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Utah governor signs boating hit-and-run law amid others

Published March 20, 2012 6:46 pm

Laws • Measures also cut days and hours to shoot fireworks, restrict gambling.
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Bills to reduce fireworks hours, keep Utah gambling-free, make hit-and-run boating accidents a crime and declare skiing and snowboarding as the official state winter sports are among those that Gov. Gary Herbert has signed into law in recent days.

Herbert on Tuesday released a list of 230 bills he has signed so far. Another 241 are awaiting his consideration. He has until March 28 to either sign bills, veto them or allow them to take effect without his signature.

He has vetoed one bill so far: HB363, which would have allowed school districts to drop sex education and required abstinence-only instruction in those that kept it.

Among the list of signed bills released Tuesday was HB33, which limits fireworks displays to three days before and three days after the Fourth of July and July 24 and sets a curfew at 11 p.m. Fireworks could also be ignited until 1 a.m. on New Year's and on the Chinese New Year.

That comes after a bill a year earlier had allowed more spectacular forms of legal fireworks, and had permitted them during most of July and at all hours — and brought plenty of complaints about noise and pollution.

Also signed were two bills affecting gambling. Although Congress is considering legalizing online gambling, Herbert's signature on HB108 has Utah formally opting out of any such federal law that may pass.

Also, HB40 more tightly defines what sorts of "fringe gambling" are banned, seeking to close loopholes used by some Internet cafes to operate games of chance.

HB92 outlaws hit-and-run boating accidents. It comes after a University of Utah researcher was hit in Pineview Reservoir last year, and bled to death after the boaters allegedly left.

Also, Herbert signed HB201, making skiing and snowboarding Utah's official winter sports.




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