5 Interesting Bills in the 2019 Utah Legislation

In case you weren't already aware, the 63rd General Session of the Utah state legislature officially began on January 28. In this process, hundreds of bills will be sent through the rigorous legislation process to become law. If you are not in the mood to scroll through all those bills, here are a few that could affect you (or just sounded most interesting to me, personally). 

S.B. 134 - Campus Safety Amendments This bill aims to create a better network of knowledge and support for those who encounter or suffer from sexual assault, abuse, and stalking. The bill requires colleges funded by the state to set up an online resource that explains how administrators keep reports confidential,  the resources available on campus and in the local community, and how to report off-campus assaults. The bill also requires that club or group recognized by the school provide training on consent, ways to intervene when concerning behavior crops up, and how to support victims.

H.B. 281 - Prosecution Review Amendments One of the most significant problems in Utah is sex-related crimes, and only 6% of those crimes are being prosecuted. This bill would allow the Attorney General's office to review 1st Degree felony cases where the prosecutor has declined to prosecute in hopes of supporting survivors and attempting to prevent crime by increasing prosecution rates.

H.B. 71 - Health Education Amendments Actual sex education in Utah? Well, that is the hope of this bill. This bill would overturn the abstinence-only rule in Utah regarding sex education and allows schools to teach students about the different forms, effectiveness, and limitations of contraceptives.

H.B. 66 - Year-round Daylight Saving Time If you are tired of changing the clock on your microwave twice a year, then get ready for House Bill 66. This bill would have Utah stay on mountain daylight time all year provided that federal congress authorizes states to opt out of standard time. 

H.B. 151 - Traffic Flow Amendments If I am completely honest, I do not have much faith in this bill becoming law, but I find it too funny not to put on the list. This bill allows a person to go through a red light if they have been waiting for more than 90 seconds, the road is 55 miles per hour or less, no one is coming, and there are no safety hazards.  

This is a very brief overview of only 5 of the 165 Senate and 329 House bills that have been released and numbered. However, there are still 1000 bill requests that have yet to be released, so there is plenty of time for more interesting bills to come about. I would encourage all of you to at least skim the local news to hear about other bills because political participation is key to this government, and you really can make a difference. 

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