or prosecutor who duplicates, shares, copies or displays an intimate image from a case, except in specified circumstances.
In conjunction, Stoddard is also sponsoring HB0062, Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Certification Amendments, which add additional grounds for suspending or revoking a peace officer’s certification for conduct involving dishonesty or deception.
He is also promoting HB0088, Diversion Fees Amendments, allowing a court to assess a diversion fee on a criminal defendant, based on the defendant’s ability to pay; and HB0091, Tax Credit for Alternative Fuel Heavy-Duty Vehicles, which reinstates a tax credit related to certain alternative fuel heavy-duty vehicles.
Notably, Stoddard’s HB0101, Protected Persons Amendments, will provide a process for surrendering a firearm after an individual becomes a restricted person.
After the state purchased a large amount of hydroxychloroquine early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Stoddard wrote HB0114, Emergency Executive Powers Amendments. This would reduce the amount of money the governor may spend on an emergency procurement during an epidemic or pandemic.
Lastly, Stoddard sponsored HJR002, Joint Resolution Encouraging Discussion on the Effects of Child Sexual Abuse, to encourage a more significant study and open discussion about the effects and prevalence of child sexual abuse.
Rep. Mark Wheatley sponsored HB0064, Factual Innocence Payments Amendments, which would make the state pay an individual who is found factually innocent by a court in one lump payment. His HB0074, Municipal Police Oversight Amendments, allows municipalities to create police oversight boards under certain conditions.
Extending first responders’ mental health benefits is the intent of Rep. Karen Kwan’s HB0025, Mental Health Protections for First Responders.
Looking at the use of future technology, Kwan’s HB0031, Unaccompanied Minors in Autonomous Vehicles, establishes a temporary workgroup to study issues related to unaccompanied minors and autonomous vehicles.
Rep. Carol Spackman Moss has sponsored HB0071, Lien Restriction and Recovery Fund Amendments, to add “condominium unit” to the definition of “residence” on lien restrictions.
On the Senate side, Sen. Gene Davis sponsored SB0026, Property Tax Relief Amendments, modifying “circuit breaker” tax relief, including changes in the consumer price index used to adjust annual income qualifications.
Adjusting Utah’s Alcohol Beverage Control Act, Davis’ SB0059, Consumer Alcoholic Beverage Purchasing, creates the Division of Consumer Purchasing (division) within the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. It also requires the establishment of a consumer purchasing system.
Expanding crisis outreach teams is the focus of Sen. Kathleen Riebe’s SB0070, Mobile Crisis Outreach Team Expansion. It requires the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to create and monitor additional mobile crisis outreach teams and requires local mental health authorities to provide matching funds.
Sen. Jani Iwamoto sponsored SB0010, Place Name Amendments, to authorize the Division of Indian Affairs to help facilitate the application process for changing location names referring to Native American terms.
Additionally, she sponsored SB0013, Law Enforcement Internal Investigation Requirements, mandating that POST be notified when a peace officer separates from their agency while an investigation is in progress.
Extending the Air Quality Policy Advisory Board’s lifetime is the emphasis of Iwamoto’s SB0020, Air Quality Policy Advisory Board Sunset Extension. She intends the same for the Utah Commission on Aging and has sponsored SB0030, Utah Commission on Aging Amendments, to do so.
With SB0064, Domestic Violence Amendments, Iwamoto wants to modify the circumstances under which the penalty for certain domestic violence offenses may be enhanced.
To follow the progress of these bills and to see additional bills as they are introduced, go to le.utah.gov/.