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(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Utah Lawmakers Approve Stronger Beer Deal

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) — The Latest on the last day of Utah’s legislative session (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

Utah lawmakers are sending to the governor a compromise deal raising the amount of alcohol allowed in beer.

The Utah Senate gave final approval Thursday to a deal that would raise alcohol limits to 4 percent, which is still relatively low but would allow for most production-line beers to be sold in grocery and convenience stores. The House approved the measure Wednesday.

Utah limits beer to 3.2 percent alcohol outside of state-owned liquor stores, but large breweries have been discontinuing weak-beer products as other states abandon similar limits.

Republican Sen. Jerry Stevenson originally wanted to raise alcohol limits to 4.8 percent, but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and several lawmakers opposed that idea.

The state’s predominant faith teaches abstinence from alcohol and was neutral on the compromise.

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9:06 a.m.

Utah lawmakers are winding down their annual session after reaching a deal to allow more alcohol in beer, passing a ban on most abortions after 18 weeks and scaling back a voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

Other failed to pass, including a ban on LGBT conversion therapy. The legislative session ends Thursday.

Lawmakers also decided to postpone action on sweeping tax reform, although they wrote fail-safes into the state’s $19 billion budget to ensure that action happens later this year.

Some of the actions sparked protest, such as the move to shrink Medicaid expansion and the failure of the conversion-therapy ban.

Lawmakers say the Medicaid decisions were essential to controlling long-term costs, but on conversion therapy they vowed to continue the conversation.

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