Governor signs 82 bills, education funding, criminal justice reforms

SALT LAKE CITY (March 31, 2015) – Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed 82 bills today, bringing the total number of bills the governor has taken action on to 479. In total, 528 bills were passed during the 2015 General Legislative Session of which 495 required action by the governor. The bill signing period officially concludes tomorrow.

Education Funding
The list of bills signed today includes HB2, Public Education Budget Amendments. The bill appropriates funds for a four percent increase in the Weighted Pupil Unit and enrollment growth. In total, with the anticipated revenues from SB97, education funding increased by more than the $503 million amount the governor called for at the beginning of the session. Over the past four years, the state has invested more than $1.3 billion dollars of new money into education.

“Education has always been and will continue to be my top budget priority,” said Gov. Herbert. “Our young population is one of our biggest competitive advantages but we need an educated workforce to remain among the top performing economies in the nation. As our economy grows, I will continue to push for greater funding for education and for greater local control.”

Criminal Justice Reform
The governor also signed HB348, Criminal Justice Programs and Amendments, aimed at reducing recidivism and improving treatment for non-violent offenders. The bill was passed as a result of the governor calling for a comprehensive review of the state’s criminal justice system in the 2014 State of the State address.

“We called on the foremost experts on public safety to create a new roadmap for our criminal justice system,” said Gov. Herbert. “Utahns understand our prison gates must be a permanent exit from the system, not just a revolving door. Just like every other area of government, we need to ensure we are getting the best possible results for each taxpayer dollar. We have taken significant steps to rebuild lives with a smarter, more efficient criminal justice system while enhancing public safety.”

Historically, Utah has maintained a modest incarceration rate while the crime rate has steadily declined. However, in the last decade, the state’s prison population has grown 22 percent. The state projected that without reform, the prison population would have grown by another 37 percent over the next two decades, requiring 2,700 new prison beds. This package of reforms is expected to eliminate 95 percent of that projected growth. Currently, the state’s recidivism rate, measured by the share of offenders returning to prison within three years of being released, is 46 percent.

Bill Number Bill Name Bill Sponsor
HB2 Public Education Budget Amendments Sanpei, D.
HB15 Clean Fuel Amendments and Rebates Handy, S.
HB34 Personal Injury Damages Amendments McIff, K.
HB37 Reauthorization of Administrative Rules Oda, C.
HB68 Student Privacy Study Anderegg, J.
HB76 Insurance Cancellation and Nonrenewal Amendments Anderegg, J.
HB83 Crimes Against Health Care Providers in Correctional System Daw, B.
HB99 Association Open Meeting Amendments Schultz, M.
HB107 Political Issues Committee Amendments Greene, B.
HB124 Education Background Check Amendments Handy, S.
HB140 Sovereign Lands Around Bear Lake Webb, R.C.
HB158 Drill Status Travel Amendments Peterson, V.
HB166 Election Revisions Spendlove, R.
HB172 Payroll Services Amendments Spendlove, R.
HB177 Modifications to Voting Law Cox, F.
HB188 Transportation Corridor Preservation Amendments Christofferson, K.
HB190 Assessment Area Act Modifications Webb, R.C.
HB204 Tax Increment Amendments Peterson, J.
HB207 Educator Tax Credit Study Eliason, S.
HB208 School District Postemployment Health Insurance Benefits Eliason, S.
HB243 Vintage Vehicle Amendments Cox, F.
HB258 Employee Classification Amendments Chew, S.
HB269 Tourist-oriented Highway Signing Program Noel, M.
HB272 Forensic Mental Health Coordinating Council Amendments Thurston, N.
HB282 Online Education Program Amendments Daw, B.
HB283 Media Production Vehicle Exemption McCay, D.
HB300 Firearm and Dangerous Weapons Amendments Greene, B.
HB312 Reporting and Expenditure of Public Funds Amendments DiCaro, S.
HB324 Search and Rescue Financial Assistance Amendments DiCaro, S.
HB326 Federal Funds Commission Extension Ivory, K.
HB332 Local Transportation Corridor Preservation Fund Amendments Kennedy, M.
HB343 Utah Communication Authority Emergency Radio and 911 Amendments Dee, B.
HB348 Criminal Justice Programs and Amendments Hutchings, E.
HB353 Probation Amendments Schultz, M.
HB355 Utah Agricultural Code Amendments Handy, S
HB360 Utah Education Amendments Christensen, L.
HB396 Solid Fuel Burning Amendments Dee, B.
HB402 New Convention Facilities Development Incentive Act Amendments Wilson, B.
HB403 Online Education Survey Program Amendments Eliason, S.
HB408 Catastrophic Wildfire and Public Nuisance Amendments Christofferson, K.
HB411 Venture Capital Enhancement Amendments Wilson, B.
HB420 Revisions to Transportation Funding Anderson, Johnny
SB20 Uniform Driver License Act Amendments Van Tassell, K.
SB23 State Highway System Amendments Van Tassell, K.
SB25 Resource Development Coordinating Committee Reauthorization Dayton, M.
SB39 Conditions of Probation Jenkins, S.
SB59 Domestic Violence Amendments Weiler, T.
SB63 Workers’ Compensation Fund Amendments Bramble, C.
SB78 School District Property Tax Amendments Stephenson, H.
SB96 Safety Inspection Revisions Harper, W.
SB115 Assault Offenses Amendments Thatcher, D.
SB117 Interventions for Reading Difficulties Pilot Program Osmond, A.
SB131 Occupational Therapists Amendments Davis, G.
SB135 Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Firefighters Mayne, K.
SB136 Statute of Limitations for Criminal Fines, Fees, and Restitution Hillyard, L.
SB137 Campaign and Financial Reporting Requirements Revisions Weiler, T.
SB138 Service District Modifications Stevenson, J.
SB139 Service District Amendments Stevenson, J.
SB150 Driving Under the Influence Sentencing Revisions Jenkins, S.
SB156 Energy Efficient Vehicle Tax Credit for Motorcycles Dayton, M.
SB172 Emergency Medical Services Amendments Bramble, C.
SB173 Financial Assurance Determination Review Process Adams, J.S.
SB175 School Safety and Crisis Line Thatcher, D.
SB196 Math Competency Initiative Millner, A.
SB204 Parental Rights in Public Education Amendments Osmond, A.
SB205 Assessment Area Revisions Bramble, C.
SB222 Digital Teaching and Learning Program Proposal Stephenson, H.
SB226 Search and Seizure Amendments Madsen, M.
SB234 Utah Fire Prevention Board Amendments Stephenson, H.
SB235 Education Modifications Niederhauser, W.
SB237 Public Safety Amendments Harper, W.
SB244 Department of Environmental Quality Modifications Dayton, M.
SB245 School Grading Amendments Millner, A.
SB248 Local Health Department Amendments Okerlund, R.
SB258 Street-legal All-terrain Vehicle Amendments Jenkins, S.
SB265 Abuse Deterrent Opioid Analgesic Drug Products Stevenson, J.
SB268 Student Leadership Skills Grant Osmond, A.
SB269 Family Expenses Amendments Bramble, C.
SB281 Water Infrastructure Funding Adams, J.S.
SB287 Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act Amendments Bramble, C.
SB292 Achieving a Better Life Experience Program and Tax Credits Weiler, T.
SB294 Transportation Network Company Amendments Adams, J.S.