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Libertas Institute supports this bill.

No politician or bureaucrat should stand between doctor and patient. Unfortunately, the bloated Food and Drug Administration often does just that, tying up new products and potentially life-saving remedies in its lengthy and costly processes. New legislation introduced in Utah seeks to fix this problem, and provide terminal patients access to investigational drugs.

House Bill 94, sponsored by Representative Gage Froerer, would allow eligible patients to “obtain an investigational drug [or device] through an agreement with the investigational drug’s [or device’s] manufacturer and the eligible patient’s physician.” In short, dying people hoping to save their life, or simply increase its quality, would have access under this legislation to drugs and devices that have completed basic safety testing, but have not yet received the FDA’s full approval.

Rep. Froerer’s bill is based on model legislation from the Goldwater Institute, which has been successfully passed in several states, including Goldwater’s home state of Arizona.

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To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker.
Click here to contact the sponsor of the bill to share your thoughts, or
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Libertas Institute supports this bill.

The legislature, in 2007, enacted a law that changed how unpasteurized milk may be sold in Utah. Included in these changes was a ban on cow shares, which remains to this day.

A cow share is an arrangement whereby two or more parties share ownership of a single cow—much like people jointly own cars, homes, companies, or other assets. In Utah, such arrangements are illegal for purposes of milk, whereas they are permissible for using the cow’s meat, manure, or hide. But if you want to go in on a cow with a few neighbors and share in the milk, Utah law prohibits that.

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To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker.
Click here to contact the sponsor of the bill to share your thoughts, or
click here to email your Senator and Representative about it.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill.

A 2009 performance audit conducted by the Legislative Auditor General recommended that the legislature end the post-retirement employment of government workers, whereby individuals were collecting both a paycheck and a pension, all funded by taxpayers. This “double dipping” had cost nearly half a billion dollars in the previous eight years.

Following this recommendation, and in the wake of market problems in 2008 and 2009 which created a $6.5 billion pension liability for Utah taxpayers, the legislature modified the retirement system in 2010 and 2011. Legislation in 2010 restricted the “double dipping” practice by pausing an employee’s pension until they re-retire, should they return to government employment within a year of the initial retirement.

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Legislation introduced last year by Representative Marc Roberts sought to prevent material assistance in the state of Utah to the National Security Agency (NSA) for its warrantless surveillance of innocent individuals. Last year’s bill received discussion during an interim session this past fall, and may be re-introduced in the 2015 general session.

Asked about this effort today, Governor Gary Herbert told reporters, “I know people have had some frustration with the NSA,” but that the state’s agreement with the NSA was “something I think we need to continue to honor.”

The Utah Data Center has been the subject of widespread reporting. In our exclusive interview with Bill Binney, a 30-year NSA employee turned whistleblower, he indicated that the storage facility was created to retain every bit of digital information about people possible “in the hopes of retroactively going back and analyzing it sometime in the future to figure out what’s important.”

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To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker.
Click here to contact the sponsor of the bill to share your thoughts, or
click here to email your Senator and Representative about it.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

Whenever we have the opportunity to discuss our legislative priorities and successes with individuals, we bring up civil asset forfeiture. Without fail, the audience is astounded to learn that the government has assumed the authority to take a person’s property without charging—let alone convicting—him of a crime.

They are further shocked to learn that in Utah, the Attorney General’s office deceived the legislature into voting for complex legislation that was presented as simply “re-codifying” (not substantively changing) the law, but in fact did undermine several important property rights protections. Most are relieved to know that our model legislation to restore these changes was unanimously supported by the same legislature.

What is lacking in this discussion is data—understanding how often property is forfeited, how much, what type, and why. While we receive reports from attorneys from time to time sharing alarming instances of property seizure, it is impossible at present to contextualize these circumstances to understand if they are at all representative of widespread abuse.

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To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker.
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Libertas Institute supports this bill.

In the 2014 general session, a bill sponsored by Senator Steve Urquhart enacted more stringent bans on the use of cell phones while driving. The bill passed despite a fair amount of opposition in both chambers.

Representative Jake Anderegg has introduced House Bill 63 in an attempt to revert the law to the way it was prior to Senator Urquhart’s bill. Among other things, passage of this new legislation would allow drivers to make and receive phone calls or use a GPS navigation application while driving—something that has now been prohibited.

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To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker.
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Libertas Institute opposes this bill.

In an effort to provide more money to the government education system, Representative Jack Draxler has sponsored House Bill 54, which would increase the individual income tax rate in Utah from 5% to 6%, forcibly taking an additional $585 million from Utahns.

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To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker.
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Libertas Institute opposes this bill.

A recent innovation allows individuals to add powdered alcohol to food or a beverage—a substance that has been banned in six states. Several other states are including a ban.

That list includes Utah, courtesy of House Bill 48, sponsored by Representative Steve Eliason. The legislation would prohibit individuals from using or even possessing powdered alcohol.

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To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker.
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Libertas Institute supports this bill.

Utah law currently allows municipalities to license businesses “for the purpose of regulation and revenue.” In other words, merely for raising additional funds for its own budget, a city may require licenses and fees of businesses despite having no regulatory justification for doing so.

The fees required of businesses often exceed over $100 annually, rising in amount for commercial businesses and other high-traffic operations. This burden is onerous on businesses that bring in little revenue, such as a piano teacher, babysitter, craftsman selling wares on Etsy, or MLM consultant. Many part-time operations amount in little revenue, and yet to be compliant with the law such persons would have to divert a large amount of their revenue to pay for these fees.

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To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker.
Click here to contact the sponsor of the bill to share your thoughts, or
click here to email your Senator and Representative about it.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

The the controversial “Count My Vote” initiative sought to reform the process by which candidates are nominated in Utah, removing power from party delegates in favor of open primaries and more widespread participation. During the legislative session, a bargain was struck between the initiative supporters and legislators, resulting in new, complex laws that change political party operations.

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