2015 Libertas Legislation Tracker

Out of the 700+ bills introduced during each year's general legislative session, Libertas Institute highlights those that have a particular interest to our mission of championing individual liberty, private property, and free enterprise.

NOTE: New bills are being added daily, and as the session progresses we will be updating the status of each of the bills below here on the Tracker. Check back often for updates!

Key: Libertas supports the bill Libertas opposes the bill     Libertas considers these bills its top priority for the session

Click here to view a readable list of the bills included in this index, along with their summaries and explanations.

Tip: You can hover over any of the rows in the table below to see a summary of what it is and why we support or oppose it. Click any table cell in the header to re-sort the entire table.


Proposed bills

Filter by topic:

Think we missed a bill, or that our position is wrong? Let us know!


Bill Title Sponsor Citizen Sponsor ? LI's position Status Votes Actions
Children's Hearing Aid Program Amendments

House Bill 157 in the 2013 session established a two-year pilot program providing $100,000 annually in taxation revenue to purchase hearing aids for needy children. This bill converts the pilot program into a permanent one.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. While helping needy children is a worthy goal, it is one that should be left to private initiative—not coercive taxation.

Edwards, R.OpposePending Governor ActionHouse, 59-12
Senate cmte, 5-1
21-2, Senate
Email the Governor
Powdered Alcohol Amendments

Powdered alcohol is fairly recent innovation that some companies have been looking to market for public use and consumption. This bill would fully ban the product in Utah, making it illegal to use, purchase, sell, or possess it.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. It is a reactionary overreach to a new product that should, for consistency sake, be classified similarly to liquid alcohol; adults should be free to possess and use this product if they so choose.

Eliason, S.Heise, T.OpposeSigned by Governor10-0, House cmte
68-5, House
24-4, Senate
Public Education Increased Funding Program

This bill would increase the individual income tax from 5 to 6%, routing the additional revenue to the government education system.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. The income tax is illegitimate and should be repealed—at a minimum, it should definitely not be increased. Additional funding needs for the government education system should come through administrative cuts or fees paid for by those whose children are enrolled in government schools.

Draxler, J.Purser, J.OpposeFailed in committee2-11, House cmte
Campaign Finance Amendments

This bill would establish donation limits on individuals, organizations, and corporations in supporting candidates for elected office, and would make it a Class B misdemeanor to violate the limits.

As a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling said on the matter, "No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations." We agree, and therefore oppose this bill.

King, Brian S.Lee, W.OpposeHeld in committee10-0, House cmte
Municipal Business Licensing Amendments

Current law allows Utah cities to require licenses and fees from small businesses to raise revenue for the city—effectively imposing a tax merely to raise money. This bill repeals that authority. It also carves out an exemption for small businesses and clarifies that nonprofit organizations are not businesses and therefore cannot be required to obtain a license and pays fees.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Many home-based businesses bring in only a few hundred dollars per year, and so the requirement by cities to pay $50 or more in licenses is onerous. Further, such small businesses do not substantially impact traffic or parking, and thus impose no burden on neighbors that might otherwise justify allowing for licensure and regulations.

Anderegg, J.Purser, J.SupportPending committee action
Student Privacy Act

This bill establishes comprehensive restrictions on the data produced by and for students within the public education system. It also affirms that any personally identifiable information is owned not by the state, but by the student.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. As technology increasingly works it way into public schools, massive amounts of data are being collected for each student, and if given the opportunity, the government and third party entities would use it to their advantage in ways that may be detrimental to the student. Restrictions are needed to prevent abuse and invasions of privacy.

Anderegg, J.Mulcock, L.SupportPending Governor Action9-0, House cmte
71-0, House
27-1, Senate
Email the Governor
Ballot Publishing Amendments

Current law prohibits a person from allowing their ballot to be seen by another individual "with an intent to reveal how the he is about to vote." Many interpret this clause to also prohibit taking and sharing a photo of the ballot—something that is done quite often during election season. This bill would rectify the issue by explicitly exempting the taking and sharing of a photo of the ballot

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The original intent of this law is to prevent pressuring people into voting a certain way or otherwise affecting a person's private ballot decision, but the voluntary decision to share one's decision should in no way be prohibited.

Knotwell, J.Born, G.SupportSigned by Governor5-0, House cmte
69-0, House
3-0, Senate cmte
22-0, Senate
Safety Belt Law Amendments

This bill would make not wearing your seat belt a "primary offense" (a reason for which you could be pulled over and ticketed) on Utah's freeways.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. While we think it wise for all persons to wear their seat belt, we do not think it proper for the state to punish individuals who choose not to do so. Personal responsibility requires that people suffer the consequences of their own poor decision; augmenting Utah's "nanny state" to require good behavior is a bad decision.

Perry, L.Jarman, T.OpposeSigned by Governor7-2, House cmte
41-32, House
3-1, Senate cmte
16-11, Senate
Vehicle Impound Amendments

This bill would allow the police to seize a vehicle whose driver either has never received a driver license, or whose license is suspended, revoked, or has been expired for more than one year.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. Due process is required before a legitimate seizure of property, which this bill does not afford. The government should not be able to seize a vehicle merely because its driver happens to not be properly licensed—especially because the driver may be borrowing another person's vehicle, even without their knowledge. This broad overreach violates property rights and should be opposed.

Perry, L.Gardner. T.OpposePending House action6-5, House cmte
Investigational Drug and Device Access for Terminally Ill Patients

This legislation would allow terminal patients to access experimental drugs and devices not yet approved by the FDA in order to save their life, or increase its quality or length.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. No politician or bureaucrat should stand between a doctor and his patient. Those who desire to try a treatment should not be denied due to a lengthy and costly FDA process.

Froerer, G.Brimhall, F.SupportSigned by Governor12-0, House cmte
72-1, House
3-0, Senate cmte
26-0, Senate
Cow-Share Program Amendments

In 2007, the Utah legislature banned cow shares, whereby multiple people may jointly own a cow and share its milk. This bill seeks to repeal that prohibition.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Property rights do not exist only when a person completely owns something; joint ownership of property is common, and each person retains their right to use their portion of that property just as they would if they owned all of it. As such, the cow share prohibition violates property rights and should be repealed.

Roberts, M.Patterson, S.SupportSigned by Governor7-6, House cmte
61-11, House
5-0, Senate cmte
28-0, Senate
Age Limit for Tobacco and Related Products

This bill prohibits the possession of tobacco, e-cigarettes, or paraphernalia by an individual less than 21 years of age. It also bans the sale of such items to those under 21, and prohibits those under 21 from being present at certain establishments where such items are sold or used.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. Legal adults—those 18 years of age and older—should not be prohibited by law from purchasing legal products. If 18 year olds can be sent to war, they should be legally able to smoke.

Powell, K.Anderson, J.OpposeIntroduced
Tax Credit for Home-schooling Parent

100% of state income taxes are diverted to public and higher education. Since home-schooling families do not utilize public schools, they incur a large personal expense for the education of their children without receiving the benefit of their tax dollars in the public school system. This bill would create a non-refundable tax credit of $500 per homeschooled child, allowing parents who homeschool their children to more easily pay for the materials and activities their education requires.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Unlike many tax credits that try to incentivize behavior and are more reflective of central planning than wise tax policy, the direct relationship of the income tax to public education suggests that it makes sense to reduce the income tax burden upon Utahns whose children do not attend government schools.

Lifferth, D.DeForest, H.SupportFailed in committee6-7, House cmte
Insurance Related Inducements

Late last year, the Utah Insurance Department cracked down on Zenefits, an innovative online service that provided free benefits and human resources management software. Alleging that it was a violation of the law, the department's action generated significant controversy and public backlash. This will would explicitly legalize Zenefits' operations.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Free enterprise demands that consenting customers be able to contract with one another on mutually agreeable terms; the Utah Insurance Department's threats should be terminated, and this bill accomplishes that purpose.

Knotwell, J.Barnes, T.SupportSigned by Governor12-2, House cmte
61-4, House
3-0, Senate cmte
24-0, Senate
Prohibition on Tattooing of Minors

Under current law, a minor may obtain a tattoo with the consent of a parent. This bill would prohibit the tattooing of minors, even in cases where the minor desires one and their parent consents. It would also provide for a civil penalty of $1,500 against any tattoo parlor or person who tattoos a minor.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. The state should not unnecessarily interfere in family affairs, and teenagers and their parents should be left free to make this determination on their own. The heavy hand of the state in this case is unwarranted.

Christensen, L.Tavares, A.OpposePending Senate action9-1, House cmte
50-24, House
Prohibition on Electronic Data Collection Assistance

This bill would prohibit political subdivisions in Utah (cities, counties, etc.) from materially supporting the NSA. In practice, it would outlaw Bluffdale from providing water to the Utah Data Center.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. A federal agency routinely violating our rights should not be tolerated, let alone supported or subsidized.

Roberts, M.Bayless, D.SupportIntroduced
Asset Forfeiture Revisions

Under civil asset forfeiture, the government claims (and exercises) the authority to forcibly take a person's property who has not been charged with—let alone convicted of—a crime. This bill would restrict the state's ability to forfeit property, requiring a criminal conviction before the government can proceed with forfeiture.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Property rights and due process demand that a person's property not be taken, temporarily or permanently, without evidence that it was used for, or the result of, the commission of a crime. This bill takes us in the right direction.

Greene, B.Duncan, D.SupportReferred to interim8-3, House cmte
Beekeeping Amendments

Currently, Utah law prohibits beekeeping unless the person first registers with the state government and pays annual fees. Among other changes to the law, this bill would exempt beekeepers from this requirement who operate five or less colonies.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. This important resource in our state should be encouraged, and left to the free market—it should not be prohibited unless one first obtains the consent of the state.

Roberts, M.SupportPending committee action
Coverage for Eosinophilic Disorders

This bill would force insurance companies to provide coverage for the use of an amino acid-based elemental formula diagnosis or treatment of an eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. The government has no authority to compel a private company to provide certain services to its clients.

Moss, C.OpposeIntroduced
Occupational Licensing Amendments

The state has required many professions to first obtain a permission slip (license) from the state before being able to offer their services legally. There are several requirements to obtain a license, including various numbers of hours of education. This bill would allow a person to "test out" of this requirement by showing their competency, thus bypassing the time limit requirement.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The right to work and the free market demand repeal of occupational licensure generally; this bill is a good step in the direction of protect a person's right to engage in their chosen profession without first seeking the blessing of state bureaucrats.

Thurston, N.Cox, K.SupportPending House action8-0, House cmte
Tipped Employee Wage Amendments

Under current law, a tipped employee (such as a server at a restaurant) has a lower minimum wage than the standard minimum wage. This bill would eliminate that difference, requiring employers to pay the minimum wage to their tipped employees.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. We oppose the minimum wage generally, as the free market (which is required by the Utah Constitution) should be left to resolve the mutually agreeable conditions of employment, including wage, for each employee of any type.

Miller, J.Christensen, D.OpposeFailed in committee4-8, House cmte
Judicial Discretion in Sentencing Amendments

Utah law contains a number of mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes. This bill would allow judges discretion to reduce a person's sentence by up to 50% from what is mandated by law as a minimum.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The justice system should not have mandatory minimums that lead to situations in which the punishment does not fit the crime. Judges should have discretion to customize a convict's sentence.

McIff, K.Anderson, J.SupportPending Senate action8-2, House cmte
71-2, House
3-1, Senate cmte
Motor Vehicle Business Regulation Amendments

In 2000, Larry H. Miller successfully lobbied the Utah legislature to require car dealerships to only be open on one weekend day—a legislatively creative way to provide them legal protection to close on Sunday and force their competitors (national dealership chains) to likewise close on Sunday so Miller and others didn't have to lose business. This bill strikes that requirement.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The government should not be used as a tool of economic protectionism to benefit certain companies over their competitors. The Utah Constitution requires a free market, and this bill repeals a law that currently violates it.

Roberts, M.Rackham, S.SupportPending committee action
Living Wage

This bill would raise the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.25. It would also automatically raise the minimum wage every two years by tying it to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. A free market, required by the Utah Constitution, is not reconcilable with a mandatory minimum wage opposed by the government. An employer and employee should be left free to negotiate the mutual terms of their relationship.

Miller, J.OpposePending committee action
Criminal Justice Programs and Amendments

A series of 18 proposals made by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice have now been introduced in this bill to make criminal justice in Utah "smarter" and evidence-based, to ensure that people are only sent to prison when necessary.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Prison time generally does not provide restitution to a victim, and rarely does it rehabilitate the criminal. While more reform is needed, we believe that significant modifications are needed to Utah's system to ensure that punishments fit the crime.

Hutchings, E.SupportSigned by Governor11-0, House cmte
72-3, House
5-0, Senate cmte
23-0, Senate
Weapons on Public Transportation

Under current law, a person who boards a bus with a firearm—except for law enforcement officials and concealed weapon permit holders—is guilty of a third degree felony. This bill would eliminate this prohibition, making the carrying of a firearm consistent with being on other property.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The right to keep and bear arms is fundamental and should not be infringed; carrying a gun on a bus should not be treated differently from carrying one on a sidewalk.

Thurston, N.Jenkins, C.SupportPending Senate action8-2, House cmte
72-0, House
3-0, Senate cmte
Parent and Child Amendments

Utah law gives broad authority to the Division of Child and Family Services to intervene on behalf of children in allegedly abusive or neglectful circumstances. This permissive latitude has at times been abused; this bill helps protect innocent parents by giving them the right to a second medical opinion, the right to oversee non-emergency medical care of their children while in the custody of the state, among other important protections.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. While children in clearly abusive or neglectful circumstances need protection, parental rights must otherwise be held paramount, and the state must use only the least restrictive means to protect children. This bill helps accomplish that objective.

Christensen, L.Johnson, E.SupportSigned by Governor8-2, House cmte
71-1, House
25-0, Senate
Body Cameras for Law Enforcement Officers

This bill would set minimum policy guidelines for the use of body cameras by police officers.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. In coalition with our civil liberty partner organizations we spent hundreds of man hours over the past year developing this policy as a way to address the various use cases of the cameras, the resulting video, and accountability for violation of the law. With the proliferation of these devices and their privacy implications and abuse potential, this bill is very much needed.

McCay, D.SupportReferred to interim9-0, House cmte
New Car Sales Amendments

Current law is confusing as it relates to whether a vehicle manufacturer may directly sell to an individual rather than selling to a dealership. This bill would explicitly legalize the ability of a manufacturer to conduct business exclusively online if they prefer to do so.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Numerous protectionist laws shield car manufacturers from competition, and in other states bills such as these have been defeated or vetoed. Car companies that wish to offer their products directly to a consumer clearly have the right to do so, and any conflicting statutes that say anything to the contrary must be repealed.

Coleman, K.SupportFailed in House7-5, House cmte
32-41, House
Good Landlord Program Revisions

Several cities in Utah effectively force landlords to exclude convicts on probation or parole from renting their properties within four years of their conviction. This bill repeals the law that authorizes this, protecting the right of property owners to determine to whom they wish to rent their property.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. One of the most important things needed by those exiting the prison system in order to reintegrate into society is a place to live. Excluding these individuals is destructive to peaceful ends and violative of the property rights of the landlord.

King, Brian S.SupportPending House action7-3, House cmte
Law Enforcement Tracking Amendments

Legislation proposed by Libertas Institute last year, which passed nearly unanimously, requires law enforcement to publish detailed to the public every time a SWAT team is deployed or a forcible entry warrant (e.g. no knock or knock-and-announce) is served. This bill amends the law to include information about deployments of an armored vehicle, and also requires the detailed information, rather than only a summary report, to be publicly provided.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. There is a healthy appetite in Utah for transparency, and to the extent that law enforcement officials are empowered to utilize violence against people, that violence should be fully and proactively tracked.

Hutchings, E.SupportPending House action10-0, House cmte
Public School Early Graduation Amendments

This bill requires schools to notify students how they can graduate early by taking an accelerated schedule of classes. It also increases a taxpayer-funded incentive scholarship for students who do graduate early.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Encouraging youth to make their way out of the public education system and more quickly enter a career, start a business, or pursue higher education is an added bonus on top of decreasing the burden on taxpayers to fund the child's education for an additional year.

Osmond, A.Bigham, C.SupportFailed in the House6-0, Senate cmte
24-2, Senate
31-41, House
Closed Primary Amendments

The controversial Senate Bill 54, which passed in the 2014 general session, reformed how political parties operate in Utah. Part of the requirement for a qualified political party is to open its primary elections to unaffiliated voters, thus allowing for people not registered in a political party to vote on who its nominee will be. This bill extends the implementation past the 2016 election, allowing resolution for a pending lawsuit challenging the law.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Effectively forcing parties to open their nomination process to voters not affiliated with the party is a violation of the freedom of association (and thus, disassociation). The underlying law should be delayed at a minimum, but ideally repealed.

Jenkins, S.Jolley, M.SupportFailed in Senate4-1, Senate cmte
9-19, Senate
Asset Forfeiture Amendments

This bill is model legislation provided by Libertas Institute to require transparency and proactive reporting when the government uses civil asset forfeiture to take a person's property. Following model legislation provided last year that restored property rights protections to forfeiture law—which passed the legislature unanimously—this additional requirement helps the public better understand when and why the state is taking property without an associated criminal conviction.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The taking of property—especially with civil asset forfeiture, where the government can take property without charging, let alone convicting, a person of a crime—should be subjected to thorough transparency and reporting requirements.

Stephenson, H.Simpson, A.SupportSigned by Governor5-0, Senate cmte
26-0, Senate
8-0 House cmte
66-0, House
Forcible Entry Amendments

Last year, Libertas Institute provided model legislation to restrict the authority of police officers to forcibly enter a home. Following negotiations and some compromises, the bill passed. This bill proposes additional restrictions, such as elevating the legal standard required to forcibly enter a home, prohibiting it from being done merely to prevent the destruction of evidence, requiring body cameras and uniforms, and imposing a penalty to the government for violating the law.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The authority claimed by the state to introduce violence into a person's sanctuary in order to enforce a law the person is suspected of violating should be appropriately restricted so as to protect the person's life and property. This bill is a great step in that direction.

Urquhart, S.Stewart, E.SupportPending Governor Action6-0, Senate cmte
26-0, Senate
7-2, House cmte
67-3, House
Email the Governor
Property Tax Equalization Amendments

Currently, the minimum basic tax—a state property tax—decreases as property values increase, thus keeping the tax revenue neutral. This bill would freeze the tax rate, preventing it from decreasing in the future with rising values, thus taking tens of millions of dollars from Utahns that otherwise would remain in their pockets.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill, as we oppose all tax increases. The state already takes plenty of money from taxpayers, and adding to that burden is the wrong direction to go.

Osmond, A.Klaass, F.OpposeSigned by Governor3-1, Senate cmte
20-9, Senate
43-31, House
Public Accommodation Fairness Act

Utah law currently provides for "equal accommodations… in all business establishments and in all places of public accommodation… without discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry or national origin." This bill seeks to add "sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression" to that list, prohibiting businesses from discriminating against potential customers on this additional basis.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. Free association implies the freedom of disassociation; a business owner cannot be legitimately compelled to offer his/her products or services to any person who wants it. We oppose this bill, but also support repealing the underlying statute.

Dabakis, J.Dyches, T.OpposeIntroduced
Education Elections and Reporting Amendments

Currently, the Governor has the authority to arbitrarily eliminate candidates seeking election to the State Board of Education. This bill repeals that authority. It also subjects candidates to the partisan nomination process, along with candidates for local school boards.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The heightened scrutiny that comes through the caucus/convention process will minimize the ability of candidates to hide behind a "non-partisan" facade. A school board managing millions, if not billions, of taxpayer dollars should be subjected to greater oversight that the delegates often provide.

Jackson, A.Norton, O.SupportFailed in House5-1, Senate cmte
19-8, Senate
10-2, House cmte
31-43, House
Prescription Database Revisions

Under current law, police officers do not need a warrant to access a government database that lists a person's prescription medication. This bill would require them to first obtain a warrant, along with allowing a person to request their information from the database, including a list of people who have accessed their information.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. This sensitive medical information should not be open to any police officer to casually peruse, even in order to investigate an alleged crime. Violating a person's privacy in this manner should require probable cause and a search warrant, as this bill would require.

Weiler, T.Cope, T.SupportPending Governor Action4-0, Senate cmte
27-0, Senate
9-1, House cmte
55-17, House
Email the Governor
Safety Belt Amendments

This bill would make not wearing your seat belt a "primary offense" (a reason for which you could be pulled over and ticketed) on Utah's freeways.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. While we think it wise for all persons to wear their seat belt, we do not think it proper for the state to punish individuals who choose not to do so. Personal responsibility requires that people suffer the consequences of their own poor decision; augmenting Utah's "nanny state" to require good behavior is a bad decision.

Escamilla, L.OpposeIntroduced
Game Fowl Fighting - Amendments

This will would criminalize cockfighting along with possession of fighting birds and being a spectator at a cockfighting event.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. Animals do not have rights, and are routinely (and legally) killed for sport and food. Imposing criminal penalties for causing them harm in other ways is inconsistent and unjustified. This is a basic property rights issue; preventing people from using their animals (a form of property) and authorizing the unwarranted invasion of their property (homes, businesses, etc.) is a violation of liberty.

Davis, G.OpposePending Governor Action3-1, Senate cmte
17-11, Senate
9-2, House cmte
41-33, House
Email the Governor
Distracted Driver Revisions

Last year, the legislature approved a bill to prohibit the use of a cell phone while driving in addition to a previous law that had banned texting while driving. This bill takes it further, prohibiting the use of a phone and requiring only hands-free technology for voice communication while driving.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. Public policy should not harm innocent actors who have not violated another person's rights; prohibiting actions that may or may not lead to harm in the future is illegitimate. This bill makes a bad law worse.

Urquhart, S.Jameson, T.OpposePending Senate action
Access to Health Care Amendments

This bill would fully expand Medicaid in Utah.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. This proposal will be costly, have unintended consequences, diminish personal responsibility, and grow government. The "Obamacare" expansion in Utah is the wrong approach to providing care to those who are in need.

Shiozawa, B.Whimpey, D.OpposeFailed in committee4-1, Senate cmte
17-11, Senate
4-9, House cmte
Administrative Subpoena Amendments

Under Utah law, a government agent can seek a court order to obtain a person's electronic data who is suspected of committing a crime related to child kidnapping or a sexual offense relating to a minor. This bill elevates the legal standard required for the court order from reasonable suspicion to probable cause.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. A reasonable suspicion is an extremely low—and almost non-existent—standard that is extremely permissive. Raising the standard to probable cause, which is required for warrants, is a reasonable step to prevent abuse of this power.

Madsen, M.SupportIntroduced
Parental Rights in Public Education Amendments

Last year, the legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that legally protects a parent's right to opt their child out of assessments conducted at the school. Following reports that the Utah State Office of Education has narrowly interpreted the law, forcing kids to take assessments their parents had opted them out of, this new bill has been introduced to make the parental protection even more explicit.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Parents are the primary stewards of their children, and the state must play a secondary and supportive role. A parent has the right to opt their child out of anything the school may wish to do.

Osmond, A.Gardner, H.SupportPending Governor Action5-0, Senate cmte
18-6, Senate
8-1, House cmte
54-19, House
Email the Governor
Search and Seizure Amendments

Around the country, and despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibiting it, law enforcement officials are using radar technology without a warrant that allows them to see inside the confines of one's home. This bill requires a warrant for the use of such technology, also requiring notification to the person observed by police, along with other restrictions.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. Time-tested principles at the core of the 4th amendment should not be eroded or ignored with the development of new technology.

Madsen, M.Chavez, P.SupportPending Governor Action5-0, Senate cmte
24-0, Senate
11-0, House cmte
68-0, House
Email the Governor
Concealed Firearm Amendments

This bill would allow a person 21 years or older to carry an unloaded, concealed firearm without having to obtain a permit.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The right to keep and bear arms does not entail having to first seek the government's permission.

Hinkins, D.Collins, A.SupportPending House action4-1, Senate cmte
21-6, Senate
Medical Cannabis Amendments

This bill creates a new system for legalizing medical cannabis in Utah, with appropriate restrictions and controls to minimize abuse.

Libertas Institute supports this bill. The government needs to allow suffering and dying patients to access the medications that they and their doctors believe are necessary to assist them.

Madsen, M.Stenquist, C.SupportPending Senate action3-2, Senate cmte
16-13, Senate 2nd
Civil Actions Involving Law Enforcement Officers or Emergency Vehicle Operators

This bill fixes an issue created by a bill last year that provided absolute immunity for a law enforcement officer in a case where violation of pursuit policy leads to the death or injury of a fleeing suspect.

Libertas supports this bill. SB290 restores the balance of qualified immunity so that officers are not liable for injuries when they follow their department pursuit policies. Additionally, the bill fixes a civil procedural issue that previously could have prohibited claimants from filing suit.

Madsen, M.SupportPending Senate action3-0, Senate cmte
Antidiscrimination and Religious Freedom Amendments

This bill would prevent employers or landlords from discriminating against a person because of their "gender identity" or "sexual orientation." This proposal, along with existing anti-discrimination law, is a violation of property rights.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. The government has no authority to violate the freedom of association to dictate to a property owner with whom he or she must share or use their own property.

Urquhart, S.Orme, V.OpposePending Governor Action7-0, Senate cmte
23-5, Senate
8-2, House cmte
65-10, House
Email the Governor
State Board of Education Changes (constitutional amendment)

This bill would propose a constitutional amendment to Utah voters to change the Utah State Board of Education from elected positions to appointed positions. The Governor would appoint its members, with the consent of the Senate.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill. A government board that oversees billions of taxpayer dollars should not come under the control and whim of a single elected official, however well intentioned he or she may be. Voters need more oversight and accountability for Board positions—not less.

Millner, A.Tonga, T.OpposePending House action5-1, Senate cmte
24-5, Senate

Featured

Google+