Utah lawmakers will be focusing heavily on budget issues and education funding as they begin their 2012 General Session. Republican Senate President Michael Waddoups says the session will have an optimistic tone because Utah's economy is growing. Waddoups says a $200 million surplus means state agencies will not be facing cuts and employees could even get small raises.
During the first weeks of the session, legislators could approve agency budgets at last year's funding levels and even provide additional money for student growth in public education.
While both Republicans and Democrats agree that education should be a top priority, there is disagreement about pay for higher education faculty. Neil Abercrombie, Director of Government Relations for Utah State University, explained the discrepancy to UPR today at the opening of the Utah State Legislative Session.
The Utah Public Radio news team spent the opening day of the Utah Legislative Session at the State Capitol, talking to Senators and Representatives about the issues that matter to our listeners. Get ready for some great reporting today and for the next 45 days.
From Cache County in the north to Washington County in southern Utah, $44 million in federal money is headed to the beehive state to help with watershed protection.
The grant money comes from the USDA’s natural resource conservation service. Much of the work is to repair damage to roads, water systems and other infrastructure caused by flooding over the past two years.
The emergency watershed protection program was set up by congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters.
At the end of this month, any Utah business that offers light touch or stroking of the body as a service without a massage license could be in violation of state law. As KCPW’s Whittney Evans reports, the new rule enacted by the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing broadens the term “massage,” which some local business owners say goes too far.
Democratic lawmakers from the House and Senate have introduced an initiative they say will improved public education in Utah. Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck talks to Kerry Bringhurst about the "Best Schools" initiative.
Science Questions takes you into the lives of Pennsylvania residents who are personally being impacted by drilling for highly profitable natural gas and what scientists are saying about the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, gaining attention across the nation.
The federal government this week awarded 2.5-million dollars for recreational development in north Moab.
UPR’s Moab correspondent Vicki Barker reports:
The old Lions Club Park at the Colorado River bridge can now develop into a sophisticated recreational use area.
With a grant announced this week from the Federal Transit Aministration, a multi-agency committee in Moab will proceed with a bike-and-pedestrian trail system. It will link parks, recreation areas and the river, to Moab.