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Hundreds of new Utah laws officially in effect Wednesday



UTAH — Hundreds of new Utah laws go into effect starting Wednesday. The changes in Utah policy range from police reform to pandemic response.

Utah laws going into effect

The Utah Legislature passed 502 bills in the 2021 Legislative Session, although many had to wait until early May to officially become law. One change to policy is H.B. 60, which ensures Utahns will no longer need to acquire a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon.

“There are 19 states that have this already,” said bill sponsor Rep. Walt Brooks in February. “None of them have an increase in gun violence or even gun incidents.”

Another bill becoming law allows those under 21 to apply for and carry a concealed weapon with a provisional permit.

When it comes to police reform, law enforcement and peace officers in Utah are now required to go through training to familiarize themselves with autism spectrum disorder and other mental disorders.

Getting rid of doctor’s notes

One change to policy that may impact everyday Utah families is official mental health days, which are now considered an excused school absence. Another new law, H.B. 116, prohibits schools from requiring documentation from a doctor or medical professional to excuse a child due to mental or physical illness.

“Parents have a right to hold their children home for any reason,” said bill sponsor Rep. Adam Robertson earlier this year. “I have a son who gets, fairly often, some severe headaches and migraines […] I don’t need a doctor’s note to excuse my son for that.”

Other new laws allow Utahns to request, either by email or physical mail, a reminder to renew their vehicle registration.

The Beehive State is also gaining two new state parks thanks to H.B. 257: Utahraptor State Park in Grand County and Lost Creek State Park in Morgan County.