Utah State Legislative Coverage

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UPR's reporting on the the Utah State Legislature. 



It's the opening day of the 2020 Utah Legislature, and Access Utah is back at the state capitol. We’ll speak with Senator Lyle Hillyard, Senator Evan Vickers, Senator Karen Mayne, and Representative Brian King. We’ll also hear from Bill Tibbetts with Crossroads Urban Center, Rusty Cannon with Utah Taxpayers Association, and Courtney Bullard with Utah Health Policy Project. You can get us your questions and comments by email to upraccess@gmail.com.

The chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court says more needs to be done to make state legal services affordable and accessible. The Salt Lake Tribune reports Chief Justice Matthew Durrant told state legislators during the annual State of the Judiciary Address Monday that Utah faces a crisis in legal services. Durrant says there is an enormous gap between low- and middle-income residents and the help they need to address common legal problems. Durrant asked lawmakers to increase judicial branch funding by about $1.5 million to pay for courthouse sound system repairs and additional staff.

Utah lawmakers are expected to consider hundreds of bills over the course of a 45-day session that began Monday. One that will come up quickly is a repeal of a contentious tax overhaul measure. Lawmakers plan to vote on the repeal Tuesday amid a backlash. Other topics expected to be discussed include medical marijuana. Patients with old convictions could get a path to expungement and lawmakers could change packaging requirements. They will also likely consider proposals aimed at curtailing teens’ access to electronic cigarettes.

Matilyn Mortensen


During his comments for the first day of Utah Legislative Session, Speaker Brad Wilson acknowledged the 2020 anniversaries of 100 years since the passage of the 19th amendment, which prohibited gender-based voting discrimination, and the 150th anniversary of when a Utah woman became the first female to vote in the United States. 

Matilyn Mortensen


Monday was the first day of 2020 Utah’s Legislative Session and House Speaker Brad Wilson set education spending, making higher education more accessible and addressing state transportation needs as some of his legislative priorities. 


Kailey Foster

  During his opening remarks to the Utah State Senate on Monday, Senate President Stuart Adams committed to working to maintain Utah’s high economic ranking. Adams said according to Harvard University, the state is number one in the country for upper mobility.

Lawmakers say a contentious tax overhaul in Utah will be repealed amid growing voter backlash. Republican legislative leaders said Thursday the plan to raise taxes on food and groceries while cutting income tax would be repealed next week. The Deseret News reports the announcement came Thursday after an effort to challenge it through a citizen referendum appears to have succeeded. Gov.

Utah Lawmakers To Repeal Tax Reform Bill

Jan 23, 2020
governor gary herbert tax modernization reform, referendum
U.S. Department of Agriculture

To the surprise of many Utahns, Governor Gary Herbert announced Thursday morning that state lawmakers would be repealing the controversial tax modernization bill in the upcoming legislative session. The bill was passed during a special session last month.

Utah State legislature, house of representatives, senate
Padraic Ryan / Wikimedia Commons

Monday is the first day of the Utah State Legislative Session, and while the voting chimes haven’t started ringing at the capitol quite yet, preparations are in full swing for the whirlwind 45-days of lawmaking.