2024 Legislative Session Report

By 
Michael Buehner
8
minute read
April 6, 2024

SEAU Legislative Committee

The 2024 General Session of the Utah State Legislature is a wrap. There were not any bills passed that had significant ramifications on the practice of structural engineering this year. However, there were a handful of bills I think are helpful to mention. Anything in quotes is copied directly from general descriptions of the bills’ content from the Utah State Legislature website.

Out of all bills passed this session, House Bill 58 Licensing Amendments has the most direct bearing on structural engineering practice. This bill gives the Division of Professional Licensing (DOPL) more flexibility “to accept substantially similar education or experience in satisfaction of standard licensing requirements; permits DOPL to issue a limited supervised training permit to an applicant seeking licensure by endorsement under certain circumstances; and establishes a licensure by endorsement process that applies to all other statutory licensure by endorsement processes.” This will make it easier for engineers with education and experience gained outside the United States to become licensed in Utah. It was signed by the Governor.

Senate Bill 185 Residential Building Inspection Amendments mostly addresses inspections of building projects. It allows applicants to hire third-party inspection agencies to perform inspections if a local regulator does not do it within three days of notification. The two parties may also agree beforehand to hire a third-party inspection firm to perform inspections for the project. And local regulators must pay the fees of those third-party inspectors. The bill also adds a new section to the State Code, 15A-1-105. Third-party inspection firms. This defines inspection firms and outlines licensing requirements for them. While this bill’s title is Residential Building Inspection Amendments, the language in the body of the text does not clearly state that this rule applies only to residential projects. It does have a list of project types including hotels, motels, dormitories, inns, and resorts suggesting that large and complex building projects fit under the umbrella of this bill. It is evident that this bill is intended to help projects avoid delays when local regulators do not have the resources to perform inspections, however, it opens the door for unscrupulous contractors to purposely hire less rigorous inspectors. It is waiting for the Governor’s signature.

House Bill 518 State Construction Code Modifications adds a new section for Blended Assisted Living Facilities to IBC Chapter 10. It is waiting for the Governor’s signature.

House Bill 483 Construction Trade Amendments “modifies the threshold dollar amount allowing a person to engage in construction trades without a license” but still requires building permits for those projects. It was signed by the Governor.

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