Politics

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.

portland.gov

Salt Lake Democratic State Senator Jani Iwamoto wants to make the penalty for killing a police dog more severe. Her Senate Bill 57 would make killing a police service animal a second degree felony, instead of the third degree felony that it is now. 

One of two halfway houses in Utah providing services to exclusively women
Utah Department of Corrections

House Bill 126 seeks to change where paroled inmates are housed. If passed, the number of offenders being sent to halfway houses in Utah would be capped depending on the population of the community. 

Idaho National Laboratory/Flickr

Idaho lawmakers are holding public hearings Thursday and Friday on proposed science standards for Idaho public schools. 

At issue: how, or whether, those standards should address climate change. 

A bag of medical marijuana; Medical marijuana and marijuana for research purposes passes first committee meeting.
theinfluence.org

A Utah lawmaker's proposals that would allow terminally ill people to use certain forms of marijuana and farmers to grow it for research purposes passed their first hurdle in a committee despite criticism that the piecemeal approach doesn't go far enough.

Rep. Brad Daw, a Republican from Orem, said during a hearing Wednesday that the measures help dying people try another alternative that may help and provides a way for researchers to get marijuana locally.

DACA discussed on Capitol Hill; Latino Boy Scouts contribute to community
templesquare.com

During their 2018 legislation session, Utah lawmakers, like national political leaders, are trying to determine how to serve children of immigrants who have been brought to the state illegally. 

The list of crimes warranting the death penalty could grow larger.
busy.org

A Utah lawmaker wants to make it a death penalty offense to kill a security guard or paramedic, but prosecutors are warning that change could threaten capital punishment.

Democratic Sen. Karen Mayne said Monday her plan would help protect emergency first responders who might be targeted. A Senate committee approved her proposal 5-1.

Deseret News

On the day President Trump is set to deliver his first State of the Union Address, we’ll talk politics with Deseret News columnists LaVarr Webb and Frank Pignanelli.

Katherine Taylor

A bill introduced in the House Judiciary Committee Thursday seeks to prohibit abortions, if the reason for the procedure is a positive diagnosis of Down syndrome.

 

 

On Thursday, legislators printed the bill that would allow states to convene a convention under Article Five of the Constitution once 34 states had signed on. Convention seekers want to add a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and with only six more states needed, groups are making a strong push in Idaho.

Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Front is in need of careful preparation and planning for the coming population boom.
inaturalist.org

A regional planning group told local leaders that Utah's rapidly growing population could double commute times, ramp up housing costs and amplify air-quality problems in the coming decades without careful planning along the Wasatch Front urban core.

Executive Director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council Andrew Gruber warned a crowd of mayors, city council members and other local officials of the looming population boom Tuesday at the Wasatch Choice 2050 + Mayor's Metro-Solutions Symposium.

The new Utah prison is estimated to cost $860 million, a number that had never been discussed in a public hearing.
corrections.utah.gov

Utah state officials are being forced to explain why they never revealed the original cost estimate for a new state prison that is much higher than budgeted cost.

An $860 million estimate by a consultant had never been discussed in a public hearing until last week when lawmakers grilled prison relocation officials about why the project is expected to cost $692.5 million, up from $650 million.

mtc.ca.gov

Utah lawmakers on Friday advanced a measure that would let prospective candidates for political office get on the ballot, even if they can't file in person. 

Rep. Craig Hall's House Bill 113 would give individuals temporarily outside of Utah the option to file electronically, as long as they appeared before an elections official via a video link.

Memorez and Jase Rackley, mother and son murdered by her ex-boyfriend in June.
gousoe.uen.org

Utah lawmakers want to fix gaps in domestic violence law exposed when a man killed his ex-girlfriend and her son by opening fire on a car full of children after school.

Republican Sen. Todd Weiler says victim Memorez Rackley couldn't have gotten a protective order, despite a previous stalking report, because the couple had never been married or lived together.

utah.gov

In Governor Herbert’s annual state of the state address, he celebrated Utah’s victories in 2017.

schools.graniteschools.org

A panel of Utah lawmakers has approved a proposal aimed at ensuring parents aren't investigated for letting their kids do things like walk to school or play outside alone, known as free-range parenting.

The bill passed unanimously Tuesday would revise state law to say allowing mature kids to do things like travel to school or play outside isn't neglect if the children are otherwise well cared-for. It now moves to the Senate floor.

eplaya.burningman.org

Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah has compared President Donald Trump's governing style to Rodney Dangerfield's character in "Caddyshack."

Stewart says that while the president's style is "very, very loud" and distracting, he's able to do what he's trying to achieve. The congressman made the comment Tuesday while speaking to the Utah Senate.

psnetwork.org

Salt Lake Democratic Representative Brian King wants people to stop looking the other way.

blm.gov

A Utah lawmaker wants to send a message to Washington. That message? Exclude the state of Utah from future national monument designations. 

Katherine Taylor

During the Monday opening of the Utah legislative session, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser listed infrastructure as a priority for the 2018 session.

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