Libertas Legislator Profiles

Legislator Profile: Senator Steve Urquhart

Name: Steve Urquhart
Type: Senator
Party: Republican
No longer in office

Libertas Legislator Index Rankings

The following rating measures how consistently this legislator votes in support of individual liberty, private property, and free enterprise. To learn more, see the main index page.

201420152016 Overall Rating
58%67%79% 68%

To see the specific votes used to rank this legislator, click the link in the table above for any of the yearly percentages listed.

Sponsored Ranked Bills

This legislator was the sponsor of the following bills, which were ranked by Libertas Institute in their respective year's Legislator Index.

  • SB107: Increased penalty for "hate crimes" (2016)
    This bill would have required a "penalty enhancement" for crimes in which the aggressor targeted the victim because of his or her “belief or perception regarding [the] individual’s ancestry, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation,” or the victim’s affiliation with a group that shares one or more of these characteristics.

    The bill failed in the Senate on a 11-17 vote. Libertas Institute supports a "nay" vote, because discriminatory “belief or perception” about the victim’s personal characteristics is immaterial to the nature and effect of the crime.
  • SB189: Death penalty repeal (2016)
    This bill would have repealed the death penalty in Utah, allowing instead for life without parole as an option for capital offenders.

    This bill passed the Senate on a 15-12 vote and thought it passed a House committee, it was not considered by the full House. Libertas Institute supports an "aye" vote, because the death penalty is an ineffective punishment that sometimes results in innocent individuals wrongly being executed.
  • SB82: Forcible Entry Amendments (2015)
    Following changes proposed last year by Libertas Institute, this year's bill further restricted forcible entry—no-knock and knock-and-announce warrants—by raising the legal standard required to do them, requiring officers to wear a uniform, requiring them to develop policy for the use of body cameras during forcible entries, and most significantly, prohibits officers from doing forcible entry when the sole allegation is drug possession or use.

    This bill passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House 67-3. Libertas supports a "yea" vote.
  • SB296: Antidiscrimination and Religious Freedom Amendments (2015)
    This bill prohibits discrimination in employment and housing on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, violating the freedom of association and property rights in the name of creating a new protected class in Utah.

    While we object to unreasonable or bigoted discrimination, we affirm the right of a property owner to do so, and believe that market forces can effectively deal with the problem; the government should not punish private property owners for choosing how they wish to manage their business or rental property.

    This bill passed the Senate 23-5 and passed the House 65-10. Libertas supports a "nay" vote.
  • SB253: Distracted Driver Amendments (2014)
    This bill prohibited the use of cell phones while driving except for talking, using a voice-activated feature such as the iPhone's Siri, or using it for GPS.

    Libertas Institute opposed this bill. The government should rely on more general reckless driving prohibitions, or simply increase penalties after an accident if the driver was distracted by a cell phone, rather than micro-managing the specific activities that may be done while driving. To be consistent, this policy would be expanded to prohibit other things like eating, applying makeup, or adjusting the radio while driving—all things we would likewise oppose.

    This bill passed the Senate 17-8 and passed the House 41-28. Libertas supports a "nay" vote.

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