Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. recently signed the following IT-related bills into law:

  • Electronic Communication Harassment Amendment. Modifies the Criminal Code regarding electronic communication harassment by increasing the penalty for repeat offenses, and by providing a greater penalty if the victim is a minor.
  • Health Care Patient Identity Protection. Requires a medical facility or a health professional office to, prior to providing services to a patient, request identification for the patient; and an individual who consents to the provision of services to the patient, if the patient lacks the capacity to consent, permits a medical facility or a health professional office to use certain methods to document or confirm a patient's identity; prohibits a medical facility or a health professional office that is subject to the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) from denying services to an individual on the basis that the individual does not provide identification when requested; provides that a medical facility or a health professional office is not subject to a private right of action for failing to ask for identification; and prohibits the imposition of penalties if a medical facility or a health professional office does not request documentation.
  • Controlled Substance Database Amendments. Expands the purposes for which a practitioner or pharmacist may access information on the controlled substance database; grants access to the controlled substance database to a mental health therapist under certain circumstances; permits a practitioner to designate up to three employees, subject to approval by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, who can access the controlled substance database on the practitioner's behalf; provides that a practitioner, or an employee of the practitioner, who obtains information from the controlled substance database may include the information in the patient's medical chart or file and may provide the information to others in accordance with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; grants rulemaking authority to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing; permits the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to impose a fee on practitioners who designate an employee to access the controlled substance database, in order to recover the cost of determining whether the employee is a security risk; provides that a person who is a licensed practitioner or a mental health therapist shall be denied access to the database when the person is no longer licensed; provides that a person who is a relative of a deceased individual is not entitled to access information from the database relating to the deceased individual based on the fact or claim that the person is related to, or subrogated to the rights of, the deceased individual.
  • Voter Identification for Elections. Requires identification of voters and eliminates certain forms of identification as valid voter identification; requires valid voter identification be presented before a voter may vote; provides for
  • a fee waiver for an application for an identification card by certain indigent applicants; allows the Driver License Division to seek certain information from the Tax Commission to verify a person's indigency; changes or eliminates various provisions addressing the language in voter registration forms, the need for valid voter identification, and the definition of "legally entitled to vote."
  • Electronic Prescribing Act. Requires a practitioner to provide each existing patient of the practitioner with the option to participate in electronic prescribing, if the practitioner prescribes a drug or device for the patient on or after July 1, 2012; provides that a practitioner may not issue a prescription through electronic prescribing for a drug or device that the practitioner is prohibited by federal law or federal rule from issuing through electronic prescribing; requires a pharmacy to accept and comply with an electronic prescription that is transmitted in accordance with the requirements of this section and rules made by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing; and grants rulemaking authority to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to: enforce the provisions of this bill; ensure that electronic prescribing is done in a secure manner, consistent with industry standards; ensure that each patient is fully informed of the patient's rights, restrictions, and obligations pertaining to electronic prescribing; and grant a hardship exemption to a pharmacy or a practitioner, to the extent that the requirements of this bill would impose an extreme financial hardship on the pharmacy or the practitioner.
  • Expungement of Records Amendments. Requires the division to issue an expedited certificate of eligibility to a petitioner who has been acquitted of a crime at trial; and allows the state to petition the court to open expunged records, upon a showing of good cause, and allows relevant records previously expunged to be used in an investigation and trial of the new charges.
  • Online Voter Registration. Allows the lieutenant governor to create an electronic system for voter registration; addresses the information and authorization required from an applicant for voter registration who uses the electronic system; authorizes the use of an applicant's signature obtained from driver license or identification card records for voter registration purposes; authorizes the lieutenant governor to implement additional security measures in connection with the electronic voter registration system; requires the lieutenant governor to forward an applicant's materials to the appropriate county clerk for processing; requires the Driver License Division to provide a digital copy of an applicant's driver license or identification card record to the lieutenant governor or county clerk.
  • Sex Offender Registration Amendments. Provides that sex and kidnap offenders required to register with the Department of Corrections will register instead with the local law enforcement agency if the offender is no longer under the supervision of the Department of Corrections; requires that the staff of the local law enforcement agency that will be conducting the offender registration shall receive initial and annual training from the Department of Corrections; and requires that the Department of Corrections notify local law enforcement agencies of an offender's change of residence within five days of receiving the information regarding the change.
    • officer for purposes of a records appeal.
    • Open and Public Meetings Act - Meeting Record. Clarifies that the minutes of a meeting must include information requested to be added by a member only if that information was part of the proceedings of the meeting; provides specific circumstances as to when the written minutes of an open meeting become a public record; requires a public body to establish and implement procedures for approval of written minutes; requires that a recording of an open meeting must be available to the public for listening within three business days after the meeting; repeals a requirement that a recording must be converted to written minutes within a reasonable time upon request; provides that a meeting recording is not required for site visits or traveling tour or for certain small local districts.
    • Identity Theft Amendment. Clarifies that the offense of identity fraud may include use of the fraud to obtain employment.
    • Financial Transaction Card Offenses. Clarifies the definition of "card holder;" revises language to provide that the offense of: unlawful use of a financial transaction card to obtain goods or services involves acting knowingly and with the intent to defraud; unlawful use of a financial transaction card to exceed authorized credit involves acting knowingly and with the intent to defraud; and applying for a financial transaction card and providing a false statement or report of required information in the application process involves acting knowingly and with the intent to defraud; and repeals certain provisions that have been addressed by amendments or are no longer applicable to the enforcement of these financial transaction offenses.
    • National Animal Identification System. Authorizes the department to participate in a national animal identification system; prohibits the department or a political subdivision from requiring a person to participate in a national animal identification system; authorizes the department to adopt rules; authorizes a person to withdraw from a national animal identification system; and provides a severability clause.
    • Amendments Regarding Notice on Utah Public Notice Web site. Modifies the notice that certain entities are required to provide before preparing a proposed general plan or amendment, long-range plan, or capital facilities plan so that: some entities are required to provide notice on the Utah Public Notice Web site rather than to the state planning coordinator; and those entities not required to provide notice on the Utah Public Notice Web site but that voluntarily provide notice on that Web site need not provide notice to the state planning coordinator.
    • Utah Technology Governance Act Amendments. Creates the Statewide Communications Interoperability Committee and provides its membership, duties, and powers; authorizes the committee to coordinate and resolve statewide communication issues; and requires the committee to report to the governor and Public Utilities and Technology Interim Committee.

     

     

    Wayne Hanson  |  Senior Executive Editor, Center For Digital Government