Libertas Legislator Profiles

Legislator Profile: Representative Paul Ray

Name: Paul Ray
Type: Representative
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.

20142015201620172018201920202021 Overall Rating
43%47%58%50%38.5%56%68%74% 54%

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.

  • HB40: Amendments to Criminal Provisions (2019)
    This bill reduced and repealed a number of criminal penalties, including eliminating the crimes of adultery and sodomy.

    This bill passed the House unanimously and passed the Senate 25-2. Libertas supports a "yea" vote.
  • HB141: Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (2019)
    This bill would have made it a first degree felony, with a minimum of three years prison, for possessing a child pornography image that, among other things, portrays violence. Increasing the penalty with mandatory minimums on prison time unnecessarily incarcerates more people and runs afoul of the evidence-based reforms of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative.

    This bill passed the House 62-8 but was not voted on in the Senate. Libertas supports a "nay" vote.
  • HB252: Electronic Cigarette and Other Nicotine Product Amendments (2019)
    This bill would have imposed an 86% tax on electronic cigarettes and the substances they use, along with certain other nicotine-based products.

    This bill passed the House 54-20 but did not receive a Senate vote. Libertas supports a "nay" vote.
  • HB433: Penalty for Targeting Law Enforcement Officer (2017)
    This bill makes it criminal homicide, constituting aggravated murder, if a person intentionally or knowingly causes the death of a police officer.

    This bill passed the House 54-15 and passed the Senate 24-4. Libertas supports a "nay" vote, because this policy unfairly and illegitimately places citizens in a second class below the employees they hire to protect them. Further, the bill is poorly drafted and awkwardly defined, creating a confusing definition of what it means to target a law enforcement officer.
  • HB176: Human Trafficking Amendments (2017)
    This bill would have added certain human trafficking offenses to the list of crimes for which the death penalty can be imposed.

    This bill passed the House 38-37 but was not considered in the Senate. Libertas supports a "nay" vote, because no other state has this requirement, and Utah already has the longest list of offenses for which the death penalty can be sought. As we have explained elsewhere and at great length, capital punishment is an ineffective deterrent, too costly, and most tragically, can lead to the execution of people who were actually innocent of the crime for which they were convicted.
  • HB136: Death penalty for human trafficking (2016)
    This bill would have allowed the death penalty for criminal homicide while engaged in human trafficking.

    This bill passed in the House on a 44-28 vote but failed in a Senate committee. While human trafficking and homicide are horrendous crimes deserving of the highest penalties, Libertas Institute supports a "nay" vote, as the death penalty is an ineffective tool of justice that should instead be eliminated in favor of life without parole.
  • HB30: Controlled Substances Amendments (2014)
    Every year the Utah legislature includes new scientific ingredients into its lengthy list of prohibited (controlled) substances in an attempt to ban the latest concoctions being cooked up by illicit drug manufacturers.

    Libertas Institute opposed this bill, as it's an archaic and ineffective method at addressing a societal health problem. Banning things like AB-FUBINACA; N-[1-(aminocarbonyl)-2-methylpropyl]-1-[(4-fluorophenyl) methyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide; is a poor attempt at protecting people from harmful substances; there are better ways to address the drug problem.

    This bill passed the House 59-12 and passed the Senate 24-2. Libertas supports a "nay" vote.
  • HB112: Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes (2014)
    This bill would have required licensure for selling "electronic cigarettes" and prohibited 18 year old adults and minors from buying or possessing an electronic cigarette or the liquid used within one.

    Libertas Institute opposed this bill. Adults should not be restricted from accessing a product they desire—banning 18-year-olds while permitting 19-year-olds to purchase the products is an arbitrary and problematic line in the sand. Finally, imposing licensure requirements upon businesses as a condition of engaging in commerce violates the free market and should therefore be rejected.

    This bill was substituted in the last five minutes of the session, leaving no room for discussion and changing the bill from what the House had previously voted on. As such, we are only ranking the Senate vote on the 10th substitute. The bill passed the Senate 24-4 but was not voted upon in concurrence by the House. Libertas supports a "nay" vote.

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