Utah Legislature

Utah Oil and Gas Regulators Fail to Issue Fines to Polluters

May 4, 2020
Craddick/Adobe Stock

 

Regulatory agencies in most western states have improved their oversight of the oil and gas industry in recent years. A recent analysis, however, shows that one state -- Utah -- stands out as the worst over the past two decades at dealing with violations.

sltrib.com

The tax reform bill that was passed in December by a special session of the Utah Legislature was soundly repudiated by a referendum drive that collected the required number of signatures before the regular session of the legislature began in January. Lawmakers subsequently repealed the tax reform bill. We wondered: what about now? Is there still a need for reform? What should happen next? What is likely to happen next? We’ll talk with the organizer of the referendum drive, Fred Cox. Our guests will also include Rep.

Brian, Wikimedia Commons

A Utah republican lawmaker is urging his colleagues to support legislation that would allow low-income female minors to get a contraception prescription without parental consent.

Gage Skidmore

Thursday, the Republican Speaker of the Utah House, Brad Wilson, of Kaysville filed a resolution “paying tribute” to Trump on the same day another lawmaker sponsored a censure resolution calling for U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney to be censured for his vote to convict President Donald Trump for abuse of power.

Flickr

 

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.

Salt Lake Tribune

A massive tax reform proposal by state lawmakers draws fire from teachers and poverty advocates. State and local leaders say they’ll consider keeping the downtown homeless shelter open through the winter to address a long-predicted shortfall in beds. And poll monitors in San Juan County report irregularities in the early voting process, including potential electioneering.

Salt Lake Tribune

Mitt Romney says states should take the lead on new gun laws. Ken Ivory resigns his legislative seat to work for a public lands consulting firm. And despite losing federal funding, Planned Parenthood will keep operating in Utah.  At 9 a.m. on Friday, Salt Lake Tribune senior managing editor Matt Canham, reporter Bethany Rodgers, and news columnist Robert Gehrke join KCPW's Roger McDonough to talk about the week's top stories. Every Friday at 9 a.m., tune in to Utah Public Radio for the broadcast.

Utah Senate

The Utah Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force completed its eight-part public listening tour around the state Tuesday night in Utah County.  From Brigham City to St. George, hundreds of Utahns voiced their opinions over the last five weeks on potential tax reform in the state.

Daily Herald

State lawmakers from Utah County are proposing legislation requiring counties with large populations to adopt some form of government with separation of powers to allow for more regional representation. 

West Valley Republican Sen. Daniel Thatcher's SB103 would allow a judge to enhance the penalties someone faces for committing a crime if they target a victim based on any number of personal attributes including their race, religion, sexual orientation, ancestry, gender identity or ethnicity. 

Salt Lake Tribune

A majority of Utah lawmakers in the House have approved a plan they hope will reduce air pollution in Utah by encouraging more people to use trains and buses.

Utah lawmakers have tabled legislation requiring counties in the state to use tax money to provide female birth control in jails.   

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.

UPR

On opening day of the 2019 Utah Legislature we’re at the State Capitol. We’ll speak with Utah Governor Gary Herbert; Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers; Senate Minority Leader Karen Mayne; House Executive Appropriations Chair Brad Last and House Minority Leader Brian King. We’ll discuss propositions approved by the voters last year on medical marijuana, medicaid expansion, and redistricting. We’ll also talk about air quality, education, the budget, taxes and more.

 

Utah's governing farm and agriculture department releases yearly report
UDAF

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has released its annual report outlining 2018 production numbers that include a review of the health and welfare of the state's farm, produce and ranching industries. Utah Agriculture Commissioner LuAnn Adams is warning of challenges facing agricultural producers in 2019, including drought.  

Map of Utah Congressional Districts
utahchildren.org

Organizers of a Utah ballot initiative that would create a new system for drawing the state's legislative and congressional districts raised $860,000 this year, but it has already spent most of it to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot.

The most recent financial disclosure shows the political issues committee behind the Better Boundaries initiative received plenty of small contributions, but it also received large donations from advocacy organizations and a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

Ceremonial signing of climate resolution by Utah governor
Utah Governor's Office

Last week, Utah legislation took a leap towards a more sustainable future with the passing of the state’s first climate change resolution. The House Concurrent Resolution on Environmental and Economic Stewardship was sponsored by Republican Representative Rebecca P. Edwards of District 20.

Utah Driver License Division

Refugees in Utah who are taking their first driving exam have always been allowed to use an interpreter for the written portion. Legislation passed during the 2018 legislative session will now allow them to also use an interpreter when renewing their license for the first time.

Utah Legislature meets to pass more than 500 laws, including free-range parenting.
upr.org

Hundreds of new Utah laws are going into effect governing alcohol signs, medical marijuana and first-in-the-nation protections for hands-off parenting.

Tuesday is the trigger for most of the more than 500 laws passed by the Utah Legislature this year, 60 days after the end of the short legislative session.

Speaker Greg Hughes, who mentioned that Legislature needs to strengthen its powers.
house.utah.gov

Utah lawmakers will call themselves into a special session to override Gov. Gary Herbert's vetoes of two bills the governor said went too far in expanding the Legislature's powers.

Legislative leaders announced Wednesday that more than two-thirds of the House and Senate favor an override.

$50 million dollars has been allocated by the Utah State Legislature for public transportation.
UTA

The Utah Transit Authority will receive an estimated $50 million makeover, as it transitions to the newly named Transit District of Utah under Senate Bill 136.

Noncompete agreement changes to influence media industry.
nevadaemployers.org

TV stations would only be able to use noncompete contracts for staff members who earn more than $47,500 a year under a proposal passed by lawmakers — and now awaiting the governor's signature.

The state House on Monday approved the Senate's changes to the bill, sending it to Gov. Gary Herbert for consideration.

Lawmakers include money to sue California in the upcoming budget.
woomoo.org

Utah lawmakers are including $1.65 million in the state budget to sue California over rules that make coal-fired power more expensive.

The Legislature's main budget committee signed off on the expense Wednesday evening as part of a package of projects and programs they plan to fund before adjourning Thursday night.

Local lawmakers discuss funding for the homeless as they prepare for the final week of the session
Kerry Bringhurst / Utah Public Radio

When Logan City Mayor Holly Daines first learned about House Bill 462 for homeless services she began researching how an annual tax for low-income or homeless programs would impact her city.

“We are watching that bill,” Daines said.

Republican Representative Steve Eliason is sponsoring the bill that would give the state the ability to tax cities that don’t have programs for their homeless population.

The Salt Lake Tribune

Today on the program, we're discussing the possibility of Utah doing away with the death penalty and as Mitt Romney begins his campaign for Senate, his relationship with Pres. Donald Trump appears to warm.  Huntsville Republican Rep. Gage Froerer leads the charge to do away with the death penalty, and he has some powerful players backing him. And state lawmakers seem to have an extra $209 million to work with in the budget this year. 

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