SALT LAKE CITY — Halfway through Utah's 2013 Legislative session, committees are passing bills putting restrictions on minors getting tattoos, funding for special needs scholarships and passing bicycles safely.
House committee votes yes on tattoo restrictions for minors
A House committee Tuesday advanced a bill that would require written and in-person approval from parents for minors to get tattoos or piercings.
[HB117](http://le.utah.gov/~2013/bills/static/HB0117.html "HB117 — Regulation of Tattoo Industry"), sponsored by Rep. Jon Stanard, R-St. George, would require minors to have a parent or legal guardian present, as well as written and signed parental permission, to get a tattoo or piercing.
The bill also seeks to protect the people performing a tattoo or piercing from minors who claim to be 18 or older by using fake IDs or photocopies of "an apparently valid driver or other government-issued picture identification that expressly purports that the minor is 18 years or older."
Stanard said the bill is supported by the local tattoo industry because it provides "protection of businesses as well as individuals."
The bill passed in the House Business and Labor Committee by a 12-1 vote. It will now go before the full House.
Bill requiring report of abortion statistics passes committee
A bill calling for the state health department to report annual abortion statistics to the Utah Legislature, including a woman's race or ethnicity, passed the Senate on Wednesday.
"This is only about statistics and information gathering dealing with the number of abortions that are done in our state," said Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, sponsor of [SB60.](http://le.utah.gov/~2013/bills/static/SB0060.html "SB60")
Along with the number of abortions performed each year, the Utah Department of Health would have to report the stage of pregnancy for each abortion, the race of the woman and the reason for the procedure.
The vote passed along party lines, 23-5. Democrats questioned the need for collecting information about race or ethnicity and the reason a woman obtains an abortion.
Funds for special needs education approved by committee
More children with special needs will be able to access the Carson Smith Scholarship program if a bill that cleared the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday becomes law.
The committee voted unanimously to advance [SB103](http://le.utah.gov/~2013/bills/static/SB0103.html "SB103 — Carson Smith Scholarship Amendments"), which would create a formula to increase the funds appropriated to the scholarship program each year in an effort to keep up with population and demand growth. The scholarship awards funds to students with special needs such as autism to help offset the costs of pursuing private or specialized education.
The committee advanced the bill to the full Senate by unanimous vote, which was followed by applause from those in attendance.
Senate committee approves bicycle bills
Two measures aimed at increasing bicycle and moped safety passed in the Senate Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology Committee on Tuesday.
Both bills would modify state traffic code by amending provisions relating to overtaking and passing bicycles and mopeds on the highway.
Both bills received unanimous approval and will now go before the full Senate.
Schools' handheld devices to have content filter, bill says
The House Education Committee [HB206](http://www.ksl.com/?sid=24138363&nid=960'target=_blank>heard the case for a bill</a> that would require software to filter objectionable material on any school-issued device.</p></p><p><a title=) would revise state law to include content filters on handheld and portable electronic devices with Internet capability, such as tablets and smartphones, as those technologies are increasingly used by schools as an educational tool.
The bill was advanced to the full House after receiving a single vote in opposition from the committee.
Contributing: Dennis Romboy, Jasen Lee, Mary Mellor