Winners and losers of the 2018 Legislative session

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The 2018 Utah Legislative Session ended Thursday night. Below are highlights of major bill and resolution winners and losers:

Winners

  • Breastfeeding moms: Women who breastfeed in public are now protected against discrimination by Utah law, thanks to HB196.

    Lorena McKinnon, right, could not carry a baby to full term on her own, so her mother, Julia Navarro, is carrying her baby in her behalf. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann)
  • Surrogate families: Because SB126 stalled in committee, mothers who cannot carry their own biological children may continue to work through surrogate mothers with protection and regulation from Utah law. If passed, the bill would have limited surrogate births.
  • Police dogs: The punishment for intentionally killing a police animal was raised from a third-degree to a second-degree felony, thanks to the passage of SB57.
Explosives Canine Handler Aaron Colv works with his explosive detection dog, Arros. Killing a police animal is now a second-degree felony thanks to SB57. (Jessica Coombs)
  • Robots: HB217 passed, granting personal delivery robots equal rights to Utah sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • Japanese American History: Utah legislators passed a resolution honoring the efforts of the Topaz Museum and Education Center to preserve public education about Japanese American internment camps.

Losers

  • Tipped employees: HB118, a bill to raise the minimum wage for tipped employees from $2.13 an hour to $3.25 an hour, failed.
BYU sophomore and waitress Taryn Ramos Thurston counts her tips after working a shift. A bill to raise the minimum wage for tipped employees failed. (Danielle Jardine)
  • Road safety: HB64, a bill aimed to make driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone illegal, did not pass.

    A bill that would have charged a fee for using plastic bags failed to pass a Senate committee.
    (Photo illustration by Savannah Hopkinson).
  • Wage gap: SB152 would have funded a study of the gender wage gap in Utah, but the bill died in committee.
  • Recycling agencies: SB192, a bill that add a 10-cent fee for one time use of plastic and paper bags in hopes of reducing pollution, failed to pass.
  • Donald Trump: HB481 would have renamed the Utah National Parks Highway the Donald J. Trump Utah National Parks Highway, but the bill’s sponsor backed out after receiving heavy public backlash.
  • Film Industry: SB185, a bill that would provide $5 million annually to companies that do post-production work on films in Utah, failed to pass.
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