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Utahns leaving young children unattended in a vehicle on a hot day or in cold temperatures could be subject to a criminal charge; students might receive lessons about the oil and mining industries and death-row inmates might see years knocked off their appeals.
Those new state laws all were signed Wednesday by Gov. Gary Herbert a sampling of nearly 100 more bills inked by the chief executive.
Sen. Ben McAdams' SB124 aimed at curbing the practice of leaving kids in cars was heavily debated, amended and even defeated during the recent legislative session before ultimately passing. The thrust of the legislation was supported by 85 percent of Utah voters, according to a January poll by The Tribune.
The new law makes it a class C misdemeanor to negligently leave a child unattended in a vehicle during conditions that pose a risk of hyperthermia, hypothermia or dehydration.
Under HB25, sponsored by North Logan Republican Rep. Jack Draxler, money from a state oil and gas conservation account will be used to pay for school curriculum to further "mineral and petroleum literacy" among students. While not mandatory, the instruction would help balance curriculum on recycling and conservation, Draxler said during debate. "Many [children] don't understand that their iPods, their toothbrushes … are materials that come out of the ground."
By enacting SB202, the Legislature and governor are attempting to shorten appeals in death-penalty cases. Sponsored by former state judge now Rep. Kay McIff, R-Richfield the bill would generally bar a court from issuing a temporary stay of execution following a defendant's first post-conviction petition.
Other bills signed by Herbert include:
• HB171, requiring Utah's three abortion clinics to be inspected twice a year, one of them a surprise visit. The cost of the inspections would be covered by the clinics' licensing fees.
• SB36, requiring an out-of-state applicant for a Utah concealed weapon permit to first obtain one from their home state.
• HB162, prohibiting pedestrians from being on a freeway except in case of an emergency.
• HB324, requiring that a person charged with a sex offense be tested for HIV upon request of an alleged victim.