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Utah's governor signs bail reform repeal, vetoes three other bills

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Posted at 7:05 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 21:26:24-04

SALT LAKE CITY  — Governor Spencer Cox signed a controversial bill the Utah State Legislature that repeals a massive bail reform bill that lawmakers had passed last year.

House Bill 220, sponsored by House Majority Whip Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, unwound a reform system that had barely been implemented five months ago. The bail reforms faced criticism from sheriffs and others who had argued that people had been released despite posing a clear danger to the community.

But opponents of HB220 said the system was working and lawmakers were caving to lobbying interests. They argued that bail favors the rich over the poor.

In a letter to the governor, Rep. Schultz proposed working on it.

"My goal is to have legislation ready soon that balances the constitutional rights of the accused while also protecting public safety and I believe that signing HB220 is the best pathway forward to ensure that stakeholders come together to achieve this outcome," he wrote.

Meanwhile, the governor vetoed three bills including one that was designed to cut red tape in home construction, but the governor said it could impact FEMA flood insurance programs.

Read the veto letter here:

HB98

A bill that expanded hemp in the state was vetoed over concerns it legalized CBD in more food and alcoholic beverages.

Read the veto letter here:

SB391
SB392

He also vetoed a bill on local health orders and schools because it was not part of negotiations over emergency powers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the veto letter here:

SB187 veto

The governor allowed three bills to go into law without his signature. In and of itself, it is a political statement. The governor explained his views in a statement. Here it is:

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