Matilyn Mortensen

The Utah Legislature will wrap up the 2021 session on Friday and according to Holly Richardson of Utah Policy, new bills were still being released on Friday. 

According to Gov. Spencer Cox, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be available in Utah next week. The vaccine was recommended for immediate use by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Friday and FDA approval is expected to come this weekend. A press release from Cox’s office stated they expect the state to start receiving these vaccines on Wednesday. 

School districts would be able to allow 16- and 17 year-old students to vote in school board elections if H.B. 338 passed the Utah State Legislature. 

Nonprofits Help Utahns Find 'Bidencare' Coverage in Health Marketplace

Feb 17, 2021
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You may know it as "Obamacare."

But nowadays, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a new moniker, "Bidencare," because President Joe Biden ordered the Health Insurance Marketplace reopened through May 15 to help Utahns and others who lost health insurance during the COVID-19 crisis get a subsidized plan.

A concurrent resolution encouraging k-12 schools in Utah to consider retiring Native American names and mascots failed in the Utah House on Tuesday, 27 to 45. 


As Utah’s supply of vaccines increases, state officials are asking for volunteers to help ensure the capacity to administer vaccines matches that supply.

A bill that eliminates the requirement in Utah's revenge porn laws that victims must have experienced “actual distress” passed the Utah House on Monday. 

Criminal charges have been filed against the alleged organizers of a Utah County Halloween Party, according to the Provo Daily Herald.

 

A North Ogden charter school has reversed its decision to allow parents to opt their children out of the school’s Black history month curriculum. 

The Utah State Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would allow for residents over 21 who legally own a gun to conceal carry their firearm without a permit. H.B. 60, which already passed the House with an overwhelming majority, will need to be passed by the House one more time and be signed by the governor before it becomes law. Gov. Spencer Cox has already indicated that he intends to sign the bill.

 

Utah Senator Mitt Romney proposed the Family Secure Act on Thursday, which would provide families with a $350 cash benefit each month for children under age 6 and $250 monthly benefit for children ages 6-17. Families would be able to begin receiving this benefit four months before a child’s due date. 

Since the U.S. Capitol last month, more than 7,600 active Republican voters in Utah have left the GOP, according to reporting from the Salt Lake Tribune. In contrast, about 4,000 voters have left the unaffiliated category and 830 have left the Democratic party. 

New Bill Would Prohibit Protesting Private Residences

Feb 2, 2021

A bill to prohibit protesting outside of private residences was introduced in the Utah House on Monday and has been assigned to the rules committee. 

Gov. Spencer Cox named Brigham Young University professor Rex L. Facer as the chair of the state’s redistricting committee. 

The Utah Senate passed a bill on Monday creating a state flag task force. Efforts to create a new flag have been recurring over the past few legislative sessions and if passed, S.B. 48 will create a task force that will be charged with creating a process for public feedback in selecting a new flag and providing a report recommending new flag designs. 

Utah has not seen an increase in deaths by suicide or drug overdose since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the Utah Department of Health.

Utah Public Radio

As COVID-19 Vaccinations continue to roll-out in Utah, the state AARP director is warning people of potential vaccine frauds that could occur. 

The Utah House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to allow people over age 21 who legally possess a firearm to conceal carry their weapon in public without a permit. 

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival begins Thursday, but this year, in light of the pandemic, most of the events will be virtual. 

The executive order banning new oil and gas leasing on federal lands until the end of March was updated on Monday to exempt tribal nations from the restrictions. After the order was issued last week, representatives from the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in northeastern Utah petitioned the administration for this exemption. 

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Democratic Representative Andrew Stoddard announced Tuesday that he is opening a bill file to explore impeaching Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes for his involvement in lawsuits regarding the results of the 2020 presidential election and for his ties to groups that were involved with the attacks on the United States Capitol earlier this month. 

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In response to disparaging comments made to Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell last week by former basketball player and current NBA sports analyst Shaquille O’ Neal, the Utah House passed a resolution on Tuesday to honor Mitchell. 

After taking a break last summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans are underway for this year’s Logan Summerfest. The arts faire will be held at the Cache County Fairgrounds in June, rather than the grounds of the Logan Tabernacle due to renovations at the tabernacle this summer. 

A legislative committee shut down briefly on Monday, due to a small group of anti-mask demonstrators at the Utah State Capitol. 

Republican state and federal leaders, as well as some tribal leaders in Utah, issued statements opposing the Biden administration’s 60-day leasing and permitting ban on oil and gas drilling on federal lands. 

Unemployment in Utah was at 3.6% in December, according to data released on Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor. This is the first time unemployment in the state has dropped below 4% since the pandemic reached Utah in March of 2020, according to a press release from Gov. Spencer Cox. Nationally the December unemployment rate was 6.7%.

A new license plate featuring artwork by a Utah student in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. will be available to drivers in the state this summer. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Thursday that the church’s upcoming April General Conference will be virtual only.

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