The Forgotten Laws Taking Effect Today

utah capitol 2

At midnight last night, hundreds of signed bills from the 2013 general legislative session officially became law.

May 14th marks this year’s standard effective date for bills signed into law, unless lawmakers specifically listed a different date for a bill to take effect.

While many commentators have been focused on some of the more disruptive of laws—such as the new law banning kids under 18 from using a cell phone while driving—we want to highlight a few of the good laws that have flown under the radar.

Of the many bills we flagged over the previous session, here are some of our favorites that are now now the law of the land:

HB 64 – Felons Right To Hold Office, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss. After a convicted sex offender ran for the Granite School Board in 2012, Representative Moss (D – Salt Lake City) put measures in place that would restrict those convicted of such crimes from running for the specific office of local school board member, or state board of education. The argument being that such individuals’ parole or sentencing guidelines have a natural conflict with the position, and created an abnormal risk to children.

HB 50 – Dating Violence Protection Act, Representative Seelig. The House Minority Leader (D – Salt Lake City) was finally successful in her years-long attempt to extend rights to those wishing to seek a protective order against individuals in a dating relationship. Advocates say this protects people from harm while opponents worry that the law will be abused.

SB 120 – Target Shooting & Wildfire Regulations,Senator Dayton. One of the few gun control regulations to pass the conservative Republican state legislature, Senator Margret Dayton (R – Orem) put into place new laws that will allow the State Forrester to restrict gun use on some public lands during severe burn conditions, in an effort to help reduce forest fires. Opponents largely objected to any form of gun control, but the majority saw it as reasonable, public safety, legislation.

SB 122 – Student Leadership Skills Development, Senator Osmond. SB 122 was one of the few bills that expanded non-core education of students. Senator Aaron Osmond’s (R – South Jordan) legislation is designed to grow leadership skills of students in Utah’s Title 1 schools. Advocates say that the small price and the high reward will benefit the state for years to come.

One side note, though its fate was sealed long ago after a veto from Governor Herbert and news that a veto override session would not take place, the controversial HB 76 Concealed Weapon Carry Amendments from Representative John Mathis (R – Vernal) officially lost any chance of resurrection at the stroke of midnight, as the deadline to officially consider vetoed bills passed.

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