News & Events

2013 Utah State Legislative Session - Week 6 Update
March 11, 2013
Parsons Behle & Latimer

Today is the start of the seventh week of the 2013 legislative session.
There are 3 days until the final day of the session.

Prison Relocation

Senators debated Senate Bill 72 for three days about how to best relocate the prison and develop the existing site. They finally passed out of the Senate a fourth substitute bill that modifies the current makeup of the Prison Relocation and Development Authority (“PRADA”), rather than creating an entirely new board. If the current bill passes, PRADA will have authority to pursue requests for proposals. The Senate approved the bill on Tuesday, and it now awaits a House vote. Final passage is in doubt, as House Speaker Becky Lockhart has said that she would like to see the issue considered in a special session later this year rather than being addressed during the final days of this session.

Collection of Sales Taxes on Online Purchases

Presently, online retailers are required to collect sales taxes if they also have a physical presence (called a “nexus”) in the state. Senate Bill 226 expands the definition of nexus in a way that would require more online sellers to collect sales taxes. However, legislative attorneys have warned that the bill may violate the United States Constitution's Commerce Clause. The bill barely passed the Senate with 15 votes, the minimum required. The bill now goes to the House.

Water Rights

Two water rights bills have progressed in the legislature, House Bill 123 in the House, and Senate Bill 109 in the Senate. Both deal with requirements of the application process to change the use of a water right, though in different ways. As of this morning it appears that the two bills will be combined into Senate Bill 109.

Gift Cards

Consumers frustrated with expiration dates and dormancy fees that often render gift cards without value after several years of non-use found a champion in Rep. Mel Brown. He proposed House Bill 398, which would ban gift card expiration dates and fees. The bill was considered in the Natural Resources Committee, having been sent there because it was thought to be friendly ground. However, members of the committee were swayed by the opposition and shelved the idea for this session.

Save the Date – Please join us for a post-legislative recap on Thursday, April 11, from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. at Parsons Behle & Latimer. Additional details will be forthcoming.

If you need additional information on any of these issues or bills, please contact David Bird at 801.536.6824, Mike Bailey at 801.201.0115, Shelly Cordon Teuscher at 801.541.5918 or visit le.utah.gov.