SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (News4Utah) – State lawmakers packed a lot into this year’s 45 day legislative session.
“2018 state legislature had 1359 bills filed, and passed 533 bills,” said Tim Chambless, Associate Professor at the University of Utah.
One garnered world-wide attention. Utah’s free range parenting law allows parents to let their children play at a park, or walk or ride a bike to school without fear of being arrested.
The sponsor was surprised by all the attention. He says it’s a common sense solution.
“Across the country parents have in fact been arrested, or investigated or even had children taken out of their custody,” said Senator Lincoln Fillmore, (R) South Jordan.
Under other new laws, the window for Utahns to legally light off fireworks is significantly cut to two days before, and one day after July 4th and July 24th.
A 17 year old can now vote in the Primary Election, if they turn 18 by the General Election.
Mothers have new rights under the Breastfeeding Protection Act, which clarifies the right to breastfeed in public.
Mental health crisis lines must be staffed 24/7/365, or be rolled over to one that is.
And, officers must have a warrant to draw blood from a patient.
The legislature also cut a deal with Our Schools Now in the final hours to get more funding for education through property taxes, and potentially the gas tax.
Time ran out on hundreds of other bills. That has Chambless wondering if it’s time to extend Utah’s legislative session.
“If we are going to have the need for more laws, maybe we need more time to be able to seriously consider the making of these laws,” said Chambless.
That’s not a popular idea among legislative leadership, who work full-time jobs.