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Gov. Gary Herbert signed 49 bills Saturday including one requiring abortion providers to explain that a medication-induced abortion could sometimes be reversed.
HB141 expands Utah's informed consent law with a disclaimer that says in some cases, a pregnancy could be carried to term after initiating a medication-induced abortion. The procedure usually involves two rounds of medication; the first pill alone sometimes isn't enough to terminate a pregnancy. Critics say scientific literature doesn't support the idea that an abortion can be halted after the first pill.
The legislation also requires the Utah Department of Health to include in its literature an explanation of the "options and consequences" of conducting a medication-induced abortion.
Among other bills signed by Herbert is one that authorizes borrowing $1 billion to accelerate highway projects around Utah.
SB277 allows the Utah Transportation Commission to speed up several previously approved highway projects by issuing general obligation bonds. The maximum $1 billion in bond money would come in over four years as needed, with a 15-year payback period.
Regional officials already were pitching the commission to spend some of the money in their areas at a meeting in St. George earlier this month. Those from southern Utah highlighted a provision in the legislation that calls for $100 million to be spent on projects that could help boost recreation and tourism in the state.
But the projects likely to receive the largest influx of cash will be on Interstate 15 along the Wasatch Front, in areas that see significant congestion, Utah Department of Transportation officials have said.
Herbert has signed 465 bills thus far this legislative session. He vetoed his first bill Friday, one that was to have removed a requirement to appoint some Democrats to dozens of state boards and commissions. The governor has yet to take action on 71 bills.
The bills signed Saturday include:
HB82 • It allows certain all-terrain vehicles to travel on most roads in Salt Lake County. It was previously the only county to ban them. The ATVs still must be equipped in ways that make them street legal, and the drivers must hold a driver license and have insurance. The bill still bans ATVs on Salt Lake County highways with a speed limit above 50 mph.
HB130 • The legislation permits studying cannabis products for medical use, while creating a board that would study possible recommendations for new marijuana policies.
HB211 • The bill designates the Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake as Utah's official "state work of art." The sculpture is a 1,500-foot-long, 15-foot-wide counterclockwise coil jutting out from the northeast shoreline.