Utah News Connection

vectorfusionart / Adobe Stock

As Congress debates a new coronavirus stimulus bill, more people in Utah are facing food insecurity as the economy struggles with the effects of the pandemic. Groups that offer social services say some families who were previously able to provide healthy meals will see a double whammy at the end of this week.

Utah School Workers: Safety Measures Needed To Reopen

Jul 27, 2020
pyzata/Adobe Stock

As Utah school districts work to meet an August 1st deadline to develop plans to reopen this fall, teachers and support staff say safety measures must be in place to protect them from COVID-19.

Utah Workers Need More Education For Post-Pandemic Economy

Jul 14, 2020

As the nation struggles to recover from the economic downturn amid the coronavirus pandemic, workforce experts are calling on Utah and other states to ramp up efforts to ensure that more workers have post-high school education and certificates. 

Utah Ranks Fourth In Nation For Children's Well-Being

Jun 25, 2020
Monkey Business/Adobe Stock

Utah is among the best states in the nation for children's overall well-being, according to a new national report. The 2020 KIDS COUNT Data Book released this week shows that Utah improved in almost all of the ranked categories, including the number of children in poverty, fourth-grade reading proficiency, and the number of uninsured children.

Utah Lawmakers Increase Funding to Reopen Schools in Fall

Jun 24, 2020
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay


Utah educators, initially concerned about possible cuts in next year's school budget, got a surprise last week from the normally stingy state Legislature: a funding increase.

Conservationists Ask Utah to Spare Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf

Jun 13, 2020

Utah officials have placed a trap-and-destroy order on an endangered Mexican gray wolf believed to have killed livestock in the state. Conservation groups are calling on state wildlife officials to humanely capture the rare predator, and release it into the wild. 

Maxim/Adobe Stock


As Utah's energy sector continues to struggle in the new coronavirus pandemic, a new report outlines how policymakers can diversify states' revenue streams and begin phasing out reliance on fossil fuels.

Kioshkin / Adobe Stock

While most Utahns seem to have weathered the coronavirus pandemic with less illness and death than has been seen elsewhere, they have not been unaffected by the crisis. Public health officials say the stress and uncertainty of living under a stay-at-home order has caused an increase in anxiety and depression. In response, Utah officials and private groups have launched the Live On campaign: a 3-year drive to promote education, provide resources and change the culture around suicide and mental health. Taryn Hiatt, Utah director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said those who are struggling need to know where to find help.

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.

Will Utah Online Legislative Session Limit Transparency?

Apr 15, 2020
(Oksana/Adobe Stock)

Utah lawmakers open their special session this week, but there's a wrinkle: All their meetings will be in cyberspace.

Utah’s Rural Hospitals Brace for Influx of Coronavirus Cases

Mar 30, 2020


Where you live in Utah could be a major factor in your chances of surviving a bout of coronavirus. Almost one-third of Utah’s residents live outside of the Salt Lake City metro area and are served by a network of 21 rural hospitals and 14 rural clinics. While the majority of Utah cases have so far occurred in urban areas, public health officials are concerned that a surge in the number of serious cases could overwhelm rural facilities. 





Utah’s food banks, which already feed thousands of hungry people a day, are facing high demand and major challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic. Some reports in recent days say mobile pantries operated by the Utah Food Bank have run out before serving everyone in line, and many volunteers have been scared away by the coronavirus crisis. 

Court Ruling Voids Oil/Gas Leases In Sage-Grouse Habitat

Mar 6, 2020
(KerryHargrove/Adobe Stock)

A federal judge has voided one-million acres of oil and gas leases in Utah and other Western states, saying the federal government illegally limited public comment. Conservation groups joined forces to sue the Bureau of Land Management after it used a Trump administration rule to streamline environmental reviews and cut the time period for public input on the leases. 

Poll: Utahns Don't Want More Restrictions On Abortion Rights

Mar 6, 2020
Robert Cutts

Members of the Utah Legislature have proposed a significant number of bills this session to restrict women's reproductive rights. However, a recent poll shows that a majority of Utahns disagree with their elected officials. The poll asked about 800 Utah citizens about issues such as sex education, contraceptive access, abortion and Roe v. Wade.

Bill To Decriminalize Polygamy Passes Utah Senate

Feb 26, 2020
Pablo, creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Senate bill 102 would decriminalize the practice of polygamy in Utah. The bill’s sponsor said it will help people who want to leave polygamy, but advocates for those seeking to escape the lifestyle have said it would allow abusers to operate with impunity. 

Groups, Tribes Battle Trump's Plan To Develop Utah Monuments

Feb 11, 2020

The Trump administration announced plans last week to permit drilling, mining and grazing in southern Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments beginning in 202. Conservationists and Native American tribes are fighting in federal court to block the government's plan.

Poll: Utah Voters Back Cap on Co-Pays for Insulin Prescriptions

Jan 15, 2020

The skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs has become a bipartisan issue among voters, and Utahns overwhelmingly back a plan to help diabetics overcome the cost of life-saving insulin.

Utah Gets Federal OK for Full Medicaid Expansion Plan

Dec 30, 2019
Doctor with concerned face sits across from red-headed woman.

Federal officials have approved a modified waiver that will provide a full expansion of Medicaid in Utah, with work-reporting requirements. Last week federal officials approved the state's "fallback" plan, which will open up Medicaid coverage to about 60,000 more low-income Utahns.