SALT LAKE CITY—As the 2017 legislative session comes to a close today, lawmakers are scrambling to push through bills at the 11th hour.
Here are a few that are working their way through the system according to Sen. Todd Weiler’s weekly update:
HB211, sponsored by Rep. Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake would make the Spiral Jetty the official state work of art. Considered one of the top 10 land art sculptures in the world, the Spiral Jetty was created by Robert Smithson and completed in 1970, bringing visitors to Rozel Point from all over the world. After a great deal of discussion, the bill passed out of the Senate.
School accountability and student assessment
SB220 would do away with the SAGE test for high school students and instead 9th, 10th, and 11th graders would take the ACT Aspire. Switching to an ACT would help test students in a more meaningful way since many already take it for higher education applications. The school accountability system would be changed through this bill to a criterion-based grading system and include a multiple indicator system to account for student barriers (such as language), growth, proficiency and other indicators. This also passed out of the Senate.
Lawsuits against pornography industry
SB185, sponsored by Weiler, is intended to allow those who have been psychologically harmed by an online pornography site to file suit against the industry. Weiler has taken some heat over the issue but said it’s meant to encourage these porn sites to add age-verification tools and warning labels to prevent young people from viewing the material. However, lawmakers voted last Friday to remove key language on awarding legal compensation to winners of a pornography lawsuit from the bill. The bill was passed to the House for consideration after the House Judiciary Committee voted 8-3 in favor of dropping the language.