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I’m proud of the legislation I sponsored in 2024 to help improve Utah and to keep Utah the best state to live in.

S.B. 16 Motor Vehicle Amendments Act

S.B. 16 amends provisions and definitions related to certain motor vehicles to clarify

titling and registration requirements. It allows the Division of Motor Vehicles to provide title to certain off-highway vehicles, defining the terms and amending the definitions of certain motor vehicles. It also mends a provision to allow certain motor vehicles to emit visible contaminants.

S.B. 19 Utah Communications Authority Modifications

S.B. 19 is a clarifying “clean-up” bill to address the code outlining the independent entity of the Utah Communications Authority (UCA). The bill repeals unnecessary definitions and language while making technical changes to align the code section with current drafting policies. As most independent entity code sections have a provision indicating which aspects of the overall code they are subject to or exempt from, the UCA code had two provisions that needed combining; this bill makes that change. Read the bill here.

S.B. 28 Scenic Byway Program Amendments

This bill extends the sunset date of the Utah Scenic Byway Program for 5 years. A proposed designation, similar to the National Scenic Byway or All-American road, is to be done through review by the interim committee and concurrent resolution. Designation or removal of a byway will require legislative approval.

S.B. 32 Caregiver Compensation Amendments

S.B. 32 makes a small amendment to a previously passed bill. S.B. 106 Caregiver Compensation Amendments, passed in 2023, was a bill I ran that allows parents and caregivers to decide the best care for their dependents – whether that be at home with a caregiver or in an institutional facility. The bill allows the spouse or family member who provides care to receive partial compensation to make up for lost work opportunities. S.B. 32 extends this program to include step-parents as qualifying caregivers to ensure families of all types have the support they need. Read more here.

S.B. 34 Utah State Retirement Systems Revisions

This bill implements necessary administrative cleanup in the retirement and insurance code that had been studied and identified throughout the interim. One change pertains to terminology used in the code, altering the term “public fund” to say “investment fund” to better reflect the overall nature of the Utah State Retirement Investment Fund. Reporting and record keeping requirements are updated in this bill, and duties of the review process of the retirement board are further distinguished. Lastly, another component of the bill clarifies which death benefits are available to a surviving spouse when a member of the URS passes away before retirement but after 15 years of service. Read more here.

S.B. 36 Heber Valley Historic Railroad Authority Amendments

During the interim, we considered research on the ownership and funding of heritage railroads in our state and the broader nation. We considered the Heber Valley Historic Railroad in particular and decided to continue supporting it, as it is the only historic tourist railroad and top tourist attraction in Wasatch County. Thus, S.B. 36 Heber Valley Historic Railroad Authority Amendments will extend the sunset date for the Heber Valley Historic Railroad Authority by five years from July 1, 2024 to July 1, 2029. Read the interim presentation here and read the bill here.

S.B. 76 Evidence Retention Amendments

S.B. 76 refines and simplifies the retention, return and disposal process of evidence and contraband for felony offenses. Evidence may include biological materials, narcotics, personal property and other categories. It has become clear that the retention of these items is often longer than is necessary for case assistance. My bill addresses the documentation, disposal and criteria for retention of evidence related to felony offenses. This bill intends to improve the process for retaining property and to outline the disposal of contraband and other items within a proper time frame. Read the bill here.

S.B. 98 Online Data Security and Privacy Amendments

Over the past few years, there has been an effort by stakeholders, organizations, businesses and national security task forces to review security and privacy to better identify the duties of the state cybersecurity centers and departments. As part of this push, S.B. 98 will ensure more secure domains and information online.

The bill enhances and clarifies the data breach notification responsibility, outlining the reporting process and requirements when these breaches occur. It grants the Utah Cyber Center the rulemaking authority to set a framework for notification responsibilities and reporting requirements for government entities, an industry best practice. The Utah Cyber Center will utilize information technology directors, cybersecurity professionals or equivalent individuals representing political subdivisions to perform necessary duties. Also, the bill requires certain government entities to use authorized domain names and sets a timeline for when they should implement this. Learn more here.

S.B. 99 Public Service Commission Amendments

(aka) Adjusting the Appointment Process for the Public Service Commission

One of the most significant responsibilities of the Senate is advising and confirming appointments made by the governor to fill boards and commissions. I am grateful for the many individuals in our state who are willing to contribute their time, energy and expertise to the community. S.B. 99 Public Service Commission Amendments adjust the appointment process for the Public Service Commission by changing the process of appointing a commission pro tempore if a conflict of interest or disability occurs. With this bill, the governor can select a new commission pro tempore within 60 days of a vacancy.

Utah Firefighter Aircraft Training

The Utah Fire and Rescue Academy (UFRA) trains Utah firefighters, including volunteers, on best fire and rescue practices. I am sponsoring S.B. 119 Fire and Rescue Training Amendments, which clarifies that UFRA must provide Utah firefighters with training on aircraft disasters. Currently, nine Utah fire agencies require their firefighters to be trained in battling airplane fires in the event of a crash or a similar disaster. However, this training is not offered anywhere in Utah, meaning our firefighters must travel to other states to satisfy this requirement. My bill will allow UFRA to offer aircraft training in-state, ensuring our firefighters have the necessary experience and knowledge when responding to airport calls. See the bill here.

S.B. 131 Information Technology Act Amendments

S.B. 131 Information Technology Act Amendments enhances penalties for offenses involving the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This bill outlines heightened penalties for offenses and addresses the misuse of AI in various criminal activities, including but not limited to child pornography, fraud, misrepresentation of elected or public officials and theft.

Presently, 12 states have enacted laws that increase penalties for AI-related crimes, whether enforced through civil penalties or overseen by the Attorney General. Moreover, numerous states have already enacted laws to address enhanced penalties in connection with various crimes and to improve information tracking systems. The collective efforts seek to establish a legal framework that effectively addresses the challenges posed by the misuse of AI in criminal endeavors. Learn more here.

S.B. 134 Child Welfare Amendments

Each year, lawmakers and the Department of Health and Human Services work together to address changes needed in state code. S.B. 134 Child Welfare Amendments extends the sunset date for the Interdisciplinary Parental Representation Pilot Program to Dec. 31, 2026. This bill clarifies the process for filing a complaint for failure to report child abuse or neglect by requiring the Division of Child and Family Services to provide all information necessary. These procedural changes help ensure that a child is placed in the best home with the best care. Learn more here.

S.B. 135 Advanced Air Mobility and Aeronautics Amendments

A bill of mine from the 2023 General Session, S.B. 24 Advanced Air Mobility Amendments, initially set up the framework for advanced air mobility concerning drones, delivery services and air taxi services in the state. It assembled a task force to review these study items and will provide results on their findings this summer. In the meantime, S.B. 135 implements some of the best practices from around the country. The bill adds a new definition of “motor vehicle” to state code to include a roadable aircraft, which must be registered as both a motor vehicle and an aircraft. Once a roadable aircraft is registered, the aircraft is subject to a safety inspection.

S.B. 135 also clarifies that it is lawful for an aircraft to fly over the state so long as it does not fly at an altitude low enough to endanger persons or property or disrupt the use of the land/water below.

Personal Aircraft Tax Revisions


Aviation industry members have raised concerns regarding inconsistency in how fees are applied and assessed. Some individuals are charged remit registration fees on their respective aircraft, others are subject to personal property tax and some are required to pay both.

S.B. 148 Aircraft Property Tax Amendments requested by constituents and aviation stakeholders, clarifies individuals must only pay registration fees for personal aircraft and are exempt from property tax assessment, ensuring owners are not overcharged on taxes. Learn more about what the bill does here.


S.B. 165 Title Recording Notice Requirements Amendments

(aka) Combating Property Fraud

Constituents have brought forward concerns regarding rising incidents of property fraud, where thieves exploit loopholes to transfer deeds and take out mortgages, causing financial harm to rightful owners. S.B. 165 Title Recording Notice Requirement Amendments require counties to establish a system for property owners to receive electronic alerts when a county recorder records a deed or mortgage on their property. This bill empowers property owners to be aware of any changes and contest them if they are fraudulent.

S.B. 179 Transportation Amendments

The Legislature runs an annual transportation committee clean-up bill which includes technical clean- up on Utah Transit Authority (UTA) code, removes code with outdated language and cross references and makes technical changes. The bill clarifies that UDOT is the transit agency outside of rural Utah and that they can provide transit services if they are requested.

SB 182. Addressing Rising Property Taxes

When tax notices were mailed out last year, several constituents contacted me and other senators, highlighting the drastic rise in property taxes. For one owner, property taxes went up 1500%.

S.B. 182 Property Tax Assessment Amendments is the culmination of efforts between the Utah Association of Counties, the Utah State Tax Commission and our state’s county assessors to address this issue. The bill assists property owners who experience a tax increase of 150% or more by providing them a five-year grace period to pay the taxes. It also requires counties to adopt a statewide property tax system and implement corrective action for county assessors who do not comply with the requirements. Learn more about what the bill does here.


Condominium and HOA Policy Updates

S.B. 204 Condominium and Community Association Amendments is our third year of legislative efforts to implement needed clean-up in the HOA and community association code. Specifically, S.B. 204 revises provisions for homeowners’ associations regarding taxation, common areas and lease provisions. This bill modifies the definition of “water-wise landscaping” in state code and requires that multi-unit owners (HOAs) adopt rules allowing for sustainable water management in landscaping. This bill also addresses voting procedure and proper notice timeframes for voting on proposals when a unit owner is absent. Read the other provisions of the bill here.

Expanding Affordable Housing Options


To address Utah’s growth and transportation needs, the Legislature is working to expand the state’s housing and transit reinvestment zones (HTRZs). HTRZs are areas designed to support mixed-use, multi-family and affordable housing development around public transportation stations. These zones enhance residents’ access to public transportation, providing convenient and efficient connectivity to employment centers, educational institutions, healthcare facilities and recreational amenities. Additionally, they enable a portion of incremental tax revenue growth to be captured over a period of time to support the costs of enhanced development.


S.B. 208 Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zone Amendments modifies various HTRZ provisions, such as increasing the percentage of affordable housing units from 10% to 12%, requiring a distribution of low-income and first-time units throughout developments and encouraging owner-occupied housing within a zone. These changes will help expand affordable housing options for people who would like to live in more densely populated areas that provide nearby public transportation and amenities. Learn more about the bill here.


State Boards and Commissions Revisions

The Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel conducted a comprehensive study to identify all boards and commissions that do not currently require governor-appointed members to be confirmed by the Senate. Based on the study’s findings, S.B. 227 Boards and Commissions Revisions specifies that any new appointment, reappointment or filling of a vacancy made by the governor should undergo the Senate’s confirmation proceedings. Additionally, the bill requires that the Utah Association of Counties and the Utah League of Cities and Towns nominate an official within 30 days of a vacancy in local government, further streamlining the appointment process for improved governance. Read the bill here.

Establishing a Rail Ombudsman

During the last session, the Legislature created the Office of Rail Safety within the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) to regulate, monitor and maintain railroad operations. Following discussions with the UDOT, we have opted to heed their recommendation to defer the implementation of these newly proposed sections for one year, allowing us the necessary time to streamline our rail division within the department.


S.B. 235 Railroad Amendments creates a rail ombudsman position to oversee the office. Their duties include:

  • Coordinating and providing essential information to various stakeholders, including private citizens, government entities, rail operators and other interested parties.
  • Offering accessible avenues for public engagement, including a dedicated website featuring a submission form for reports or complaints.
  • Facilitating productive dialogue and meetings between Class I railroad companies and relevant stakeholders.


These measures will enhance rail safety, promote transparency and foster constructive dialogue between all parties involved in Utah’s rail transportation system.

Increasing Supply for First-Time Homebuyers


  • Lisa Nebeker says:

    Dear Senator Harper:
    Thank you for the work you are doing on behalf of our State. And, thank you for providing these updates. As a life-long resident of Utah, I’m grateful to hear about legislative work which affects me.
    With that said, and knowing that this doesn’t fall into your purview, I would like to comment on the economic situation in Utah and elsewhere.
    I’m a single, 36-year retiree of what was Questar. At early retirement, I rolled a substantial retirement package to a financial brokerage. Several downturns since then have reduced my funds significantly, at one time taking 30% of my entire fund. While that has nearly recovered, I am finding, with the inflation rampant in the country, that I can’t live within my generous monthly income because my monthly expenses are exceeding that income at an exponential rate. Increases in insurance rates (healthcare, home, auto) utilities, HOA fees, communications media charges, health care costs, groceries and gas have become prohibitive. Like a lot of Utahns, I’m incurring credit card debt to pay for basic necessities. I can’t imagine how families are making ends meet.
    I’m also providing some financial support for relatives trapped in Costa Rica by a court case that should never have brought in that country, it belongs here in the States. My elderly mother also requires additional support. Family always comes first.
    As a last and heartbreaking circumstance, today I learned that I may have to euthanize one of my pets because I can no longer afford the monthly care she requires. It’s ironic that at nearly my retirement age, I have to consider going back to work.
    Please don’t misunderstand; I know I am blessed beyond all comprehension. But for all my years of working, paying my taxes, building my retirement funds, growing my education while working full-time plus, re-paying my student loans IN FULL, supporting my communities through volunteer work, working with children in our schools, and paying MY OWN WAY, it’s completely disheartening to find myself in these circumstances and in a place where I feel that my sacred and constitutional rights are being violated by a federal government whose administration has forgotten that they work for The People, including me.
    I know that our national financial situation extends far beyond your responsibilities and I appreciate your taking time to read my message. I will also be in contact with our representatives in Washington to plead for bipartisan cooperation in seeking solutions for not only our poor economy, but for all the challenges we face as a nation. Thank you for understanding my frustration and concern.

  • Dessa Fountaine says:

    Sounds like you all have been busy with important items looking after our best interests! Thank you – it sometimes is quite a challenge.!!

  • Jane Myers says:

    Thank you for trying to get back reimbursement for solar panel production from Rocky Mountain Power. I saw how it was amended, and I am really concerned about the country’s transmission lines after the U. of U.’s Law Center Symposium about electrical transmission. Rocky Mountain Power has actually decreased their expansion of transmission lines, even though the U.S. is at 50% of what they will need in 5 years. It takes an average of 7-10 years to get those transmission lines on-line. They did succeed in getting rate payers to pay for expansions. I, also, wonder why the Legislature wishes to keep the IPP with coal, when there is only one mine in Price right now. Natural Gas is cheaper and was set to go online next year. We are going backwards.
    My husband and I, in good faith bought solar panels to help in getting power security for our community, since our electricity goes to schools (3 in our area) during the day. It doesn’t take any extra transmission lines (which is the huge expense with solar farms outside of town). With batteries, it creates an island that neighbors could use, if the grid is compromised. I am not sure why the Legislature and Senate are not trying to move to expand the solar industry, instead of penalizing those of us who have tried to clean up our air, make the community more energy secure, and contribute production without increasing the transmission lines required (which are in a terrible deficit).

  • Beck Utley says:

    Senator Harper, Thank you especially for SB165. I have wondered how i can protect fraud on my home, this helps me feel better. Thank you for SB227 also. I really want the senate to confirm, not just be appointed by the governor. We don’t always have good, moral men who are not bought by other interests in office and this is an important safeguard.
    Thank you so much for your efforts to serve us all. I do have some concerns i would love to discuss with you after you get a little break.
    Sincerely, Becky Utley

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