SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Governor Cox held a ceremonial signing of 12 bills to highlight key issues and legislation being passed this year. 

The Governor wanted to highlight bills that amongst other topics, are expanding mental health resources, improving our law enforcement and reforming education. 

The ceremony called attention to bills the Legislature hopes points Utah in the right direction. 

“This gives us an opportunity to focus on some of the really positive things,” Governor Cox said. 

Topics ranged from providing mental health curriculum in our schools, to reforming our criminal justice system and the resources provided for Utah’s inmates. 

“Which also means saving families, saving individuals, and also saving tax dollars,” Rep. V. Lowry Snow said. 

One of the bills being highlighted is House Bill 23, which requires all first responder agencies to provide mental resources for their employees, their families and retirees. 

“For the first time in the state of Utah, we have a statewide standard for how we treat mental health,” Rep. Ryan Wilcox said.

The bill sponsor said getting the funding to provide resources for everyone affected by the sacrifice of first responders is a reason to celebrate. 

“The big win for us was the money, was having the funding to come through,” Wilcox added. 

Another bill being highlighted is Senate Bill 126, which prohibits police officers from being punished when reporting unethical behavior or malpractice. 

“To protect our officers, we need to report when something is wrong,” Sen. Jani Iwamoto said. 

Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP in Salt Lake says this is a step forward for our law enforcement to prevent brutality and discrimination. 

“We’re saying to officers that yes you can intervene, you have the duty to intervene, and you should intervene,” Williams said. 

The governor and legislators praised bipartisan efforts in support of these bills.