Politics

Lawmakers move to eradicate the death penalty.
birdbh.org

Utah's Republican Speaker of the House is backing an effort to repeal the death penalty in the state three years after lawmakers voted to reinstate the use of the firing squad as a backup execution method.

House Speaker Greg Hughes and Republican Rep. Gage Froerer say it will be an uphill battle to persuade the GOP-controlled Legislature to ban capital punishment even though a similar ban came close to passing two years ago.

High school students planning to march on the state capital.
utahstatecapitol.utah.gov

Utah high school students are planning to march on the Utah Capitol in support of gun control.

The event planned for March 24 takes a cue from students marching on the Florida state capital after surviving a school shooting that killed 17 people as part of a national campaign called March For Our Lives.

nps.gov

A measure asking Congress to exempt Utah from the 1906 Antiquities Act passed through the Utah House Friday.

 

Lawmakers voted 59-13 to progress Rep. Carl Albrecht’s House Joint Resolution 1, which calls on Utah’s congressional delegation to draft legislation excluding Utah from future national monument designations by a president.

Governor Gary Herbert comments on DUI and abortion bills.
business.utah.gov

Gov. Gary Herbert says Utah's strict new DUI threshold is here to stay.Herbert said at a press conference Thursday that while there may be some tweaks to the 0.05 percent blood alcohol limit taking effect Dec. 30, it won't be repealed or delayed.

The mayor of a Salt Lake City suburb has approved a $15,000 raise for himself just weeks after taking office.The 10 percent pay raise takes Sandy Mayor Kurt Bradburn's salary up to $162,000 a year, more than mayors in Salt Lake City, Ogden and Provo make.

Mitt Romney makes his candidacy for Utah Senate seat official.
strbase.nist.gov

Republican Mitt Romney is trying for a political comeback as he launches a Senate campaign in Utah.The former presidential nominee confirmed his widely anticipated plans Friday in an online video. The announcement features his leadership of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and says the conservative state and its residents can show Washington how to govern respectfully.

mass.gov

House bill 58 would allow people on bicycles to treat stop signs like yield signs, and to stop and look both ways before proceeding through a red light.

Currently, cyclists are required to follow vehicle rules for stop signs and stop at red lights for 90 seconds, and then proceed if the intersection is clear.

Utah lawmakers passing controversial bill encouraging universities to involve police during sexual assault reports.
utahstatecapitol.utah.gov

A panel of Utah lawmakers is approving a campus sexual assault bill despite concerns that encouraging colleges to alert police to serious cases could keep victims from reporting assaults.Rep. Kim Coleman pointed Thursday to Utah cases where women reported assaults only to find school officials already knew about multiple allegations against the perpetrator and didn't stop them. She insists that should never happen.

tribtalk.org

Utah lawmakers are once again considering getting rid of the death penalty, two years after legislators came close to making the move.

A bill sponsored by Republican state Rep. Gage Froerer of Huntsville would prohibit Utah prosecutors from seeking the death penalty starting May 8. The nine men currently on death row would still be executed.

Mitt romney to launch Senate Campaign this week.
strbase.nist.gov

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is running for the Senate in Utah.

Three people with direct knowledge of the plan say Romney will formally launch his campaign in a video on Thursday. His first public appearance as a Senate candidate is scheduled for Friday in Utah. The people who provided the information asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about Romney's plans in advance.

utahstatecapitol.utah.gov

A committee of lawmakers in Utah's House of Representatives has signed off on the creation of a new legislative oversight committee that would have broad power to investigate state and local governments, ranging from the governor's office down to an individual school.

The proposal from Republican Rep. Keven Stratton of Orem was rejected earlier this month as some Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the measure citing worries that the committee would go too far in expanding the Legislature's power.

usgs.gov

Utah lawmakers want the state to set aside $2 million to sue California over rules that make coal-fired power more expensive.

The proposal from Republican Rep. Mike Noel passed through a subcommittee Tuesday with only one Democratic lawmaker raising any objections. Noel says California's policy is hurting coal miners in his rural district and violates the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause.

Will Tax Cuts Leave Big Idaho Families In The Lurch?

Feb 12, 2018
JSquish / Wikimedia

According to the nonpartisan Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy's analysis of the House bill passed last week, families that fall in the top 5 percent of earners, with three or more children will see a decrease in taxes. However, middle-class families will actually see an increase in their taxes.

A Utah lawmaker has introduced a bill that would create a pilot Utah State University Extension program to help boost employment in rural parts of the state.

Republican State Rep. Michael Noel says the legislation — named the "Rural Online Initiative" — if signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert, would put rural counties on pace to meet the 25,000 jobs in five years goal proposed last year by the chief executive's office.

Bill To Thwart Elections Compromise Fails

Feb 9, 2018
Katherine Taylor

On Thursday, the Utah House of Representatives rejected a bill that would undermine a contentious compromise over elections. House Bill 68 would have given political parties the power to decide whether candidates could take a “single path” or “duel path” to the ballot.

Special elections coiuld be changed with proposed bill.
fairfieldct.org

A proposed bill would eliminate primaries in special elections in Utah — allowing only a general election.

Republican State Rep. Dan McCay unveiled the bill Wednesday. In most cases, the bill would give parties 30 days to determine their nominees in any way they choose.

Republican Rep. Jon Stanard resigns after records show public paid for hotel tied to prostitute.
chipiona.org

Records show taxpayer funds were used to pay for at least two hotel rooms that a Utah lawmaker who resigned this week is alleged to have used to meet up with a prostitute last year.

After the British newspaper the Daily Mail reported allegations Thursday that Republican Rep. Jon Stanard twice hired a prostitute in 2017, House and state elections officials said they were checking to see if taxpayer or campaign money was used for the hotel stays that the report alleges Stanard booked.

A pair of lawsuits by two former state prosecutors alleging they were retaliated against and forced out of their jobs at the Utah Attorney General's Office for reporting wrongdoing and harassment raises new questions about an office that is only four years removed from a major scandal.

Former Assistant Attorney General Paul G. Amann alleges in his lawsuit that he was wrongly fired in late 2016 for reporting office employees who misused funds and retaliated against whistleblowers.

A proposal aimed at adding safeguards for the practice of "free-range parenting" has now been passed by both the Utah House and Senate.

Representatives in the House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that ensures parents are not accused of neglect for allowing mature kids to do things alone like travel to school, explore a playground or stay in the car.

Katherine Taylor

Citing successful legal and lobbying efforts from last year to see two Utah national monuments downsized, a nonprofit organization is once again asking the state to fund its operations. As it did at the 2017 legislature, the Foundation for Integrated Resource Management or FIRM is again requesting $500,000 from the state. 

Medically complex children pilot program
Guardian Angels of America Foundation

In 2015, a pilot program was approved by the Utah Legislature giving financial assistance to families with children who have complex medical conditions, such as a disability and who don't typically qualify for Medicaid. The funds for the program run out in June. This year, H.B. 100 would give the program ongoing funding by a Medicaid waiver. 

blm.gov

From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Bureau of Land Management oversees vast expanses of public lands rich in oil, gas, coal, grassland and wildlife habitat.

But more than 99 percent of it is in 12 Western states, hundreds of miles from Washington.

Raising campaign cash is banned during the legislative session.
yehey.org

Utah lawmakers and the governor are barred from raising campaign cash during the legislative session and they want to ensure the attorney general and other top elected officials face a similar ban.

Democratic Rep. Mark Wheatley of Murray has introduced a bill banning the attorney general, lieutenant governor, state auditor, state treasurer or any political action committees they control from raising funds while lawmakers are passing bills and the officials are weighing in.

Our Schools Now, an education initiative, could potentially be cancelled out.
kpcw.org

A Utah lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that would void an education initiative if it passes because he says the initiative's goals could be reached without sales and income tax hikes.

Republican state Rep. Mike Schultz of Hooper is sponsoring the bill that would cancel out the Our Schools Now initiative's effort to boost annual education funding by $715 million through a combination of tax increases.

Delivery robots could be allowed on Utah sidewalks.
slchalfcent.org

A bill that would modify Utah traffic code to allow delivery robots to roam sidewalks has advanced through the state House Transportation Committee.

The committee on Wednesday unanimously voted in favor of modifying the traffic code. Such personal delivery robots fall under the legal definition of an automobile, so the bill aims at carving out a safe space in wording so the bots can operate.

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