The 2018 Utah Legislature convened on Monday, January 22, 2018, and is scheduled to end Thursday, March 8th, 2018. Our Legislative Committee meets on a near-daily basis during the session to evaluate legislation and help formulate policy positions. We compile a list of bills to track that directly or indirectly impact our work. We will keep you updated on all legislation affecting sexual violence during the 45-day session. We will be updating the status of bills regularly and keep this webpage as updated as possible. For real-time updates, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our email newsletter. If you have an interest in a bill that is not on our tracking list and would like to bring it to our attention, please contact us. During the beginning of the session, many requested bills will be in "Boxcar" status, meaning the language is still being written and isn't public yet. As those laws are numbered and introduced, we will review and formulate positions on those bills and add them to our tracking list.
We look forward to working with you as we work to enact legislation that will help us eliminate sexual violence in our community. If you have questions or concerns about a particular piece of legislation, please let us know. You can always reach us at 801-746-0404 or [email protected].
|Bill Number||Bill Title||Sponsors||Overview||Our Position||Justification|
|House Bill 69||National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact||
Representative Stephen Handy
Allows Utah to join the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact. Provides definitions and permits Utah to share information with other states and the federal government relating to background checks and criminal histories. Creates a process for Designates a compact council to administer the compact.
|Support||Comprehensive partnerships between state and national criminal justice systems allow us to better serve the victims of sexual assault that we work with. This bill creates a seamless process for federal and state criminal justice partnerships.|
|House Bill 75||Child Sexual Abuse Amendments||
Representative Merrill Nelson
Senator Wayne Harper
|Adds stepsiblings or siblings by adoption to the definition of incest under state law.||Oppose||
This legislation is unnecessary and would not provide any additional safety or security for victims or survivors.
|House Bill 77||Criminal Code Amendments||Representative Mike McKell||Provides factors the court may consider before determining whether a defendant's actions amount to indecent liberties.||Support||This legislation bring the definition of indecent liberties into line with legal precedent and case law. It resulted from a case that was lost because the statutory definition of indecent liberties was confusing to jurors.|
|House Bill 82||Student Right to Active Counsel||Representative Kim Coleman||Requires institutions of higher education to allow certain parties to have legal representation at a disciplinary proceeding, governs the exchange of evidence at a disciplinary proceeding, prohibits certain conflicts of interest in a disciplinary proceeding, and authorizing a cause of action.||Priority Oppose||This legislation would turn disciplinary hearings for sexual misconduct into courtroom style arguments. It would subject survivors to courtroom antics during a process that is not criminal in nature. We strongly oppose this legislation for violating the non-criminal nature of sexual misconduct investigations on campus.|
|House Bill 119||Sexual Assault Kit Processing Act Amendments||Representative Angela Romero||Modifies the process for restricting of sexual assault kits.||Support||
This legislation clarifies the process for restricting a sexual assault kit if the survivor requests to restrict it. We support because it makes the process clearer for our system partners including sexual assault nurse examiners and law enforcement.
|House Bill 177||Trauma-Informed Justice Provisions||
Representative Ken Ivory
Senator Luz Escamilla
|Creates a trauma-informed justice program that will work to review and provide information on trauma-informed practices to the criminal justice system, victim advocates, and other entities that serve victims of crime.||Support||
This legislation increases the utilization of trauma-informed practices within the various parts of the criminal justice system. We support efforts to increase the trauma-informed nature of all criminal justice proceedings.
|House Bill 228||Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training Amendments||
Representative Angela Romero
|Requires school districts and charter schools to provide on an annual basis, certain child sexual abuse prevention training||Support||
The child sexual abuse prevention training created through House Bill 286 in 2016 has led to a dramatic increase in the number of children receiving training. We support efforts to require this training to be conducted on an annual basis.
|House Bill 254||Campus Sexual Violence Reporting||
Representative Kim Coleman
|Prohibits a postsecondary institution from imposing a sanction on a student for violating the institution's code of conduct under certain circumstances; enacts provisions allowing a postsecondary institution to report an allegation of sexual violence to an off-campus law enforcement agency under certain circumstances; and enacts other provisions related to the duties of an institution of higher education in circumstances related to an allegation of sexual violence.||Priority Oppose||
We oppose this legislation because it undermines recent gains in extending confidentiality to advocates for victims of sexual assault on college campuses. This bill is harmful to the needs of sexual assault victims and runs counter to best practices and recommendations.
|Senate Bill 81||Children's Justice Center Program||
Senator Ralph Okerlund
|Requires the attorney general to establish a Children's Justice Center, satellite office, 14 or multidisciplinary team in Juab County.||Support||
The Children's Justice Center Program has revolutionized the response to victims of childhood sexual abuse. This legislation creates a Juab Children's Justice Center and funds that center. We support efforts to ensure that every community has a Children's Justice Center.
|Senate Bill 86||Victim Targeting Penalty Enhancements||
Senator Daniel Thatcher
|Provides for an enhanced penalty for a criminal offense if the offender acted against an individual because of the offender's perception of the individual's ancestry, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation||Support||
We support this legislation because it would allow for enhanced penalties against those who would use rape or sexual assault to target a victim based on their unique identity. This is a particularly effective tool in the case of so-called "corrective rape" or attacks based on the identity of the survivor.
|Senate Bill 105||Crime Statistics Reporting Amendments||Senator Don Ipson||Requires a law enforcement agency to report specific information to the Bureau of Criminal Identification within a specified time frame; submit that information in a specified manner, and review and verify that information upon request of the Bureau of Criminal Identification.||Support||Victim advocates rely on data from the Uniform Crime Report and Bureau of Criminal Identification to effectively serve survivors and communities. Consistent and comprehensive reporting to these agencies means our efforts will be more effectively supported by data and information.|