The 2018 legislative session ended late Thursday night, and in the 45-day session, lawmakers passed more than 500 bills. Here are some bills that passed and some that failed in this year's legislature.
- Daily Herald; Michelle L Price and Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press
Passed - Education Funding
Lawmakers passed a compromise deal as part of an agreement with Our Schools Now on education funding. The agreement would freeze property taxes and ask voters in November whether lawmakers should raise gas taxes by 10 cents per gallon. The tax would give an estimated additional $375 million to education.
Our Schools Now expressed intention before this bill was passed to put a $700 million tax increase to voters this November, and this bill was a compromise that would keep that initiative off the ballot this year.
Passed - Local government reform
A bill to streamline part of the process of how counties change their form of government. After clearing the House on Feb. 21 and a Senate committee on Feb. 27 and passed on the final day of the session.
Passed - Assisted Suicide
A bill sponsored by Rep. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, would make it illegal to aid another in committing suicide.
The Republican lawmaker said his proposed bill stemmed from the case of Tyerell Przybycien, who is accused of helping a teenager kill herself, and of filming the act. Prosecutors filed a murder charge against Przybycien, but McKell worried authorities could be stymied in future cases without clear assisted-suicide laws.
House Bill 86 passed and is headed to the governor for signature.
Passed - Medical Marijuana
Utah lawmakers passed bills to allow terminally ill people to use certain forms of marijuana, allow farmers to grow it for research purposes and set up a state-run dispensary to sell it to researchers and those terminal patients. Marijuana advocates have said the piecemeal approach doesn't go far enough, and they're pursuing a ballot initiative that would ask voters in November to sign-off on a broader medical pot law.
Passed - Utah Lake Amendments
A bill to allow Utah Lake land to be transferred in exchange for conservation projects passed in the Legislature.
Passed - Free-range parenting
Utah lawmakers passed a measure explicitly saying that parents aren't breaking the law if they let allow kids to do things alone like travel to school, explore a playground or stay in the car, as long as they are mature enough to take on those things without hurting themselves. The measure doesn't give specific ages, which lawmakers say would allow police and prosecutors to handle issues on a case-by-case basis.
Utah appears to the first state in the country to pass such a measure. Supporters like sponsor Republican Sen. Lincoln Fillmore say allowing kids to make their own way helps keep the joy in childhood and prepare them for the future.
Failed - Ban on abortions for Down syndrome
A ban on abortions sought because a fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome ultimately failed. Lawmakers in the House passed the bill despite warnings from legislative lawyers that there's a high likelihood that a court will find the measure unconstitutional if it's challenged in court. It stalled out in the Senate.
Failed - Death penalty repeal
A push to repeal the death penalty failed for the second time in recent years, despite the backing this year of the powerful House speaker. Republican Rep. Gage Froerer pulled his bill without putting it up for a vote in the House, saying the tally would have been close but he didn't have enough support to debate it in the waning days of the session.
Failed - Gun confiscation
Lawmakers rejected a bill that would have allowed police to temporarily confiscate guns of those deemed to be a threat, a proposal that came after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month that killed 17. Republican lawmakers defeated the so-called "red flag" bill in committee after raising concerns it went too far in violating a person's constitutional rights without doing enough to address mental health issues. A gun-rights bill strengthening the state's stand-your-ground self-defense law failed to get a final vote. Republican Rep. Cory Maloy's proposal says a person doesn't need to back away before using deadly force.
Failed - Donald J. Trump Highway
A measure to name a scenic highway after President Donald Trump was dropped in the final days of the session.
Rep. Mike Noel, the sponsor of the Trump highway proposal, said he shelved the idea because he received too much blowback and negative attention from Trump critics.
Republican House Speaker Greg Hughes said he would have gotten behind the idea.
"I loved that road! I wanted that road!" he said.
Failed - Delay of new DUI limit
Several lawmakers tried to delay or repeal Utah's new DUI threshold set to take effect in December, arguing the new strictest-in-the-country 0.05 percent limit would hurt the state's reputation.
Supporters said it would save lives because people start to become impaired with their first drink.
The bill to delay or repeal the law ultimately failed.
Failed - Delay in ballot initiatives
Facing the possibility that voters could change laws on medical marijuana and other hot-button issues, lawmakers looked to give themselves the option to change any new measures before they go into effect. One bill would have created a six-month delay after the passage of any ballot initiative, which legislators say will allow them to make practical tweaks. Opponents argued the bill, awaiting Senate approval, could undercut the will of the people.
The bill passed the House, but wasn't heard in the final minutes of the session in the Senate.