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.
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|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.
|Edwards, R.||Oppose||Pending Senate action||House, 59-12||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Eliason, S.||Heise, T.||Oppose||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Draxler, J.||Purser, J.||Oppose||Pending committee action||Email your Senator/RepEmail committee members|
|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.
|King, B.||Lee, W.||Oppose||Held in committee||10-0, House cmte||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Anderegg, J.||Purser, J.||Support||Pending committee action||Email your Senator/RepEmail committee members|
|Distracted Driver Amendments|
In the 2014 general session, a bill was passed enacted more stringent bans on the use of cell phones while driving. This bill attempts to reverse course, allowing adult drivers to make phone calls and use GPS devices while operating a moving vehicle.
|Anderegg, J.||Palmer, S.||Support||Pending committee action||Email your Senator/RepEmail committee members|
|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.
|Anderegg, J.||Mulcock, L.||Support||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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
|Knotwell, J.||Support||Pending committee action||Email your Senator/RepEmail committee members|
|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.
|Perry, L.||Jarman, T.||Oppose||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Perry, L.||Gardner. T.||Oppose||Pending committee action||Email your Senator/RepEmail committee members|
|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.
|Froerer, G.||Brimhall, F.||Support||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Roberts, M.||Patterson, S.||Support||Pending committee action||Email your Senator/RepEmail committee members|
This bill would make it illegal for a business (property) owner to fire, refuse to hire, or otherwise adversely treat an employee because of that employee's desire to breastfeed. The bill does not explicitly say, but its intent suggests, that this would mean that an employee could bring and breastfeed their baby to the place of business despite the wishes of the property owner.
|Miller, J.||Smith, L.||Oppose||Pending committee action||Email your Senator/RepEmail committee members|
|Design Professionals - Amendments|
Currently, interior designers in Utah, when seeking building permits to make modifications to certain architectural elements of an interior, must do so through a licensed architect. Some designers want the ability to work independently from them. This bill would create a new license specifically for this profession, along with a professional licensing board and new requirements for interior designers to obtain the license and legally work.
|Cox, F.||Oppose||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Powell, K.||Anderson, J.||Oppose||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Lifferth, D.||DeForest, H.||Support||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Knotwell, J.||Barnes, T.||Support||Pending committee action||Email your Senator/RepEmail committee members|
|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.
|Christensen, L.||Tavares, A.||Oppose||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Roberts, M.||Bayless, D.||Support||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Greene, B.||Duncan, D.||Support||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Osmond, A.||Bigham, C.||Support||Pending Senate action||6-0, Senate cmte||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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 strikes that provision, closing party primaries to members only.
|Jenkins, S.||Jolley, M.||Support||Pending committee action||Email your Senator/RepEmail committee members|
|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.
|Stephenson, H.||Simpson, A.||Support||Pending Senate action||Senate cmte 5-0||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Urquhart, S.||Stewart, E.||Support||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Osmond, A.||Klaass, F.||Oppose||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
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.
|Urquhart, S.||Orme, V.||Oppose||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Jackson, A.||Norton, O.||Support||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|
|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.
|Millner, A.||Tonga, T.||Oppose||Introduced||Email your Senator/RepEmail the bill sponsor|