Lawmakers boosted tech economy and embraced new modes in ’19 session

SALT LAKE CITY — Providing boosts to the state’s tech ecosystem, and opening doorways for the adoption of latest know-how, figured largely within the 2019 session.

A novel program aimed toward encouraging, however not requiring, new pc science curriculum offerings in Okay-12 public faculties is on the coronary heart of HB227. An added incentive, perhaps, was a challenge by a gaggle of Utah tech business leaders to match the state’s investment in pc science schooling with as much as $5 million out of their own pockets. While the original ask from Rep. John Knotwell, R-Herriman, rang the bell at $10 million, the trimmed down invoice received $3 million to launch the trouble.

New guidelines allowing self-driving automobiles on Utah roads, a problem that is been beneath dialogue for a couple of years now, is lastly headed for the books because of the work of Rep. Robert Spendlove, R-Sandy. HB101 even takes a shot at making a resolution protocol for accidents involving automobiles and not using a driver.

Those driverless automobiles will doubtless must be scanning for riders of e-scooters, who at the moment are allowed to ply all the same roadways as bicyclists underneath new guidelines created by SB139. The proposal also drops the minimal age for unsupervised e-scooter operation on public property to eight-years-previous. Mother and father may be pleased to know that the businesses renting e-scooters in Utah have a minimal age requirement of 18.

Warrantless retrieval of private knowledge saved on remote digital servers, or “the cloud,” by regulation enforcement can be curtailed underneath new tips established by HB57. The invoice, championed by civil libertarians including the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, extends comparable protections established by the U.S. Supreme Courtroom in last yr’s Carpenter v. U.S. determination — which dominated the government should get hold of a search warrant to gather location info collected by cellphone towers — to digital info saved by third events.

The lengthy-operating Utah Science, Know-how and Analysis initiative died a relatively quiet dying as lawmakers closed the loop on work they began final interim with SB212. Critics questioned whether funding this system, which supported research-pushed commercialization efforts, was the “highest and greatest use of taxpayer funds.”

And the state took steps to embrace the newest tech developments with payments to assess how blockchain know-how may be used by the state (HJR19) and one other (SB100) that directs the driving force license division to begin work to add the choice of an digital license that could possibly be carried on any smartphone. For now, nevertheless, the plastic card model continues to be a necessity as properly, due largely to the U.S. Department of Homeland Safety.

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