Senate leaders said no big decisions have been made on Medicaid expansion, though no potential options have been ruled out.
On Friday, Senate majority leader Ralph Okerlund said Republicans have barely scratched the surface on that topic in Senate caucus meetings, and no position has been taken.
“At this point, I believe all of the options are still out there on the table for our caucus,” Okerlund said. “We’re still willing to look at everything, and I suspect that (among) our caucus members, you’d find that we’ve got a lot of different opinions on whether we should go, at this point, with one of the options or with full expansion.”
Every few months, the Rocky Mountain Gun Show comes to Sandy’s South Towne Expo Center. In fact, you may have noticed advertisements for the show this January. If you’re unfamiliar with what happens at a gun show, it’s mostly self-explanatory: it’s an exhibition of guns, ammunition, and other related paraphernalia.
Gun shows have become an increasingly popular way to buy and sell firearms. But they are also controversial, with gun control proponents arguing that loose regulations on sales can make it too easy for guns to end up in the wrong hands.
But as it turns out, guns shows aren’t just about guns. At the epicenter of such a hotly debated swath of our culture, could there be something for everyone?
On a day when the Utah Division of Air Quality categorized Salt Lake’s air as “Unhealthy” on their Air Quality Index, demonstrators gathered outside Trolley Square on Tuesday to raise awareness of the state’s inversion problem.
As a part of what organizers are calling the “Twelve Polluted Days of Christmas,” clean air advocates wore Santa hats and elf costumes, hoping to combine holiday cheer with an issue that has plagued Utahns early and often this season.
Decked out in holiday apparel and wearing masks to protect their lungs from pollution, about a dozen protestors gather on the sidewalk along 700 East, one of the busiest streets in Salt Lake. A man dressed as Santa Claus waves to the constant stream of traffic, holding a sign that says, “Breathing clean air is the birthright of every child.”
And who better to speak for children than Santa Claus?
A judge for the Utah Federal Court struck down parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy laws as unconstitutional on Friday. The ruling is a victory for polygamous families, including plaintiff Kody Brown and his family. Brown and his four wives are featured on the popular TLC reality show “Sister Wives.”
In a ruling released on Friday, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups found that Utah law restricting cohabitation was in violation of the First Amendment, which protects religious freedom.
In the decision, the judge reasons that Utah has quote “no rational basis” unquote to ban religious cohabitation as practiced by polygamist sects. He did, however, uphold the state’s prohibition of legal bigamy, narrowly defined as when one person obtains two marriage licenses.
Correction: In some instances in the below story, the EPA was credited by the author to be the agency overseeing the Endangered Species designation of the Greater-Sage Grouse. This has been changed, and corrected.
A lobbyist for Utah energy interests has recommended that the state defend itself from the Greater Sage-Grouse.
The Greater Sage-Grouse, a bird species native to Utah and much of the West, has often been characterized by conservationists as a species in danger. A century ago, millions of these ornate birds roamed America’s sagebrush. Today, it’s estimated that there are only a few hundred thousand left.
The Sage-Grouse’s dwindling numbers have provoked the question of species protection in recent years. To date, the bird is not an endangered species, but that could change in 2015, when the federal government plans to reassess the well-being of the species.
But according to Utah energy lobbyist Jeff Hartley, the state should be prepared to fight a legal battle with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the Greater Sage-Grouse. What’s Hartley’s suggestion to the Utah legislature? Speaking to the Executive Appropriations Committee last week, he told members to brace themselves for the coming battle with the federal government.
Dr. Randall Irmis speaks at a press conference at the Natural History Museum of Utah on November 6, 2013. Irmis and his team announced the discovery of a previously unknown dinosaur species. A skeletal model of the dinosaur stands behind Irmis.
Former U.S. Representative Bob Inglis of South Carolina was in Utah last week trying to garner support for policies tackling climate change.
Former congressman Bob Inglis heads the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, a campaign he started in 2012. According to its website, the initiative strives to address climate change and environmental issues by, quote, “embracing solutions that are true to conservative principles,” unquote.
Local religious leaders staged a demonstration outside the Governor’s mansion on Wednesday. They gathered to convince Governor Gary Herbert to endorse Medicaid expansion in Utah. Next year, states have the option to expand Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act. For his part, the governor has said he doesn’t plan to make a decision until next year.
Wednesday marked the fiftieth anniversary of King’s historic speech and the March on Washington, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement in America. To commemorate the anniversary, Governor Gary Herbert ordered bells across the state to ring at 1 p.m. mountain time.