Utah’s unemployment rate dropped below four percent in February for the first time since 2008.
Governor Gary Herbert was beaming as he went before the TV cameras this morning to say Utah’s unemployment rate stands at 3.9 percent, compared to a national rate of 6.7 percent. The statewide rate of job growth is at 2.8 percent.
Governor Gary Herbert announced his long-awaited plan Thursday concerning Medicaid and health coverage for the poorest Utahns. He’s calling it Healthy Utah.
The Supreme Court decided in 2012 to let states choose whether to expand Medicaid as it was intended under the Affordable Care Act. Now, more than a year and a half later, after reviewing proposals from the state house, the senate, and panels of stakeholders, Governor Herbert finally revealed his plan.
A bill that requires the state to use high-efficiency, low-polluting vehicles in its own fleet got strong support in the Utah State Senate this morning.
Senate Bill 99 originally required the state to use compressed natural gas vehicles for half its fleet by 2018. But Republican Senator Scott Jenkins changed it to allow vehicles that use low-sulfur Tier 3 gasoline. Jenkins says the people who run the state motor pool say it would accomplish the same goal for a lot less money.
Nine 4th graders from Angie Blomquist's class at Monroe Elementary in Sevier County traveled to the Capitol to testify on behalf of their bill to change the state tree to the quaking aspen. They posed with State Forester Brian Cottam, who also spoke in favor of the bill.
A group of concerned school kids made their way to the Utah State Capitol Tuesday to ask lawmakers to change one of the state’s symbols.
Fourth-grade lobbyists say Utah needs a new state tree. Members of Mrs. Blomquist’s class from Monroe Elementary in Sevier County pressed their case at the Capitol. Nine of the students told senators why the Colorado blue spruce should make way for the quaking aspen.
“The quaking aspen is self-pruning,” said Neomi Avery, “They take care of themselves just like Utah citizens.”
Governor Gary Herbert has appointed state school board member Tami Pyfer as his new education advisor. The Governor’s spokesman Marty Carpenter says Pyfer brings in a very broad-scoped education experience from administrator to parent volunteer in public and private classrooms.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he believes regulating marriage is a state’s rights issue, but he understands many people are disappointed by his order to keep the state from recognizing same sex marriages performed legally after a key federal court decision.
Herbert says he was disappointed by federal Judge Robert Shelby’s decision invalidating Utah’s Amendment Three, which bars recognition of same-sex relationships. But earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed Shelby’s ruling putting gay marriages on hold in Utah.
Members of the Utah Republican state central committee selected Sean Reyes, Robert Smith and Brian Tarbet as their nominees for Attorney General. Governor Gary Herbert will now choose one of these candidates to replace John Swallow. He says he hopes to do it as soon as possible, and hopefully before Christmas.
“I’m going to interview them, I’m going to talk with them. It’s about restoring trust in the AG’s office and confidence for the people of Utah. And I think I’ve got three great people to choose from.”
A group of Utah physicians is accusing the governor and the state’s health department of misleading the public about the safety hazards of living near a medical waste incinerator. They are calling on Utah’s hospitals to boycott Stericycle’s North Salt Lake incinerator and stop sending their waste there.
At his monthly KUED news conference, Governor Gary Herbert said it is government’s role to protect the public, and that’s why he has ordered the state health department to conduct an investigation into Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator.
Governor Gary Herbert has still not made a decision about expanding Medicaid benefits, but at his monthly KUED news conference today he did shed some light on the decision making process.
For the past several months Governor Herbert has insisted that all options are still on the table when it comes to the expansion of Medicaid benefits, but his most recent comments suggest that he’s looking at finding some sort of middle ground.
Governor Gary Herbert has appointed a team of 37 water district managers, environmentalists, legislators and others to create a long-term strategy for water use and conservation in Utah. The announcement came during a water summit meeting held today at Utah Valley University.
Governor Gary Herbert has created a committee with dozens of high-profile people from around the state to look at solutions to Utah’s air quality problems, while critics were blasting a state plan meant to meet stricter federal pollution standards.
Governor Gary Herbert says everything’s on the table as his new Clean Air Action Team begins its work. It’s led by Dan Lofgren of Envision Utah and includes 39 members, ranging from the chairman of Intermountain Health Care to Dan McArthur, the mayor of St. George.
Utah Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell announced his resignation Monday. Bell says financial pressures are making it tough to stay in the job he’s held since 2009.
Bell told reporters he’s about to turn 65 and he needs to save money for retirement. He was in the real estate business before he was appointed Lieutenant Governor, and he says the recession was pretty tough.
Governor Gary Herbert joined members of the of the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission at the state Capitol today to honor and celebrate the 50th anniversary of King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech.”
Utah Governor Gary Herbert is asking Utah’s state lands agency not to lease about 20-thousand acres in the Book Cliffs for oil and gas drilling. Sportsmen and environmental groups have said the area near Bogart Canyon needs to be protected as wildlife habitat.
The governor told reporters at the state capitol Thursday afternoon the State Institutional Trust Lands Administration, or SITLA, has done a good job getting money out of Utah’s state lands, but in this case, it needs to look at a long-term strategy that could bring in even more in the long run.
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich is turning her attention to North Salt Lake City. At the request of residents, Brockovich and her team have decided to conduct an independent investigation into air pollution violations by Stericycle and the company’s medical waste incinerator. Angry residents and activists are protesting in front of Stericycle Thursday evening demanding that Governor Gary Herbert shut it down.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert chairs the Western Governors Association, so this year, the group held its annual meeting in Utah. The topics included reforming health care and education, but a lot of the focus was on energy and public lands.
Activists are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to halt Utah’s efforts to seize control of federal land in the state. Educators, parents and students gathered at Liberty Park this morning to ask state lawmakers to find realistic solutions to funding education and stop taking aim at public lands.
Ethan Lake is a senior at West High School in Salt Lake City. He says the state is blessed with a beautiful natural environment.
Utah has come to an agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services on how it will run its exchange – or health insurance marketplace. HHS has approved Utah’s first-of-its-kind proposal to split state and federal responsibilities. Under the agreement, Utah will continue running the state exchange known as Avenue H for small businesses. The federal government will run a separate exchange for individual consumers.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert is out of the country right now on a trade mission in Israel. But that didn’t stop environmentalists from holding an Earth Day rally right in front of the Governor’s Mansion on South Temple.
As traffic whizzed by on one of Salt Lake City’s busiest streets, demonstrators wrote their messages of protest on blue ribbons. They had to tie them to a volleyball net because they weren’t allowed to put them on the governor’s wrought-iron fence.