He hoped the Republican-controlled House would expand the law that protects minors and vulnerable adults to also protect those in harm’s way.
“When you’re talking about someone who’s being assaulted sexually, when you’re talking about someone who’s being assaulted by their partner in a marriage or a relationship, when you’re talking about someone who’s been thrown from a car in an accident, they are very much as vulnerable as a minor child or a vulnerable adult,” King said.
Lawmakers reject bill that would have made it a crime to ignore people in need of assistance
Inaction by witnesses if they themselves weren’t in danger and if no one else called for assistance would be a class B misdemeanor under the bill.
Several Republican lawmakers, some of whom are attorneys, said they were wary that the bill was a departure from centuries of criminal law.
Instead of punishing people for their bad actions, people could be punished for inaction, they said.
“This is a very significant and drastic deviation from traditional principles of criminal law,” said Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville.
Utah House Votes Down Bill That Would’ve Sanctioned Bystanders Who Don’t Call 911
“While I like the idea of sending a message to the state that we need to step up and we need to be good [Samaritans], I’m just not to the point where I think we need to legislate it,” said Rep. Kelly Miles, R-Ogden. “Not only legislate it, but attach a criminal penalty to it.”
Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, brought a guest to the floor who he said stepped in after seeing two men apparently trying to attack a woman who had a child in her car.
Fawson also asked how the bill would impact low-income families. Moss said motorists have the option of using speaker phone or buying a bluetooth device, adding that they’re as cheap as $11.
Noel’s guest beat up the two men before the woman started attacking her would-be rescuer, Noel said. The men were arrested, but Noel said the situation was an example illustrating why someone may not want to step in for fear that they don’t know the full picture.
King said he’d tried to present a narrow bill that would compel people to be good Samaritans. It’s what lawmakers would want of witnesses if they were in trouble, he said.
SALT LAKE CITY — Food trucks would get more even protection from what a Utah lawmaker calls discriminatory licensing and zoning laws under a bill approved by a Senate committee Monday.
Last year, the Utah Legislature passed a food truck regulation law to ease the regulatory burden on food trucks. Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, who sponsored the 2017 bill, said food truck owners and operators have already saved tens of thousands of dollars in regulatory costs and fees since that legislation was passed.
Before 2017’s legislation passed, small-business owners such as Rob Lundin, who owns and operates the Toasted Cheeser food truck, would spend several hours at the beginning of each year navigating licensing, rules and regulations for each city and health department jurisdiction where operates his food truck. Each jurisdiction was separate and required its own licensing and regulatory compliance.
Henderson’s 2017 legislation streamlined all of that with a single state law.
This year, Henderson is sponsoring SB167, a supplemental bill that she said would "tie down a few areas that have been problematic in some cities."
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The new bill further extends the protections afforded to food trucks. Under the new bill, municipalities would not be able to charge separate licensing fees per each employee. Food truck owners also would not have to demonstrate compliance with zoning laws as a precondition of licensing.
Under the bill, municipalities would only be able to charge for "actual costs" of reciprocal licenses. Municipalities would not be able to use zoning requirements to essentially prohibit food trucks from operating there or limit the number of days a food truck could operate. Municipalities also would not be allowed to require a land permit for each location and time a food truck operates.
The Senate Business and Labor Committee approved of the bill unanimously. It now goes to the Senate floor for further debate.