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Now, this is the story all about how Week 6 of the Legislature got flipped-turned upside down? Utah's beatboxing lawmakers are gearing up for their final spurt to the finish line with several big items still left on Republican leaders' to-do list. Notably, two proposals to add work requirements to Medicaid, the federal low-income health care program, are racing through the chambers as we speak. One lawmaker is also getting support for a last-minute bill to establish a "red flag" law to confiscate guns from people who pose a credible threat to public safety. The Legislature is also doing some Arnold Schwarzenegger-level flexing of power over a number of entities, including cities, the executive branch and — albeit unsuccessfully — the press. 

A state lawmaker wants to name a highway in southern Utah after President Donald Trump.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Republican Rep. Mike Noel proposed the idea Thursday, in part to thank Trump for shrinking two national monuments that he and other state leaders opposed.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Following the recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla., a new school safety commission was announced on Thursday at the Utah Legislature.

Screenshot / Youtube

Updated Fri., March 2, 3:50 p.m.:
Sen. Orrin Hatch is apologizing for an expletive-laden rant against supporters of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

Austen Diamond / KUER

There are six citizen-led initiatives making their way to the ballot this year, addressing everything from medical marijuana to election laws. But even if some of those pass, Utah lawmakers are looking at delaying their implementation.

istock

Many are calling it far-fetched, but a mountain west entrepreneur is reviving a proposal to draw water from Utah's Green River and funnel it to Colorado's growing and drought-prone Front Range. The pipeline would move billions of gallons of water across hundreds of miles from Utah through Wyoming and down into Colorado.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Utah lawmakers may take legislative action after the Utah Republican Party passed a controversial bylaw over the weekend.

Austen Diamond / KUER

The Utah House passed a controversial bill this week that would allow colleges and universities to report sexual assaults to law enforcement, even if victims ask for confidentiality.

Whittney Evans / KUER

Utah lawmakers are pushing forward with a measure to motivate cities around the state to either build more affordable housing and homeless shelters, or help shoulder the cost of them in other communities.

Twitter Video Screenshot

As the end of the legislative session approaches, lawmakers are taking on the toughest issues — teaching constituents how a bill becomes a law. And, they did it in song ... no, not that song. A more awkward, classically Utah rap to the tune of "Fresh Prince of Bellaire" titled "Fresh Prints of Bills Here."

istock

As students went back to class at Florida’s Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday, gun legislation was in the national conversation. The president held a bipartisan meeting at the White House and in the retail world, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it will no longer sell assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines. The major national gun retailer could face backlash in the Mountain West where gun rights are often considered sacrosanct.

Austen Diamond / KUER

House lawmakers quickly dropped an idea to restrict journalists from the chamber floor this week — a proposal met with immediate backlash by most local news organizations.

Bob Nelson

Two people are charged with forgery and violations of state petition procedures under Utah's election code.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Since Monday, state lawmakers have introduced legislation that would expand health care for low-income earners, impose new taxes and create a new inland port in Salt Lake City.

Erik Neumann / KUER


Carbon County has the highest rate of overdose deaths from heroin and prescription drugs in Utah, but health workers and law enforcement don’t always agree on how to address that problem. Recently a compromise was reached by these two sides allowing one syringe exchange to operate there.

istock

Wednesday, an Interior Department advisory panel will propose changing how the government receives royalties from coal dug up on federal lands. But some critics are calling foul as panel members either come from the energy industry or energy-producing states.

KUER File Photo

The fight for state control of federal lands may be headed to court soon. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes wants to take on the federal law that limits states’ control.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney was at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday meeting with Republican lawmakers. While the meetings were held behind closed doors, Romney said he spoke with Republican lawmakers about  his campaign and challenges facing rural Utah.

Austen Diamond / KUER

The state laid out its vision for an inland port on a large swath of land on Salt Lake City’s west side, but the proposal is already getting pushback from city leaders.

 

ACLU of Utah

Utah’s branch of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against immigration enforcement officials. It says a raid of a Utah family’s home was unlawful.

istock

The vast majority of the nation’s oil and gas wells are located here in Mountain West. But a new report says once those wells run dry it could cost taxpayers billions of dollars to clean them up.

Austen Diamond / KUER

House lawmakers are debating rule changes that would restrict press access, eliminate notes on the constitutionality of bills, and allow the Legislature to call itself into a special session.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Climate change may be a slow-moving threat, but a measure to recognize it shot through the Utah House Monday in flash, in minutes and without controversy.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

The Utah Republican Party passed a new bylaw that would target candidates who gather signatures to get on the primary ballot.

Chelsea Naughton / KUER

A new report says climate change is hurting the ski industry, and a climate advocacy group says the Mountain West is particularly vulnerable.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Utah lawmakers are acting with a renewed sense of urgency following the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida. At least two new proposals to prevent gun violence are being floated at the Legislature.

KUER News

In our series Hive Mind, listeners ask questions about different topics and KUER reporters try to answer them. This week you asked … how many of those new apartment complexes in Salt Lake City are affordable?

Kelsie Moore / KUER

The deadly high school shooting in Florida earlier this month has reignited the age-old debate over gun control. Survivors of the attack are speaking out, and so are students across the country. Here in Utah, four high school seniors are organizing a march against gun violence next month.

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On Friday Utah lawmakers considered two very different bills dealing with plastic bags. They rejected one that would impose a fee on the bags, and approved another that would ban cities from imposing their own plastic bag bans.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Bipartisan measures aimed at making sure the state is getting its fair share from the federal government sailed through the Legislature this week.

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