Utah may strengthen stand-your-ground law

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A panel of Utah lawmakers has approved a measure to strengthen the state’s stand-your-ground self-defense law.

Republican Rep. Cory Maloy’s proposal approved Tuesday would make it clear that people don’t need to try to run away before using force, including deadly force. It now moves to the House floor.

If someone is prosecuted for using force, courts couldn’t hear evidence about whether the person tried to flee first. He says that will keep people from being “re-victimized” after they’ve had to defend themselves.

At least 22 states have stand-your-ground laws. They’ve have been scrutinized after high-profile shooting deaths like that of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012.

Democrats voting against Utah’s bill say they worry about taking decisions away from juries, especially when racial bias is a possible factor.

Idaho may exempt some geothermal wells

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation that would allow a well driller who hits geothermal water to use that water for uses other than its heat value in some cases has cleared the House.

The 68-0 vote on Wednesday sends the legislation to the Senate.

Republican Terry Gestrin of Donnelly told lawmakers that if a well driller hits water higher than 85 degrees at the bottom, then the well falls into a geothermal category and must be sealed if not used for its heat.

The legislation would allow the director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources to allow an exemption in some instances.

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