Representative Kera Birkeland proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Kera Birkeland

Senate Sponsor: Daniel McCay


8     General Description:
9          This bill creates the Citizen Empowerment Task Force.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     creates the Citizen Empowerment Task Force to study ways of removing barriers for
13     a citizen to exercise the citizen's due process rights in relation to noncriminal
14     administrative or court action taken against the citizen by a government entity;
15          ▸     describes the membership of the task force;
16          ▸     addresses compensation for serving on the task force;
17          ▸     requires the task force to make a report and provide recommendations; and
18          ▸     repeals the task force on December 31, 2023.
19     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
20          None
21     Other Special Clauses:
22          None
23     Utah Code Sections Affected:
24     AMENDS:
25          63I-2-236, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2022, Chapters 97, 141, 363, 437, and 458

26     ENACTS:
27          36-29-401, Utah Code Annotated 1953

29     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
30          Section 1. Section 36-29-401 is enacted to read:
Part 4. Citizen Empowerment Task Force

32          36-29-401. Citizen Empowerment Task Force -- Creation -- Purpose --
33     Membership -- Compensation -- Staff -- Reporting.
34          (1) As used in this section, "task force" means the Citizen Empowerment Task Force
35     created in Subsection (2).
36          (2) There is created the Citizen Empowerment Task Force to study ways of removing
37     barriers for a citizen to exercise the citizen's due process rights in relation to noncriminal
38     administrative or court action taken against the citizen by a government entity.
39          (3) The task force comprises five members, as follows:
40          (a) three members of the House of Representatives, appointed by the speaker of the
41     House or Representatives, no more than two of whom may be from the same political party;
42          (b) one member of the Senate, appointed by the president of the Senate; and
43          (c) the attorney general, or a designee of the attorney general.
44          (4) (a) The speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint one of the members
45     described in Subsection (3)(a) as the chair of the task force.
46          (b) A vacancy in a position on the task force described in Subsection (3)(a) or (b) shall
47     be filled by the appointing authority for the vacant position.
48          (c) Three members of the task force constitute a quorum of the task force.
49          (d) The action of a majority of a quorum present constitutes the action of the task force.
50          (5) Salaries and expenses of the members of the task force who are legislators shall be
51     paid in accordance with:
52          (a) Section 36-2-2; and
53          (b) Legislative Joint Rules, Title 5, Chapter 3, Legislator Compensation.
54          (6) A member of the task force who is not a legislator may not receive compensation or
55     benefits for the member's service, but may receive per diem and travel expenses in accordance
56     with:

57          (a) Section 63A-3-106;
58          (b) Section 63A-3-107; and
59          (c) rules made by the Division of Finance under Section 63A-3-106 and Section
60     63A-3-107.
61          (7) The Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel shall provide staff support
62     to the task force.
63          (8) The task force shall study:
64          (a) the types of noncriminal administrative and court actions that are most often
65     brought against citizens by an entity of the state or a political subdivision of the state;
66          (b) barriers to a citizen's ability to exercise the citizen's due process rights to defend
67     against an action described in Subsection (8)(a), including barriers caused by:
68          (i) an imbalance between the power and resources of the government entity and the
69     power and resources of the citizen;
70          (ii) financial barriers;
71          (iii) time constraints;
72          (iv) differences in knowledge and experience; and
73          (v) other barriers; and
74          (c) methods of reducing the barriers described in Subsection (8)(b), including:
75          (i) providing education, advice, and other assistance to a citizen seeking to challenge
76     government action;
77          (ii) disincentives for government overreach, including:
78          (A) the potential award of attorney fees in favor of a prevailing citizen;
79          (B) disciplinary action against a government official, when warranted; and
80          (C) other disincentives;
81          (iii) providing less-expensive alternatives to court action;
82          (iv) providing less-expensive access to the courts; and
83          (v) other methods.
84          (9) In studying the items described in Subsection (8), the task force shall consider:
85          (a) approaches currently used in other states; and
86          (b) new and innovative approaches.
87          (10) The task force shall, at or before the 2023 November interim meeting of the

88     Government Operations Interim Committee, report to the committee on:
89          (a) the results of the study described in Subsection (8); and
90          (b) recommendations on actions that should be taken, or legislation that should be
91     considered, to remove barriers for a citizen to exercise the citizen's due process rights in
92     relation to noncriminal administrative or court action taken against the citizen by a government
93     entity.
94          Section 2. Section 63I-2-236 is amended to read:
95          63I-2-236. Repeal dates: Title 36.
96          (1) Section 36-12-8.2 is repealed July 1, 2023.
97          (2) Section 36-29-107.5 is repealed on November 30, 2023.
98          (3) Section 36-29-109 is repealed on November 30, 2027.
99          (4) Section 36-29-110 is repealed on November 30, 2024.
100          (5) Section 36-29-111 is repealed April 30, 2023.
101          (6) The following sections regarding the State Flag Task Force are repealed on January
102     1, 2024:
103          (a) Section 36-29-201;
104          (b) Section 36-29-202; and
105          (c) Section 36-29-203.
106          (7) Title 36, Chapter 29, Part 3, Mental Illness Psychotherapy Drug Task Force, is
107     repealed December 31, 2023.
108          (8) Title 36, Chapter 29, Part 4, Citizen Empowerment Task Force, is repealed
109     December 31, 2023.