The policy team at Libertas has pioneered reform on a number of policies that we are now expanding to other states. Working with partner organizations or directly with like-minded legislators, we provide model legislation, ghost-written material, research, talking points, and strategic advice to implement the following innovative legislative proposals we’ve helped pass in Utah:
- Digital Data Privacy
U.S. Supreme Court precedent lets law enforcement access your digital data without having to obtain a warrant when it’s in the cloud (stored by a third party). We closed this loophole in our state, requiring the government to follow the spirit and letter of the 4th amendment whether your data is stored on your device or elsewhere. (Model legislation)
- Regulatory Sandbox
This new model of flexible regulation allows innovators and entrepreneurs to be shielded from punishment for conflicting with a law or regulation, for a period of time, letting the law catch up to the market rather than suppressing new business models or economic activity. (Model legislation)
- Free Range Parenting
Parents shouldn’t be punished for allowing their children a reasonable amount of independence, such as playing alone at the park or walking to the store. In too many cases across the country, though, parents are being punished for this. Our law puts a stop to it. (Model legislation)
- Lemonade Stand Freedom
After hearing of countless cases of young entrepreneurs being shut down for failure to obtain a costly business license or food handler’s permit, we led Utah to become the first state to ban local governments from requiring these permission slips from minors. (Model legislation)
- Ban Home Business Licenses
People shouldn’t need a permission slip to engage in commercial activity in their own home, especially if the activity in no way impacts neighbors. At a minimum, cities shouldn’t be able to require people pay for these documents; if they want to require them, they should be at no cost. (Model legislation via our partner Goldwater Institute)
- Food Truck Freedom
Micro-entrepreneurs in this budding industry find themselves butting their heads against duplicative inspections, costly business licenses, and overlapping regulatory requirements. Our proposal streamlined local government processes and knocked down fees in order to allow mobile commerce to flow freely from one city to the next. (Model legislation via our partner Institute for Justice)
- Limits on Fines and Fees
People with low income who are fined often face spiraling interest and late fees that compounds the problem and punishes them for years. We helped put limits in place to make sure that fines don’t balloon into life-altering amounts. (Model legislation)
These aren’t the only proposals we’ve innovated in our state—we’re eager to share with you other things we’ve worked on, and learn from you how we can help with your priorities.
We’re eager to connect with you! Please reach out to us today.
Rees was born in Utah and raised in Missouri. Before joining Libertas, he was a Criminal Justice Associate with the Utah Justice Coalition. Rees earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Utah State University. While pursuing his degree, he interned with the Utah State Legislature, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, exit polled for the 2016 election, and studied abroad in China. Aside from engaging in politics, Rees enjoys fishing, hiking, traveling, and reading.