March 13, 2020 News

Utah Bills to Watch, March 13, 2020

HB 5 

Sponsor: Stewart Barlow

Summary: Among other appropriations, this appropriations bill appropriates $1,084,000 to Utah’s Constitutional Defense Restricted Account. 


HB 85 

Sponsor: Carl Albrecht

Summary: Bill requires any federal entity that wants to designate a national monument in Utah to first “notify the chairs” of “the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee, if constituted, and the Federalism Commission” or “if the notice is given during a General Session, the House and Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Standing Committees” before introducing federal legislation.  


HB 125 

Sponsor: Carl Albrecht; Ralph Okerlund

Summary: Bill allows the Director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to “take immediate action to reduce the number of predators within each management unit where the big game population is under the established herd size objective for that management unit.” Predators are defined as cougars, bears, coyotes or bobcats and big game as mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goats and bison.


HB 228 

Sponsor: Casey Snider

Summary: This bill takes an “existing rule and codifies it into law allowing livestock growers and designees to kill predator species on public land.” The bill would allow: ” ranchers to kill bear, cougar and coyote on public lands with no oversight from wildlife management.”


HB 261 

Sponsor: Phil Lyman

Summary: This bill would give “property owners more rights in court to challenge a state or local entity that has selected their property” and would ban “eminent domain for recreational or entertainment purposes.” 


HB 290 

Sponsor: Norman Thurston

Summary: This bill would lessen the requirements for becoming a hunting guide or outfitter in Utah. Currently, hunting guides and outfitters are required to be licensed (which includes education and training) but this bill will just require individuals to register and submit proof of insurance to be a hunting guide or outfitter.


HB 328 

Sponsor: Joel Ferry 

Summary: This bill requires Utah’s Division of Water Resources to conduct a study to provide current cost estimates related to the feasibility of diverting Green River water into the Wasatch Front through the Bear River or the Weber River, and also study reasonable alternative methods, if any, of diverting Green River water into the Wasatch Front. 


SB 63

Sponsor: Scott Sandall

Summary: This bill states that “an individual who does not own the adjacent property may not engage in  recreational activity on Weber River navigable waters if the recreational activity: destroys, materially damages, removes, or alters real or personal property; is undertaken on horseback, a motor vehicle, an off-highway vehicle, or a non-motorized wheeled vehicle; or constitutes hunting.” The bill also allows ” The owner of a private land adjacent to Weber River navigable waters may place a fence or obstruction across a public water if the fence or obstruction is placed for a reason other than blocking access for recreational activity.”


SB 100 

Sponsor: Ralph Okerlund

Summary: This bill would allow the SIA board to “hold a closed meeting if two-thirds of the members present when a quorum is present vote to close the meeting for the purpose of: (i) conducting a strategy session to discuss market conditions relevant to the timing of monetizing trust assets or making capital expenditures to increase the value of trust assets; or (ii) evaluating the terms of a joint venture or other business arrangement.” 


SB 149

Sponsor: Wayne Harper

Summary: This bill would lessen the requirements for becoming a hunting guide or outfitter in Utah. Currently, hunting guides and outfitters are required to be licensed (which includes education and training) but this bill will just require individuals to register and submit proof of insurance to be a hunting guide or outfitter. 


HJR 15

Sponsor: Casey Snider

Summary: This proposed constitutional amendment would create a “right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife” in the Utah Constitution. If passed by the Legislature, the constitutional amendment would go before voters later this year. 


SCR 1 

Sponsor: Scott Sandall, Keven Stratton

Summary: This bill creates a new state monument, the Danger Cave State Monument.  


HCR 2 

Sponsor: Susan Duckworth, Evan Vickers

Summary: This bill creates a new state monument, the Old Iron Town State Monument. 


HCR 13 

Sponsor: Mike Schultz

Summary: This resolution “urges continued state investment in wildlife connectivity and
encourages state and local governments to adopt policies to protect and restore wildlife connectivity and migration corridors.” 


HJR 21 

Sponsor: Stewart Barlow

Summary: This joint resolution of the Legislature requests that the Utah Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources conduct a joint study of the feasibility of creating a scenic loop through Antelope Island.


HB 133 

Sponsor: Mike Winder

Summary: This bill “would allow local governments to, once again, use eminent domain to help carve out trails in Utah. Eminent domain, the right of the government to take over a piece of land as long as the property owner is compensated, had been used for this reason in the past. However, that option was removed through a bill passed in 2008. The current law states that eminent domain can’t be used for trails.”


HB 278 

Sponsor: Cheryl Acton

Summary: This bill would “provide access from a highway to the trails along the Jordan River where the trail can be safely accessed.” 


HB 283

Sponsor: Jeff Stenquist

Summary: This bill would create a Outdoor Adventure Commission which will “develop a strategic plan aimed at meeting the future needs of outdoor recreation within the state in order to enhance the quality of life of Utah residents.” The bill also mandates the commission hire consultants to develop the strategic plan and conduct associated analytical work. 


HB 322 

Sponsor: Steven Eliason

Summary: This bill would “create a new state park at the site of a large dinosaur fossil dig” by spending “about $10 million to create ‘Utahraptor State Park’ in the Dalton Wells area about 15 minutes north of Moab near Arches National Park.” 


HB 335 

Sponsor: Michael McKell

Summary: This bill changes penalties for illegal activities on trust land, including stealing or destroying archeological resources, from a class B misdemeanor to either a second degree felony, third degree felony, class A misdemeanor or class B misdemeanor depending on the cost of the property injury or damage caused. 


HB 39 

Sponsor: Casey Snider

Summary: Bill expands the membership of the Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force “to include three individuals whose primary source of income comes from the production of agricultural commodities.”


HB 233 

Sponsor: Casey Snider

Summary: This bill creates the Utah Natural Resources Legacy Fund, an eight member board that reports “to the governor and the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee” annually “with respect to: (1) federal grants, state appropriations, and other contributions, grants, gifts, transfers, bequests, and donations received and credited to the legacy fund during the preceding fiscal year; and (2) expenditures from the legacy fund.” 


HB 417 

Sponsor: Phil Lyman

Summary: This bill requires the Division of Wildlife Resources to notify any affected landowner before taking wildlife. 


HJR 3 

Sponsor: Keven Stratton

Summary: This joint resolution proposes to change a safeguard in the Utah Constitution “that stops cities and towns from ever selling their water rights.” 


SB 26 

Sponsor: Jani Iwamoto; Timothy Hawkes; Ralph Okerlund; David Hinkins

Summary: This bill “would create the Water Banking Act outlining the objectives of a water right banking system.” 


HCR 22 

Sponsor: Brad Last 

Summary: This resolution encourages the state of Utah through its agencies with water supply responsibilities, to expeditiously develop and place to beneficial use wherever within the state the need may arise, the water apportioned to Utah under the Compacts, to continue to explore and implement practices that promote water efficiency and water conservation and to coordinate and cooperate with the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, and the other Colorado River basin states in the timely implementation of the Drought Control Plans and the completion of the re-consultation on the Colorado River Interim Guidelines, while ensuring that the state’s lawful interest in Colorado River waters is fully protected.


HCR 23 

Sponsor: Scott Chew

Summary: This concurrent resolution expresses support and recognition of the Green River Stakeholders and the need to reduce the adverse effects of current Flaming Gorge Dam operations to the local communities, recreational businesses, ranchers, farmers, landowners, and individuals who work and live within the river corridor.