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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers approved a plan that would leave those convicted under Utah's bigamy law facing harsher penalties if they're also convicted of other crimes such as domestic abuse.
The proposal appeared dead heading into Utah's lawmakers' final day Thursday, but legislators in the Senate resurrected it, passing it 15-14, five minutes before midnight. It now heads to Gov. Gary Herbert.
Utah's current polygamy law, which survived a recent court challenge from the family on TV's "Sister Wives," bars married people from living with an extra spouse or claiming to have a second purported "spiritual spouse."
Republican Rep. Michael Noel's bill makes it a crime only if someone lives with a claimed second spouse.
It shields from prosecution anyone who leaves a polygamous relationship because they feared harm or tried to help a child who might be harmed.
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