- Associated Press - Thursday, March 13, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - After 45 days of meetings and debate, hundreds of bills and a few protests, the 2014 legislative session is set to close at midnight Thursday.

Here’s a look at where some of this year’s most noteworthy proposals and topics ended up as lawmakers head home:


A plan to lure a developer to build a large hotel near the convention center in downtown Salt Lake City is headed to Gov. Gary Herbert. An earlier version of the proposal faltered last year, but this year’s bill has more support because it includes measures to boost tourism throughout the state. The bill offers up to $75 million in tax rebates for the builder of an 800 to 1,000-room hotel if it drives up tourism. Supporters say the hotel and expanded meeting space are key to attracting conventions business.


Utah children with severe epilepsy are a step closer to legally obtaining a marijuana-derived extract that families say helps with seizures. The measure is on its way to the governor, who said earlier in the week he had not read the bill but supports the general idea. It would allow Utah families to bring the extract back to Utah if they have a neurologist’s consent.


A package of bills accelerating the relocation of the 700-acre state prison in Draper was advancing Thursday without major resistance. The prison is currently located halfway between operations for eBay Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. Bill proponents say moving the facility would free up the area for real estate development.


Sharing sexually explicit images of former romantic partners in order to humiliate them would be a crime under a measure awaiting final approval or a veto from the governor. The proposal makes such sharing a misdemeanor for a first offense and a felony for repeat offenses. The bill’s proponents have said the practice most often targets women and can cause them to lose their jobs.


Herbert signed a deal earlier in the week to overhaul the state’s caucus system for nominating political candidates. The measure was a compromise lawmakers reached with Count My Vote, an organization urging more changes to make the system more inclusive. The deal keeps the caucus-convention system, but it allows candidates an alternative path to reach the ballot if they gather enough signatures.


A measure aiming to prevent child sex abuse by creating an awareness program in Utah schools is moving to the governor. The proposal would let schools choose whether to teach students what to do if they are abused or made subject to inappropriate contact from adults. Under the measure, parents could choose not to have students participate


Utah residents relying solely on wood-burning stoves will receive state help in transitioning to natural gas or other heaters if the governor approves a measure putting $750,000 toward the effort. It would help about 200 homes make the transition because they are in areas deemed to have especially poor air quality. State regulators have said the switch from stoves would help clear wintertime smog.


Utah will consider whether to continue observing daylight saving time if the governor signs off on the measure, it will create a public meeting for Utah residents to voice concerns or support surrounding the issue. The measure requires the governor’s economic development office to make a recommendation about any future action on daylight savings.


A measure to set early restrictions on law enforcement’s use of drones is on its way to the governor. Some lawmakers warn that restrictions are needed as drone technology evolves and becomes more common. The measure would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before using a drone. It would also regulate which kinds of data can be collected and for how long.


Students who skip school but still manage to keep their grades up are at the center of a measure now heading to the governor. It would exempt parents from truancy court if their student is 16 or older and has a GPA of at least 3.5. Proponents say truancy court is unnecessary for those who miss school but are otherwise good students.


Associated Press writer Michelle L. Price contributed to this report.



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