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Hundreds of new laws take effect in Utah today

Posted at 4:52 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 11:16:57-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of new laws go into effect in Utah today, impacting your life in a number of ways.

The bills, passed by the Utah State Legislature in the 2021 session, range from tax and regulatory cuts to new initiatives and programs.

RELATED: Here's what the 2021 Utah State Legislature did to your life

Governor Spencer Cox touted more than $100 million in tax cuts at a ceremonial bill signing on Tuesday. The state has done away with an income tax on military retirement and Social Security income.

"It gives tens of thousands of seniors relief from income tax," said Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville. "They’ve contributed for many many years and it’s time they got a little tax relief."

The state has also restored the dependent exemption that was taken when then-President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress in 2017 imposed a series of tax reforms. Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, said some of those tax cuts actually negatively hurt Utah.

"It really seemed like — even though I know it didn’t — it just kind of looks like it was specifically targeting Utah families, right? Where we typically have a few more kids, we therefore live in slightly bigger houses, we tend to give a lot of money to charity here," he told FOX 13.

The bill passed by the Utah State Legislature would restore the dependent exemption on a state level.

"It means they’ll be paying hundreds of dollars less in tax every year because they’re going to get the full credit for all their children," he said of Utah families.

Meanwhile, hundreds of other laws have now gone into effect with different impacts. They include:

  • The "constitutional carry" law that means Utahns no longer need to have a permit to conceal-carry a firearm.
  • Data privacy laws go into effect, including one that allows you to sue if you're part of a data breach (with exceptions) and online impersonation, also known as "catfishing," is a crime in the state.
  • Rioters will face enhanced penalties.
  • Following last year's Black Lives Matter protests, policing reforms will kick in that mandate more training for officers and better tracking of use of force. Police will also be banned from engaging with a suicidal subject unless they are a threat to others.
  • Protests outside people's homes are banned statewide after anti-mask demonstrations at the homes of the governor and public health officials.
  • More health care providers can now recommend medical cannabis to qualifying patients.
  • Students can take a "mental health day" as an excused absence.
  • Utah will soon get a new state flag under a commission that was created by the legislature.

You can read a full list of bills here.