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Your up-to-the-hour look at Day 39 of the 2019 Utah Legislature

SALT LAKE CITY — The debate over hate crimes legislation, which for years failed to gain traction among lawmakers, is now moving into the House after passing the Senate earlier this week.

The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee is scheduled Friday to consider SB103, which would provide an enhanced penalty for a criminal offense committed against a victim who is targeted because of specific personal attributes.

Other issues expected to be discussed at the Statehouse during the day include:

  • The Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee has two House-approved bills changing the initiative process in Utah. HB195 modifies signature thresholds for statewide initiatives and referenda and clarifies that an initiative that is identical or substantially similar to a previous initiative is barred if signatures for the preceding initiative were submitted within the preceding two years. HB133 modifies the effective date of laws enacted by statewide initiative.
  • The House Judiciary Committee is looking at HB43, which establishes veterans treatment courts as long as there is a collaborative strategy between the court, prosecutors, defense counsel, corrections, substance abuse treatment services and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Justice Outreach Program to divert veteran offenders.
  • The Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee is scheduled to hear HB342, which requires the Homeless Coordinating Committee to prepare and implement a statewide strategy for minimizing homelessness that outlines specific goals and measurable benchmarks for progress.

Here's what happened on March 7, the 38th day of the 2019 session: