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SALT LAKE CITY — Both the Senate and the House passed a bill requiring Utah students ages 8 and up to sign documents acknowledging they are aware of their school's bullying policies and a bill ending mandatory vehicle safety inspections cleared.
Here is a roundup of what happened during the final days of this year's legislative session.
Utah students age 8 and up will sign document acknowledging school bullying policies
Utah students ages 8 and up will sign documents acknowledging they are aware of their school's bullying policies under SB161, which won final approval in the House of Representatives in the waning minutes of the Utah Legislature's general session Thursday.
House debate on the bill sponsored by Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, was divided between representatives who said the requirement was burdensome and personal accounts of lawmakers who know children who have been bullied.
Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, said her daughter was bullied at school, as was another child in her neighborhood. Hollins advocated for her daughter and the matter was addressed.
Changes to effort to turn around struggling schools win legislative approval
Members of the Utah Legislature gave overwhelming approval Thursday night to legislation that changes to the state's ongoing process to turn around low-performing schools.
SB234, sponsored by Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, spells out the process for low-performing schools to develop turnaround plans and defines the roles of state, local and private partners.
The state's school turnaround program has been in place a year, but changes were needed to ensure its financial viability, Millner said during committee debate.
Under the legislation, the Utah State Board of Education will select facilitators who are experts in identifying causes of school failure, as well as specialists who would work with school communities to address their specific weaknesses.
Bill puts state in charge of presidential primaries to avoid 'organized chaos'
A bill requiring the state to hold presidential primary elections to avoid the long lines and low turnout associated with last year's party caucus voting cleared the Utah Legislature on Thursday.
HB204 passed the House 67-3 and the Senate 25-1. It now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his consideration.
But that's not without a slash to the bill's funding request, meant to cover costs of the next presidential primary in 2020.
The bill originally requested $750,000, but lawmakers only set aside $100,000. The rest of the money to fund the next primary — expected to cost about $3 million — will have to be appropriated over the next three years.
Despite the cut, there was no debate on the House or Senate floors prior to the bill's passage.
Lawmakers remove requirement for vehicle safety inspections
A bill ending mandatory vehicle safety inspections cleared the Utah Legislature on Thursday, but not without a Senate amendment to increase registration fees by $1 and make wearing a seat belt a permanent primary offense.
The House voted 54-17 to approve the amendment — a change that the bill's sponsor, Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, called a good "compromise" to win support from lawmakers.
HB265 now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his consideration.
If the governor signs the bill, safety inspections will no longer be required beginning Jan. 1, 2018.
The additional $1 for registration fees will be used to pay for more Utah Highway Patrol troopers.
Lawmakers order deregulation for food trucks
Utah's food truck operators may soon deliver their to-go grub to every corner of the state after lawmakers voted to streamline the licensing process from one city to the next.
Lawmakers were lobbied through their stomachs as proponents of SB250 invited food trucks to the Capitol on critical voting days.
While lawmakers, lobbyists and interns fed on plates of freshly prepared meals, local food truck owners were able voice their concerns about the regulatory burdens of obtaining separate business licenses to operate in more than one municipality.
"This bill deals with some of the problems that our growing market of food trucks are encountering," said Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, the bill's House sponsor.
The House voted 73-0 on the bill's final confirming vote Thursday night.
Yesterday's legislative roundup:
Contributing: Marjorie Cortez, Katie McKellar, Ryan Morgan