Politics

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Utah lawmakers have declined to extend a 15-year truck ban on a scenic highway north of Salt Lake City. A state Senate committee last week voted down a measure that sought to push the ban's expiration date to July 2022.

Trucks will be allowed to travel on the more than 11-mile (18-kilometer) stretch of Legacy Parkway in Davis County in January 2020.

The ban was enacted to settle a lawsuit between the state and environmental groups, which had blocked the construction of the highway in an effort to protect wetlands and wildlife.

Adventurejay Home

A proposal to raise low alcohol limits for beer sold at Utah grocery stores has cleared its first hurdle.

The unanimous committee vote on Thursday came despite opposition from substance-abuse counselors and people worried about children getting higher-alcohol beer.

Many local craft brewers are also against it, saying it would require them to modify their products while allowing larger breweries to keep store shelf space.

The proposal would increase the alcohol limit from 3.2 percent to 4.8 percent by weight.

Picpedia.org

 A Utah Senate committee has approved legislation barring abortions sought because a fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome.

This is the second year the bill has been introduced, and the committee vote on Wednesday came after the sponsor added language addressing concerns that the bill could be unconstitutional.

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Calmell Group

Two bills that have been of particular interest to the art’s community were introduced in the House and Senate this week.  

Molly Marcello

 


The Grand County Council effectively pressed the pause button on all new applications for overnight lodging. In a 6-0 bipartisan vote Tuesday, the council enacted a six-month moratorium on the applications effective immediately. Their decision garnered applause from a packed council chambers.

AF.mil

A Utah House committee has passed a bill that would ban even holding a cellphone while driving.

The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee voted Wednesday to recommend the bill.

The bill, sponsored by House Minority Whip Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, makes any handheld use of a cellphone illegal while driving, even when using the phone for navigation and voice communication.

State Of Utah

A panel of Utah lawmakers has unanimously approved removing a provision in the state constitution that allows slavery as punishment for a crime. The Tuesday vote came after religious leaders, activists and others spoke up to say slavery doesn't belong anywhere in state documents.

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Scott Baird, deputy director of the Department of Environmental Quality told members of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Evironment Committee on Tuesday that while DEQ didn't support or oppose House Bill 220 (Radioactive Waste Amendments), the agency wanted to highlight the fundamental change in policy shift it represented.

Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake giving a speech.
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Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake visited Utah State University on Tuesday. He gave a speech called Is Polarizing Partisanship The New Normal? and spoke about how he saw the Republican party change since the 2016 election.

Wikicommons

A Senate Committee on Friday debated a resolution urging the federal government to end the practice of separating children from their families at the US-Mexico Border. The resolution also called for federal policymakers to act to reunite children who have already been separated.

Health.mil

A fast-moving proposal to scale back a voter-approved Medicaid expansion in Utah passed the state Senate on Monday over protests from activists who say it guts a plan the majority of voters want.

Air Force Medical Service

The Utah House has passed a proposal to create a committee to review drug overdose deaths. The measure would also create an opioid fatality examiner position and enhance state databases to help study the nationwide opioid crisis in Utah.

texting and driving
Airman Sadie Colbert / U.S. Air Force

 

For early-bird constituents in Cache County, Saturday mornings have become an opportunity to meet with their local legislators. At this year’s inaugural meeting on February 2nd, the first question posed to the panel struck at something most of us have either seen or experienced, and that’s distracted driving.

Picserver

 

A state analysis shows Utah lawmakers' plan to reduce the number of people covered by a voter-passed Medicaid expansion could cost nearly $72 million before expected savings begin.

United States Capitol; Washingon D.C.
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President Donald Trump announced that he and congressional leaders have reached a deal to reopen the government for three weeks while continuing the negotiation for money to build the U.S. - Mexico border wall. While government employees in Utah, along with rest of the United States started receiving paychecks again, many people fear they are not yet out of the hot water.

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The Utah House has passed a plan to allow candidates running for office to pay for child care with campaign funds. The Thursday vote of 72-1 comes as a number of states weigh the question following a record-setting year for women running for office. It now goes to the Senate.

PxHere

Last year, with the clock ticking down on the legislative session, Democratic Rep. Carol Spackman Moss saw her bill to let cyclists yield at stop signs and traffic signals hit its own red light.

Inked newborn footprints.
Flikr

The Utah Vital Acts Amendment bill was presented during the opening day of the 2019 legislative session. Utah Republican Representative Merrill Nelson is proposing House Bill 0153, which would require the state to define the terms "male" and "female," as well as forbid courts from allowing individuals to change their sex on a birth certificate.

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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert increased his tax-cut proposal to $225 million on Wednesday as he pressed his call to restructure the tax system by putting new taxes on services, a project he called the state's No. 1 priority.

Utah Senate

Utah lawmakers have advanced a proposal to replace the full Medicaid expansion approved by voters in November. Ogden Republican Sen. Allen Christensen's SB96 got a favorable recommendation from the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday.

Students sitting at their desks in classroom
Shutterstock

Monday, on the opening day of the 2019 general session, I joined Republican Senator Lyle Hillyard of Cache Valley in his state capitol office. The senator chairs the public education appropriations subcommittee which is reviewing requests to increase school funding as the state’s population and subsequent school enrollment increases.

Roger McDonough

On the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislative Session, lawmakers introduced bills to repeal or significantly alter the full Medicaid expansion passed by voters in November. 

Wikicommons

New Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson says that if lawmakers don't fix the state's tax structure, the state general fund could run short within a few years, leaving it unable to fund roads, public safety and other government programs. 

Utah Lawmakers Aim To Derail Voter-Backed Medicaid Plan

Jan 25, 2019
ScottCaton/WikimediaCommons

Utah voters approved a ballot measure last year to enact full Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, bringing health care to 100,000 lower-income residents. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

What do grizzly bears, the Death Valley Pupfish, Desert Tortoises and Giant Kangaroo Rats have in common? If you’re playing endangered species bingo – you may be a winner! That’s right, all of those animals are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

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