2020 General Session bills every Utah citizen should know about

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(ABC4 News) -“I’m just a bill. Yes, I’m only a bill, and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.”

The School House Rock tune many of us learned in elementary school about a plucky bill and its determination to become a law is currently playing out in the 2020 Legislative Session in Utah.

Here’s a brief explanation of several House and Senate bills that if passed, could affect Utahns.

House Bill 11 (Blood Alcohol Limit Amendments) – This bill would reduce the blood or breath alcohol concentration threshold at which an employee could obtain disability compensation or compensation under the Workman’s Compensation Act. Click here to learn more about this bill.

House Bill 12 (Abusive Conduct Reporting Amendments) – This bill would require ANY state employee, not only a state executive branch agency employee, to report abusive conduct to the Human Resources Department. It would also require the employee’s human resources department to take certain measures to address the abuse allegations. Click here for more information about the bill.

House Bill 14 (School Absenteeism and Truancy Amendments) – This bill aims to establish which absences may be taken into account in determining if a minor is truant. It also limits the conditions in which a school can give penalties to school-aged truants. Click here for more information in the bill.

House Bill 16 (School Meals Program Amendments) – This bill would broaden the use of money made from the school lunch program to school meals. Additionally, it would require reporting regarding school breakfast. Click here for more information about the bill. Click here for a related ABC4 story.

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House Bill 18 (Industrial Hemp Program Amendments) – This bill directs the Department of Agriculture and Food to develop a state industrial hemp production plan and alters the hemp producer license. It also gives requirements for obtaining an industrial hemp retail permit and an industrial hemp laboratory permit. Additionally, it establishes legal enforcement in regards to the production of industrial hemp. Click here for more information about this bill. Read more here about ABC4’s coverage of researching and growing hemp in Utah.

House Bill 34 (Tanning for Minors) – This bill would prohibit those under age 18 from using ultraviolet radiation to tan, even if they have permission from a parent or physician to do so. It would also require tanning facility to post the health risks that such tanning poses. The bill also would hold a minor accountable if they were to lie about their age in order to obtain services at a tanning facility. Click here to read more about the bill.

House Bill 58 (Electronic Cigarettes in Schools Amendments) – This bill would require schools to adopt discipline policies for use of and possession of e-cigarettes on school property. It would also require schools to educate students beginning in 4th or 5th grade about the health risks of using e-cigarettes through a school-based prevention program. To learn more about this bill, click here.

FILE – In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, a woman using an electronic cigarette exhales a puff of smoke in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Massachusetts lawmakers have approved the nation’s toughest restrictions on flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes. The ban was passed by the Senate early Thursday, Nov. 21, before the legislature broke for a holiday recess. It had earlier been passed by the state House of Representatives. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

House Bill 65 (Abortion Amendments)– This bill removes the requirement that a physician verify that a report has been made to law enforcement prior to performing an abortion on an adult woman who is pregnant due to rape or incest. In addition, it would prohibit public funds from being used directly or indirectly to fund abortions. Click here to learn more about this bill.

House Bill 69 (Sick Leave Amendments) – This bill requires that employers allow employees to use accrued sick leave to care for immediate family members and would prohibit employers for taking adverse action against the employee for doing so. Click here for more information about this bill.

House Bill 80 (School Fee Modifications) – This bill makes modifications to current school fee procedures. For example, it increases the allowable amount that a school may charge for enrollment fees, while also providing waiver and refund opportunities under certain circumstances. It also makes students in certain grades exempt from paying an enrollment fee and discusses fees related to curricular activities. Click here to read more about the bill. ABC4 covered a related story about school fees and how much money teachers spend out of pocket annually on school supplies.

House Bill 93 (End of Life Prescription Provisions) – This bill establishes a procedure for a terminally ill person to receive prescription medication to end their life. Specifically, it includes information about when a person may request the prescription and physician responsibilities. Click here for more information about this bill.

House Bill 104 (911 Responsibilities in an Emergency) – This bill makes it a class B misdemeanor to fail to provide meaningful assistance by alerting appropriate emergency services in the case that an individual is aware that a crime or emergency occurred or is occurring. Individuals must also contact appropriate emergency services in the case that they are aware a person is suffering serious injury due to the crime or emergency. Click here to read more about this bill.

House Bill 109 (Universal Background Checks for Firearm Purchasers) – The bill requires background checks for the transfer of firearms between people who are not licensed as federal firearm licensees. The bill states that a transferor may not transfer a firearm to a person whose background check shows that the transferee may not possess a firearm under state or federal law. please click here to read the full bill.

House Bill 207 (Insulin Access Amendments) – This bill aims to make life-saving insulin more accessible to those who need it through taking several measures. Some of these measures include creating incentives for health benefit plans to decrease co-payments for insulin, increasing the number of days for which an insulin prescription can be fulfilled, and increasing the number of professions that can prescribe insulin to patients. Click here for more specific information on the bill. Click here and here for ABC4 stories related to this topic.

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House Bill 213 (Consent Language Amendments) – The bill clarifies the definition of sexual consent under Utah state code. Specifically, it includes that consent is not given if the victim does not express consent through words or conduct or is unable to provide consent or fight back due to being under the influence of substances. Additionally, it clarifies that consent can be withdrawn at any time. To read more on this bill, click here.

Senate Bill 46 Substitute (Domestic Violence Amendments) – The bill increases the penalty for committing domestic violence in front of a child and modifies the circumstances under which the penalty increase would occur. Click here for more information in the bill.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...