From the Hill: Week four of the Legislature

Photo by Christian Anderson

Photo by Christian Anderson

This week, Utah GOP Chairman, James Evans, released a press statement advising the Utah Congressional delegation to cease holding town-hall meetings for the time being because of his interpretation of town-hall meetings packed with worried constituents as inherently violent. Congresswomen Mia Love, meanwhile, said she is too busy to hold a town hall, but not too busy to meet with SelectHealth representatives in Washington D.C.

Wine night may soon get more expensive. Sen. Stevenson’s bill, which would take down the Zion Curtain, was supposed to be released last Friday. The bill is expected to include a markup on liquor and wine sold in the state. If the bill is released, expect it to be soon.

Lawmakers held Rep. Hemingway’s HB 147, which would raise the minimum wage in the state to $10.25 an hour, in committee for “interim study,” which means the bill could theoretically be analyzed more closely after the session.

Rep. Romero’s HB 200, which mandates the testing of all rape kits in Utah, passed out of the House unanimously this last week. The bill is now due for Senate consideration.

Rep. King’s HB 384, which would remove the requirement for reproductive health care providers and abortion providers to have admitting privileges to local hospitals. King says that current Utah Statute, which requires providers to have admitting privileges, could be challenged in court after the recent SCOTUS decision—which could cost the state large sums in litigation.

HB 141, which some say would require abortion providers to give medically inaccurate information about “abortion reversal,” passed out of committee last week in a 9 to 2 vote. The bill is now due for consideration in the full House.

HB 259, “Stand Your Ground Legislation,” passed out of the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice committee last week in a 6 to 4 vote. Only one Republican on the committee voted against the bill, even though the Police Chiefs Association spoke out against the legislation during the hearing.

Rep. Perry’s HB 237, which would allow permit-free concealed carry, failed in the House Law Enforcement Committee this week in a 5 to 5 vote.

Rep. Romero’s HB 251, which would makes conversations between sexual assault survivors and campus advocates confidential, has received criticism for what some see as the risk of allowing serial rapists to go unaccused.

Rep. Hall’s HB 105, which extends early voting in Utah through the day of the election passed the house 73 to 0. Previously, early voting ended the Friday before election. Rep. Chavez-Houck’s HB 285, which would extend Election Day voter registration to statewide, failed to pass out of committee.