MLK niece weighs in on Utah license plate honoring him

SALT LAKE CITY — Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece weighed in on a proposal to create a Utah license plate honoring her uncle. Alveda C. King’s comments in a letter to Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, led to an amendment to HB506 that removed controversy over the bill that erupted in a House committee meeting last week. Funds collected through the sale of the special plates could be used … Continue reading»

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate granted final passage Friday to a bill that amends the state’s factual innocence statute. The 2008 law is intended to give people who maintain they were wrongfully incarcerated an opportunity to petition a court to prove “under the facts, there is no way you could have been guilty,” explained Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross. Weiler, who is an attorney, was Senate … Continue reading»

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate on Friday overwhelmingly passed SB144, a bill to regulate non-attorney “immigration consultants.” Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake, said she introduced the legislation to address fraud and risk of identity fraud at the hands of unscrupulous “immigration consultants” hired by refugees, undocumented Utahns as well as legal residents to help them fill out immigration papers. Immigration consultants will be required to register … Continue reading»

SALT LAKE CITY — Owners of newer cars won’t have to submit to safety inspections as often and 20 additional state troopers would be on the road under legislation the House approved Friday. HB298 calls for inspections in years four, eight, 10, 12 and every year thereafter. It would reassign seven Utah Highway Patrol troopers who work in the safety inspection bureau to the streets. It also contains … Continue reading»

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Mark Wheatley choked up during a House debate over a suicide prevention bill while talking about the death of his son two years ago. The Murray Democrat said he was in his office at the Capitol on Dec. 1, 2009 when his wife called telling him their son was in the hospital with a faint heartbeat. “I don’t even remember leaving the capitol,” … Continue reading»

Lawmaker open to baptism in gold

SALT LAKE CITY — Last year, state lawmakers made gold and silver legal tender in Utah. This year they’re considering a resolution that expresses support for monetary systems that feature the metals as circulating currency. “This is not a requirement,” said Rep. Brad Galvez, R-West Haven, sponsor of HJR9, which passed in the House on Friday. He said the idea is to support gold and silver as an … Continue reading»

SALT LAKE CITY — On a vote of 6-23, the Utah Senate killed a bill Friday that says the Utah Legislature should study whether to introduce legislation to classify counties as urban or rural. Senate Assistant Majority Whip Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, said the point of the study is to bring consistency to the state code. HB220, sponsored by Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, contemplates an issue worthy of … Continue reading»

SALT LAKE CITY — High school student could test out of required financial literacy classes under a bill the House passed Thursday. Originally, HB156 called for the elimination of the class but was amended in committee to allow students to meet the graduation requirement by passing a test. Bill sponsor Merlynn Newbold, R-South Jordan, said in her discussions with students many of them told her it was difficult … Continue reading»

‘Zapping’ software prohibition passes

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Legislature has passed a bill that criminalizes the use or sale of “zapping” software that hides sales in electronic cash registers, thereby reducing sales tax remitted to the state. Under HB96, violators could be charged with a third-degree felony for a first offense and fined up to twice the amount of taxes due the state. Second offenses could be charged as second-degree … Continue reading»

Tax credit bill advances in the Senate — barely

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to establish a state-level earned income tax credit advanced to a final reading in the Utah Senate by one vote Thursday. SB211, sponsored by Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake, would create a Utah tax credit for certain people who work and have low wages. The federal government extends such a credit, which reduces the earners’ tax burden. Some people also receive refunds. … Continue reading»