Politics • Herbert also OKs measures on smoking in cars, dating violence.
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A bill that would chart a course for the potential relocation of the Utah State Prison from Draper has been signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert, along with scores of other pieces of legislation.
SB72, sponsored by Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, would establish an 11-member board and spend $1.7 million to do a cost-benefit study, environmental reviews and design and construction consulting in anticipation of possibly relocating the prison.
The board would identify options for the much-sought-after 690-acre parcel where the prison now stands seen as a prime location for commercial and residential development.
And the board would have the authority to request proposals for construction of the prison at a new location and development of the site, although it would have to go back to the Legislature for final approval.
Supporters estimate the commercial development of the site could generate up to 40,000 jobs and $20 billion over 25 years, although the studies supporting those estimates have not been made public.
The governor also signed HB13, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, which prohibits adults from smoking in cars where children are present. After a year, police can write a ticket for violations.
Earlier, when asked about other bills that he might veto, Herbert suggested HB13 was among the bills that were causing him concern.
Herbert also signed HB50, the Dating Violence Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake City, which would make it easier for individuals to get protective orders against someone whom they are dating.
Among the other bills Herbert signed Wednesday and Thursday were:
SB42 • sponsored by Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, creating and funding 40 new spots at the University of Utah Medical School.
SB120 • sponsored by Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, which allows the governor to restrict target shooting in areas where fire risks are high.
HB96 • which extends a tax credit for converting vehicles to natural gas, sponsored by Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan.
HB121 • sponsored by Rep. Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden, which allows individuals concerned about the mental health of a family member to turn their firearms over to police, who would hold the weapons for up to 60 days.
Lawmakers passed more than 500 bills that require action by the governor. So far he has vetoed just one bill HB76, which would have allowed anyone over 21 to carry a concealed firearm without a concealed weapons permit.
Herbert said there are very few remaining bills that are in his veto sights.
Herbert said there are some concerns about a few education bills that passed the Legislature. The state school board split on whether to ask Herbert to veto a school grading bill.