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Lawmakers pass bills on officer injury lawsuits, animal shelter CO use

Lawmakers pass bills on officer injury lawsuits, animal shelter CO use

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SALT LAKE CITY — Here are the bills Utah lawmakers are currently looking at, including protecting officers from injury lawsuits, limiting the use of CO in animal shelter, and whether Utah should look into labeling GMOs.

House passes bill to protect officers from getting sued by injured suspects

The House passed a bill Tuesday intended to protect law enforcement officers from being liable when suspects they're pursuing are injured or killed.

"If they choose to put themselves in danger, we don't owe them a duty of care, and we can’t be held liable if they choose to kill themselves," the sponsor of HB20, House Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Ogden, said.

Lawmakers defer ruling on 'no more stringent' environmental bill

Industry and clean air advocates squared off Tuesday in the first volley fired in this legislative session over air pollution, with both sides leaving the battlefield empty-handed.

Despite spirited discussion over the merits of SB164 or its faults, the Senate Natural Resources Committee deferred any action on the bill, which seeks to overturn the Utah provision that prohibits having more stringent environmental regulations than the federal government.

House GOP hears proposed gas tax plan

A new plan to split the gas tax so half of the money currently raised for transportation comes from an increased sales tax "may have a heartbeat," House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said Tuesday.

With the majority of lawmakers facing re-election this year, they'll have to choose "between a nickel or a dime once every decade versus making the tax policy one that will grow," the speaker said. "It's a tough decision."

Proposed bill would stop local governments from targeting dog breeds

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, introduced a bill Tuesday that would restrict the ability of a county, city or town to pass an ordinance that targets a specific breed of dog.

And municipalities where such ordinances exist would no longer be valid.

King said HB97 would keep people from unfairly stigmatizing breeds, noting that 10 municipalities have such ordinances in place.

House passes bill to limit how often animal shelters can use CO

A bill that would limit the circumstances in which an animal shelter can use carbon monoxide gas to euthanize an animal passed the House without debate Wednesday.

After passing the House with a 61-8 vote, HB57 now goes to the Senate.

Utah lawmakers find possible $67M to cut from budget

After a week of pouring over state government agency budgets, lawmakers found a little more than $67 million that could be cut but will more likely be reallocated.

Much of the money identified in an Executive Appropriations Committee meeting Monday to approve the base budgets of government agencies is actually what's known as non-lapsing funds.

Lawmaker introduces bill to look into labeling GMOs in Utah

Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, said he wants Utahns to know whether the food they’re eating has been genetically modified.

So he is sponsoring HB205, a bill that calls for lawmakers to talk with their counterparts in other states about how such food should be labeled.

Contributing: Madeleine Brown, Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Lisa Riley Roche

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