Some of our main priorities this legislative session
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Some of our main priorities this legislative session


– With the 2020 legislative
session approaching, Libertas Institute is working on a number of significant
policy initiatives. And while we’re working
on many more beyond that, we wanted to take the next few minutes and share with you some
of the main priorities that we have in the weeks ahead. – Every year, hundreds of people enter the criminal justice system in Utah. And from the time they enter
the system until their exit, there’s a lot that goes on in between that we need to be
tracking and researching to make sure that if any problems exist we can solve those with
data-driven policy. This year, we are working on a
specific piece of legislation to ensure we at least have
one part of that solved, which is transparency with prosecutors, who are the gatekeepers of
the criminal justice system. – You may have heard in the news recently that law enforcement agencies have begun using DNA
databases to solve crimes. While this may sound like
a positive development, without the proper protections in place, your rights could be compromised. We’ll be working on a bill this session to strike the proper balance
between privacy rights and law enforcement’s
use of this new tool. – This year, we’re excited to
be clarifying and protecting the rights of property owners
through eminent domain. We’re looking to make sure
that when land is taken that it’s a last resort, that there’s no other land available, and that no more land
is taken than necessary. – Do you unlock your
smartphone with your face? Do you unlock it with your finger? No surprise, most people do. But should law enforcement
be able to compel you to unlock this phone when
you’ve been accused of a crime? The Libertas Institute will be working on this very issue in the session, looking to go and set guardrails for when it would be
acceptable for law enforcement to compel you to do this
while also balancing that against your
constitutionally-given rights. – For the past several years, we’ve been working on
civil asset forfeiture, which is a law that lets the government take property from people without even charging them with a crime. For the past several months, we’ve actually been meeting with a variety of different law enforcement
agencies and stakeholders to learn what they’re
really most concerned about with forfeiture and the laws
that we’ve been getting passed and also express some of the things we still wanna see changed. And so, we’ve been trying
to find some consensus. There’s gonna be an upcoming bill that’s a bit of a give and a take, but overall a net positive
for property owners in Utah who are concerned about this law. – This year, we’ll be part of a coalition pushing for special needs
tax-credit scholarships, which would allow additional flexibility for families with special needs students. They would be able to use the funds for things like educational
therapy, homeschooling supplies, tutoring, and private school tuition. – When a person can’t
afford to pay their fine associated with a citation, their driver’s license is suspended. And this prohibits them from getting to and from work every day and having reliable transportation for all sorts of areas of life. And without reliable transportation, they’re going to have
a more difficult time paying off that fine. And so, we’re working on legislation to end the unnecessary
suspension of driver’s license for failure to pay court debt. – This year, we’re also excited
to be working on an issue with Representative Moss
involving ordinances with our local municipalities. And we want to make sure that if there’s no nuisance involved that we do not criminalize
ordinance violators for things such as if your dog gets out or if you haven’t had time to mow down some weeds that you need to or if you park in the wrong spot. We just wanna make sure
that we don’t criminalize people who aren’t criminals. – A few months ago, we all learned that our driver license
photos are being used for facial recognition scanning
by law enforcement in Utah, but there’s no law that
regulates this at all. So, we’ve been working
alongside our friends at the ACLU of Utah on
some structured guidelines and limitations to make sure that, sure, law enforcement can
use this in certain contexts, but we’re gonna limit it substantially and make sure it’s only
being used appropriately. – One of the many issues
facing Utahan businesses are the regulatory burdens that they face. The Libertas Institute is
going to tackle this issue in the upcoming session
via regulatory sandboxes. This unique solution offers
businesses working on frontier and novel products and
ideas regulatory relief. To learn more about this issue
and read the policy brief, as well as other issues that the Libertas Institute
is working on this session, visit our website. (light upbeat pop music)

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