About a dozen state lawmakers representing both political parties met Wednesday night with countless members of the LGBTQ community to hear their about their struggles. The meeting comes after a decision by House and Senate leadership to ignore statewide anti-discrimination legislation filed this session.
New mother and school teacher Candice Green-Berrett joined her wife Megan and six-month-old daughter Quinn to highlight the joys of her recent marriage.
Environmental investigators working with Erin Brockovich have uncovered some new evidence that hazardous chemicals are accumulating in the homes of those who live close to Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake. An investigator from the Brockovich team and community advocates met with Governor Gary Herbert Wednesday to share their findings.
A Republican state senator has put forth a proposal for a partial expansion of Medicaid in Utah. Senate majority leaders say they are meeting Wednesday night to decide whether they will get behind this proposal, a different House plan that rejects Medicaid dollars, or another solution all together.
Republican Senator Brian Shiozawa is an Emergency Room doctor. So he’s all too familiar with the coverage gap - those 54,000 Utahns who live in poverty and can’t get health insurance.
Plaintiffs in the case against Utah’s Amendment 3 filed a brief with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. The brief argues that Amendment 3 demeans and stigmatizes the relationships of same-sex couples and doesn’t withstand constitutional scrutiny.
A bill that would allow schools to set aside regular classroom days for teacher professional development advanced in the Utah House of Representatives on Wednesday--but not without some contention.
Professional development days give teachers time out of the classroom to collaborate and train on new technologies, learning materials and curriculum. Prior to the recession, Utah spent roughly $70 million dollars on professional development but that money is no longer available.
Low water levels in Lake Powell have revealed a much bigger problem with quagga mussels than was previously believed.
The invasive mussels have been spreading through waterways across North America. They can damage dams and power plants as well as fisheries. Mark Hadley with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says the water level in Lake Powell has dropped by about eight feet over the past year, and that’s revealed some huge numbers of the tiny shellfish clinging to exposed rocks.
The Utah House has passed a bill that would allow voters to keep their personal information private. That information is currently available from voter registration records that have been posted online.
Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, supports a bill that would allow voters to choose whether they want their personal details from state election records to be public. Last year, a web site bought personal information for 1.5 million Utah voters and posted it on the web. Hutchings says that kind of data is fodder for thieves like the ones who stole his identity.
A Republican proposal to provide health coverage for those under the poverty line has advanced to the House floor for consideration, but lawmakers in charge of the budget say there is no money for it at this point, and time is running out to accept any new requests.
The Salt Lake County Council, in a preliminary vote on Tuesday approved a resolution to launch a motorist and bicyclist safety study of Emigration Canyon Road. Parties involved say the tension between cyclists and drivers has come to a head.
Emigration canyon’s proximity to downtown Salt Lake City and the grand views make it one of the most heavily used canyons in Utah by bicyclists.
For the same reasons, the canyon is also inviting to motorists… who live and recreate there as well.
Organizers of The Count My Vote Initiative can now add Mitt Romney to their group of supporters. If passed, the proposal would move Utah to a direct primary election system. But a bill moving through the legislature could keep the current caucus system intact.
Mitt Romney has endorsed the Count My Vote initiative in Utah, but Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT3) said Monday he is opposed to changing the state’s nomination process from a caucus-convention system to direct primaries. In his annual address to the state legislature, Chaffetz told lawmakers he could never have beat incumbent Chris Cannon without the caucus system. He said he didn’t have big name ID, and he didn’t have big money, but he did spend time talking with delegates.
Utah House lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow state-specific solutions to air pollution.
Republican Rep. Becky Edwards, R- North Salt Lake, has a bill to loosen a law that prevents state environmental rules from being stricter than federal ones. She says Utah knows how to clean up its air better than the federal government does.
“HB121 allows for local control to address our local needs,” says Edwards. “This is another example of how states are more effective and do things better than the federal one-size-fits all solutions.”
State lawmakers in the Senate Education committee voted unanimously Monday morning to support proposed changes to the controversial school grading system. Republican Senator Stuart Adams’ bill would provide additional flexibility for schools, including the option to opt out of the system.
A bill that would prohibit the permitting of new medical waste incinerators within two miles of a residential community passed a legislative committee Friday, and now heads to the state Senate for consideration. A Republican lawmaker’s bill has succeeded where a Democrat’s bill failed.
Utah’s 1st District Congressman is hoping he can claim a key committee chairmanship that would give Utah a significant advantage in Congress. That was one of the messages Republican Rob Bishop brought to the Utah legislature today.
Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson addressed members of the Utah House and Senate on Thursday. For now, it is the lawmaker’s last visit to the Capitol as a member of the state congressional delegation.
Congressman Matheson began his speech in the Utah House describing a political atmosphere in Washington, DC that is so partisan that un ending gridlock is the status quo. He says voters are fed up a congress that can’t get work together.
Republican state lawmakers have come up with a proposal to provide health insurance for those who fall below the poverty line, but it does not expand Medicaid in the state. Democrats say rejecting those federal dollars is irresponsible.
Officials with Google announced Wednesday that Salt Lake City is on a list of nine cities where the company wants to expand its ultra-high speed network called Fiber. It would be the same system that residents of Provo are now signing up for. Michael Slinger is the director of business operations for Google. He says the announcement only marks the beginning of a six to nine month process.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams announced a plan today that he hopes will calm the bickering in the county’s unincorporated areas over boundaries and governance. The plan includes statewide legislation sponsored by Democratic Senator Karen Mayne.
House lawmakers want to give families with autistic children a helping hand. They voted Tuesday to continue supporting a few programs that have shown success in Utah.
Republican Representative Rhonda Menlove says a constituent call a few years ago triggered her interest in autism programs. She told her House colleagues that she picked up the phone one day and heard a screaming child in the background as the sobbing mother pleaded for help.