Welcome to the ACLU's coverage of the 2019 Utah Legislative Session
This is where you can read the latest blog entries, track important bills, and get insight on what is happening on Utah's Capitol Hill during the 45-day Legislative Session.
LATEST - 3/20/19: We are calling on Gov. Herbert to veto HB136, the unconstitutional 18-week abortion ban. HB136 is bad for women's health, ignores binding legal precedent protecting reproductive rights, and will waste millions of taxpayers’ dollars on litigation. Read the veto letter we mailed to him this week.
3/14/19 - In this seventh and final episode of "ACLU on the Hill" for the 2019 session, Marina highlights four bills that the ACLU of Utah worked hard to support… or to defeat. From digital privacy and record expungement, to transgender rights and abortion restrictions, these bills made our highlight list: (#HB57, #HB431, #HB153, #HB136) (Watch on YouTube or Facebook)
3/7/19: Watch Episode #6 of "ACLU on the Hill" with Marina Lowe, our weekly recep of the ACLU's actions and priorities during the Legislative Session. This week Marina covers HB120 (Student and School Safety Assessment), HB373 (Student Support Amendments), HB438 (Law Enforcement Use of Biometric Information), and HB431 (Expungement Act Amendments) (Watch on YouTube or Facebook)
IMPORTANT READ: Is slavery still allowed in Utah? Our blog post (Did Utah Finally Outlaw Slavery this Month?) examines the uncomfortable history behind the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Read here)
EXPLAINER: The ACLU of Utah's nuanced position on hate crimes legislation is driven by our opposition to enhanced criminal penalties and mass incarceration. Read more at "Why the ACLU of Utah is wary of legislation that includes enhanced penalties for hate crimes"
UPDATED: Check out our 2019 Tutorial on how to sign up for Bill Tracking on the Utah Legislative website (PDF)
The Utah Legislative session began on Monday, January 28, 2019. Your main portal for action will be the legislative website --- located here (https://le.utah.gov)
Check out the Issue Briefing documents we created for the Speed Date... to Legislate interactive lobby training on January 24 (in partnership with several local organizations). Each of these topics relates to pending legislation in the 2019 Utah Legislative Session...or bills we expect to see in future years. Download the PDFs for each topic below.
Check out the 2018 Legislative Report from the ACLU of Utah. This 23-page PDF highlights 35 of the most important bills that demonstrate some of the highs and lows of the 2018 session, from a civil liberties perspective.
"ACLU on the Hill" - the ACLU of Utah's weekly videocast of the Utah Legislative Session
Episode #7: (3/14/19) In this final episode of "ACLU on the Hill" for the 2019 session, Marina highlights four bills that the ACLU of Utah worked hard to support… or to defeat. From digital privacy and record expungement, to transgender rights and abortion restrictions, these bills made our highlight list: (#HB57, #HB431, #HB153, #HB136) (Watch on YouTube or Facebook)
Episode #6: (3/7/19) Marina covers the full range of ACLU actions at the Capitol. This week Marina discusses why the automatic erasure of minor criminal convictions envisioned by HB431 (Expungement Act Amendments) is good for all Utahns, how lawmakers brought HB120 (Student and School Safety Assessment) back from the dead to re-focus it on setting good policy, and why Utah needs HB438 (Law Enforcement Use of Biometric Information) to prevent police from using your face to unlock your smartphone without your permission. (Watch on YouTube or Facebook)
Episode #5: (2/28/19) Marina covers the full range of ACLU actions on the Hill in this fourth episode. This week Marina discusses the prospects for HB399 (Conversion Therapy Ban), which had a hearing on Friday morning, how HB390 (Workplace Discrimination Protections) will help Utah workers, and why HB259 (Straight Ticket Voting) is moving forward this year. (Watch on YouTube or Facebook)
Episode #4: (2/21/19) Marina covers the full range of ACLU actions on the Hill in this fourth episode. First, she describes a bill we support: HB318 (Inmate Restrictions Standards Amendments). Then she unpacks why the ACLU is neutral on this session’s high-profile hate crimes legislation: SB103 (Victim Targeting Penalty Enhancements). Lastly, she explains the ACLU’s opposition to the 18-week abortion ban sought by HB136 (Abortion Amendments)—and why we know this bill is unconstitutional. (Watch on YouTube or Facebook)
Episode #3: (2/14/19) In this third episode Marina explains the behind-the-scenes negotiations that allowed HB57 (Electronic Information or Data Privacy) to pass unanimously out of a House committee this week. She also explains the small but important changes to Utah’s sentencing guidelines that HB 244 (Misdemeanor Sentencing Timeline Clarifications) makes. Finally, Marina brings us up-to-date on brief rise and fall of HB153 (Utah Vital Statistics Act Amendments). (Watch on YouTube
Episode #2: (2/8/19) In this second episode, Marina discusses HB166 (Down Syndrome Nondiscrimination Abortion Act), as well as two similar resolutions SR1 (Senate Resolution Regarding the Separation of Families At the Border) and HR3 (House Resolution Supporting Humane Response to Refugee Crisis) that had dramatically different receptions on the Hill. (Watch on YouTube
Episode #1: (2/1/19) As the first week of the session concludes, Marina discusses SB32 (Indigent defense spending), HB57 (Electronic Information or Data Privacy), SB110 (Family Medical Unpaid Leave Provisions), and the ongoing battle over Proposition 3 (Medicaid Expansion). (Watch on Youtube)
Here is our list of ten policy priorities during the 2019 Utah Legislative session:
1-Protect Election Day Voter Registration and other efforts to improve access for voters to the ballot.
2-Promote reproductive health and justice.
3-Apply Fourth Amendment (search and seizure) protections to electronic records.
4-Expand gender equity in the workplace through a variety of family leave policies.
5-Provide anti-discrimination protection for all workers in Utah.
6-Boost funding and access to indigent defense (right to an attorney).
7-Make expungement automatic for some criminal records.
8-Provide for meaningful prosecutorial oversight.
9-Balance students’ civil liberties with school safety measures.
10-Reform criminal sentencing definitions that unduly harm immigrants
Build Your Skills
- Learn how to navigate the Utah Legislature's new website by watching our Online Lobbying 101 workshop
- Access ACLU Lobbying Resources on how to become an effective community lobbyist--like "How to Contact Elected Officials" and "Understanding the Legislative Process"
- Catch up on last year's legislative session by reading our 2018 Legislative Report
Last Updated: February 4, 2019