7 new amendments to Utah’s Constitution passed

Members of the House of Representatives look on as House Speaker Greg Hughes speaks in Salt Lake City. One of the new amendments to Utah’s Constitution allows the State Legislature more flexibility on when it starts its annual session. (AP Photo)

Voters passed all 7 amendments to Utah’s constitution that appeared on the November ballot. The new amendments will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021. 

Based on the ballots counted so far, 58% voted in favor of Constitutional Amendment A and 42% against. This amendment will update the gender terminology in the State Constitution, removing all gender-specific words (“men”) and replacing them with gender-neutral words (“persons”).

Amendment B passed with 80% of voters for and 20% against the change. Amendment B clarifies the timing of when a state legislator needs to be 25 years old in order to be eligible for office. Now candidates need to be 25 by the time they are elected or appointed to office, not necessarily when they file to run. 

Amendment C removes language from the State Constitution that allows for slavery and involuntary servitude when it is a punishment for a crime. The amendment passed with 81% of voters supporting this change and 19% against. 

Amendment D passed by a narrower margin with 61% for and 39% against. This amendment revises local water rights, allowing cities and towns to sell or supply water outside of their boundaries. 

Amendment E grants individuals the constitutional right to hunting and fishing within the state. It passed with 75% of voters for and 25% against.

Amendment F allows the state legislature more flexibility on when it begins its annual 45-day session, rather than always starting it on the fourth Monday in January. The amendment passed with 67% of voters for and 33% against.

Amendment G changes the way in which education is funded by allowing the state’s Education Fund to also be used for other state programs that support children or people with a disability. Based on the ballots counted so far, Amendment G was the most controversial with 54% of voters for and 46% against.

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