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Governor vetoes 6 bills — including some education funding

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Posted at 12:25 AM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 12:29:14-04

SALT LAKE CITY — With minutes to spare before the midnight deadline, Utah Governor Gary Herbert vetoed six bills — including some dealing with education funding.

In letters to House Speaker Greg Hughes and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, the governor explained that some of the things lawmakers passed were already funded. He also objected to taxpayers spending $275,000 for a reality-TV show for teens.

“I do not believe this is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars,” the governor wrote.

Governor Herbert also vetoed a bill that dealt with grandparents’ rights in adoption proceedings. The bill, sponsored by Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, “could be jeopardizing the rights of adoptive parents and discouraging adoption by family members,” Herbert wrote.

Read the governor’s veto letters here:

In addition to the six bills, the governor exercised nine line-item vetoes in the budget. Some of the items, he said, were funding for things lawmakers didn’t pass as bills. Others were education items he believed had existing funding or duplicated existing services.

They include:

  • $275,000 for the Utah ProStart Teen Chef Masters program, a reality television cooking competition
  • $25,000 for H.B. 430, Hole in the Rock State Park Designation, a bill which did not pass the Legislature and will not become law
  • $75,000 for S.B. 43, Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention in Public Schools, which carried its own appropriation
  • $150,600 for S.B. 90, Falsification of Information in a Protective Order Proceeding, which did not pass the Legislature and will not become law
  • $99,100 for S.B. 90, which did not pass the Legislature and will not become law
  • $66,300 for H.B. 221, Immunization of Student Amendments, which did not pass the Legislature and will not become law
  • $6,400 for H.B. 441, Child Placement Amendments, which did not pass the Legislature and will not become law
  • $1.5 million for the UPSTART Early Childhood Education Program
  • $3 million for the K-3 Early Intervention Program

“The governor maintains his support of expanded early childhood education programs. He believes better alignment could be achieved by focusing on those programs with proven results while avoiding the duplication of existing services,” Herbert’s office said in a statement.

In all, the Utah State Legislature passed 453 bills. The governor signed the last 33 on Wednesday night, including a bill that provides policies for police body cameras, another that allows for firearms on public transportation and the bulk of education funding.

The governor did not sign House Bill 220, which changes the make up of some previously bi-partisan committees to a majority party control. Herbert allowed it to become law without his signature.

Lawmakers will be polled in the next week about whether to convene an override session for any of the vetoed bills. It takes a two-thirds majority to do it.

Here’s the final bills signed by Governor Herbert:

Bill Number Bill Name Bill Sponsor
H.B. 8 State Agency Fees and Internal Service Fund Rate Authorization and Appropriations Rep. Brad Dee
H.B. 57 Alternative Dispute Resolution Sunset Date Amendment Rep. LaVar Christensen
H.B. 67 Weapons on Public Transportation Rep. Norman Thurston
H.B. 101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments Rep. Fred Cox
H.B. 106 Securities Amendments Rep. Rich Cunningham
H.B. 194 Milk Sales Amendments Rep. Jacob Anderegg
H.B. 223 Local Historic District Amendments Rep. Brad Wilson
H.B. 236 Charitable Prescription Drug Recycling Program Rep. Gage Froerer
H.B. 248 Municipal Disconnection Amendments Rep. Melvin Brown
H.B. 265 Mental Health Practitioner Amendments Rep. Steve Eliason
H.B. 287 Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands and Private Donations for Public Lands Litigation Rep. Kay Christofferson
H.B. 290 Campaign Finance Reform Amendments Rep. Robert Spendlove
H.B. 300 Body-worn Cameras for Law Enforcement Officers Rep. Daniel McCay
H.B. 348 Mountainous Planning District Amendments Rep. Brad Dee
H.B. 355 Peace Officer Situational Training Rep. Francis Gibson
H.B. 439 Retirement Amendments for Felony Conviction Rep. Daniel McCay
H.B. 471 Powersport Vehicle Franchise Amendments Rep. Mike Schultz
H.C.R. 12 Concurrent Resolution Honoring Lin-manuel Miranda, Composer of the Musical Hamilton Rep. Ken Ivory
S.B. 3 Current Fiscal Year Supplemental Appropriations Sen. Lyle Hillyard
S.B. 8 State Agency and Higher Education Compensation Appropriations Sen. Jerry Stevenson
S.B. 114 Municipal Utilities Amendments Sen. Jerry Stevenson
S.B. 134 Oil and Gas Conservation Account Amendments Sen. Ralph Okerlund
S.B. 157 Pawnshop Amendments Sen. Daniel Thatcher
S.B. 206 Cohabitant Abuse Procedures Act Revisions Sen. Lyle Hillyard
S.B. 232 Rescue Medication in Schools Sen. Stephen Urquhart
S.B. 79 Child Welfare Revisions Sen. Alvin Jackson
*H.B. 2 New Fiscal Year Supplemental Appropriations Act Rep. Dean Sanpei
*H.B. 3 Appropriations Adjustments Rep. Dean Sanpei
*S.B. 2 Public Education Budget Amendments Sen. Lyle Hillyard