Gov. Herbert signs 8 bills presented during special Legislative session into law

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SALT LAKE CITY — All eight bills passed by the Utah State Legislature during July’s special session were signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, officials confirmed Monday.

Two bills that garnered attention during the session were funding for a new arena at the Utah State Fairpark and neutralizing drones over wildfires.

Effective immediately, the Division of Facilities Construction and Management can begin work on the new 10,000-seat arena at the fairpark, which is anticipated to be completed by July of next year, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Funds used to build the arena are coming from state and local governments as well as private donors.

“The State Fair is a great example of Utahns from every part of our state coming together—rural and urban, Republican and Democrat,” Herbert stated in the release. “I appreciate the partnership between local governments and the private sector that has made this facility possible. Many wonderful community events will take place here in the years to come.”

Lawmakers unanimously passed a bill that enhances penalties for those operating drones in flight-restricted areas during wildfires. The bill was presented after fire suppression this year was hindered by drones flying over wildfires.

Air crews battling  the Saddle Fire in southern Utah were grounded at least five times because of drones.

The bill also allows law enforcement officers to neutralize drones.

“Public safety has always been my top priority and this new law will allow us to more effectively fight wildfires,” Herbert stated. “We are not going to tolerate reckless drone interference during wildfire season. With this law, Utah has taken the necessary precautions to protect our emergency management personnel and prevent additional interference that compromises public safety.”

See the full list of bills signed by the governor below:

Bill Number Bill Name Bill Sponsor
H.B. 3001 Tax Credit Review Amendments Rep. Jeremy Peterson
H.B. 3002 State Fair Park Amendments Rep. Sandra Hollins
H.B. 3003 Unmanned Aircraft Amendments Rep. Don Ipson
H.B. 3004 Criminal Justice Reinvestment Amendments Rep. Eric Hutchings
S.B. 3001 Controlled Substance Database Modifications Sen. Todd Weiler
S.B. 3002 Economic Development Revisions Sen. Curt Bramble
S.B. 3003 Judicial Nominating Commissions – Amendments Sen. Pete Knudson
S.B. 3004 Continuing Care Retirement Community Amendments Sen Deidre Henderson