News

The Salt Lake City mayor’s office is launching a new program that matches refugee families with volunteers.

Utah Division of Natural Resources and FrogWatch

The season to spot frogs and toads has arrived, and Hogle Zoo is part of a nationwide, citizen-science effort to monitor them in Utah.

The zoo’s Suzanne Zgraggen, coordinator for FrogWatch USA in Utah, teaches volunteers how to identify frogs and toads.

Salt Lake County

Many residents of unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County are rejoicing after the passage of a bill that settles years of discontent over local boundaries and governance.

A new study suggests antidepressants can help not just mental health but heart health as well. Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that treating depression helps reduce the risk for heart disease. The study is being presented this weekend at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting in San Diego on Sunday.

The legislature ended at midnight last night, and less than 6 hours later I’m on the road to get out of the state as quickly as possible. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide.

To recap the session, here’s a quick list of what the legislature did…and didn’t do.

Lawmakers Hike Gas Tax

Mar 13, 2015
futureatlas.com / Flickr Creative Commons

Motorists will see Utah’s gas tax increase, thanks to an 11th-hour compromise between the Utah House and Senate.

Lawmakers have borrowed from education and universities for years to cover road and bridge repairs. They agreed to end that practice by fixing the 24.5-cent gas tax.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah legislative session ended with no solution to the healthcare coverage gap, but Governor Gary Herbert and GOP state lawmakers say they have a plan.

Judy Fahys

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has signed into law a statewide ban on discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in employment and housing.  The law also includes protections for religious beliefs.

The Utah Republican Party’s attempts to delay the County My Vote compromise did not survive the legislative session.

University of Utah

Lawmakers are considering moving Utah closer to being a hands-free state when it comes to drivers using cell phones.

It’s already against the law to text while driving in Utah. A bill in the Senate would require motorists in motion to use Bluetooth or other voice-activated features. Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, calls it “hands-free lite.”

TORBAKHOPPER VIA CREATIVE COMMONS

A historic measure to protect Utah’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender population from discrimination in employment and housing passed the full Utah legislature Wednesday night. So did two other measures that specifically protect religious freedom.

A bill that would affect parental control of sex education in Utah came up at legislature Wednesday with only two days left in the general session.

The Legislature has passed a bill that will create a registry of people convicted of white collar crimes.

Send Us Your Sound

Mar 11, 2015

The Send Us Your Sound contest has ended, but thank you to everyone for participating! 

KUER’s listeners are the heart of KUER. Help us put a voice to the tens of thousands of listeners who tune-in to the station each week. 

Air Bills Advance

Mar 11, 2015
Wikipedia IC Bus CE-Series

Senators advanced important air-quality bills Tuesday. One provides clean school buses. The other permits Utah-tailored regulations.

The word “different” changed everything for a bill that gives more flexibility to state air regulators. Sen Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, explained that current law blocked regulators from stepping up pollution monitoring at a medical waste incinerator in his district.

Brian Grimmett

Utah Governor Gary Herbert is holding out hope that the state legislature will find more money for education before the 2015 legislative session ends on Thursday.

Lawmakers in Utah Senate passed a bill Tuesday night that would allow execution by firing squad if lethal injection drugs are not available. It now heads to Governor Gary Herbert for his approval. 

Brian Grimmett

For a bill to become law the Senate, the House, and the Governor all have to give their approval. But even with a Republican super-majority in the Utah legislature, that process often encounters obstacles.

UDOH, Utah Cancer Control Program

The Utah Department of Health is again making a case for Utahns to get screened for colorectal cancer with its campaign through March.

Brian Grimmett

A bill that would have made the use of medical marijuana legal, failed to make it out of the Senate in an extremely close vote Monday night.

Courtesy: Brenda Norrell / Earthcycles

 The West lost an important anti-nuclear activist last week, when Margene Bullcreek was laid to rest on the Skull Valley Goshute Indian Reservation.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah House of Representatives passed a resolution Monday night making it more difficult to revive legislation that has failed to pass in committee. The move comes after Democrats attempted last week to bring a bill advancing Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan to the House floor.

Brian Grimmett/KUER

The Utah Senate passed a statewide anti-discrimination bill on Friday.

401(k)2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

Competing House and Senate Medicaid expansion plans are now on the table, and that means state lawmakers have just four days to settle their differences on this major issue before the session ends.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Every year at the Utah Capitol, there is a rally for recovery from drug addiction and mental illness. But this year, advocates did something new - a walk to remember those who have died from these afflictions.

Week six was the most eventful of the legislature thus far, but somehow much of the hotly contested bills still have a ways to go before reaching the Governor’s desk.

It is a system of automating pastry making.
File: Lassonde Enterpreneur Institute

The University of Utah announced Thursday that the final showcase event of the 2015 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge will be opened to the public for the first time.

peetje2 via Creative Commons

The fight to preserve religious rights in Utah isn’t over. A chief negotiator in the widely-celebrated anti-discrimination bill released Wednesday is now making a case for additional religious protections.

Andrea Smardon

Those in favor of the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan have not admitted defeat, even though the bill supporting that plan was voted down by a House committee Wednesday night.

Brian Grimmett

A bill that would bring back the firing squad as an execution option for inmates on death row moved through its first hurdle in the Utah Senate Thursday.

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