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Proposed license plate options include retro black look

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are considering a trio of bills that would create new license plates, recognizing the Utah State Historical Society, promoting Autism awareness and commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted American women the right to vote.

Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, last week presented to the Senate Business and Labor Committee SB41, which would create a Utah State Historical Society license plate.

The plate would be solid black with white letters and no logo, similar to Utah's 1966-68 plates.

Fillmore told the committee that he had been approached by one of his constituents about the idea. He chatted with that South Jordan resident about the high standard such legislation would have to meet, including a petition needing 500 signatures of interested Utahns. And the man got it done, Fillmore said.

"We have asked the state of Utah to consider bringing back a current version of the handsome retro Utah license plate (black with white lettering) that was used for so many years and name it the 'Legacy' plate," the petition states.

The required 500 signatures were gathered in just four hours, according to the petition. More than 1,500 people had signed the online petition as of Sunday.

Special group license plates in Utah are usually white with blue letters and have a group logo on the left side commemorating the group.

Fillmore said in an email that he chose the Utah State Historical Society for the plate because he was "looking for something to go along with the 'retro' nature of the license plate." The society will not have a logo on the plate, but it will be benefitting from a $25 annual fee paid by applicants for the special license plate.

Fillmore's bill instructs the tax commission to try to find reflective black paint to comply with regular license plate standards. If that can't be obtained, the black license plates would be exempt from having to use reflective paint.

The Senate Business and Labor Committee recommended the bill unanimously to the Senate floor.

Another license plate bill winding its way through the Capitol is HB368, which seeks to create an Autism awareness plate. The bill makes some technical changes to help the Utah State Board of Education get better access to the funds it raises. It originally passed in 2010.

There's also HB368, which creates a special group license plate commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women's suffrage.

It comes at time when the Legislature passed a bill authorizing a statue of Martha Hughes Cannon to replace Philo T. Farnsworth in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol, where each state is allowed to display two notable people in their histories.

A polygamous wife, doctor, women's rights advocate and suffragist, Cannon was the first woman elected to a state senate in the United States, defeating her own husband for the seat in 1896.

In 2015, the "In God We Trust" license plate became a standard option for Utahns alongside the Ski Utah! and Delicate Arch license plates.

That same year, a special group license plate was sought to raise awareness of congenital heart defects. It passed in the House but was never debated in the Senate.