Over prosecutors' objections, legislature votes to repeal brand new bail reform measure

Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 20:28:30-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Updating a story Fox 13 has followed through the legislative session, the Utah Senate and house have passed HB 220, repealing a bail reform law that went into effect just five months ago.

Lawmakers pushing for repeal say rural sheriffs and county attorneys have complained they don’t have the resources they need to implement a system that is not based on cash bail.

They also say some alleged offenders (all affected inmates have been arrested but not convicted and sentenced) have been released despite posing real danger to the community.

Read: Utah prosecutors, county attorneys gather to denounce 'bad faith repeal' of bail reform bill

Supporters of the original reform passed in the 2020 General Session say it is working and the cash bail system is inherently unjust, favoring the rich with release while keeping the poor locked up.

The top prosecutors in Utah’s three biggest counties, Salt Lake, Utah and Davis, want the reform to remain in place.

HB 220 now goes to the governor’s desk. The bill passed each house with slightly more than two thirds of the vote. That’s the threshold to override a veto if the governor were inclined in that direction.