The Salt Lake County Council is sending a letter this week to the Utah legislature asking them to support the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan and accept Medicaid funds. County councilors have said those federal funds could offset a 12 percent budget shortfall for behavioral health services expected next year. But so far, state lawmakers are holding firm in their positions on Medicaid.
Salt Lake County faces a budget shortfall and service cuts if the state doesn’t accept Medicaid funds from the federal government. The County Council will draft a letter at their meeting Tuesday urging state lawmakers to support the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan, and to do it this summer before the County has to complete its budget.
Democratic Salt Lake County Councilor Sam Granato was hoping the legislature would have made a decision by now on whether Utah should accept Medicaid funds to provide health coverage for more than 110,000 low-income Utahns.
Seventy-eight percent of the county Republican Central Committee voted for Aimee Winder Newton. She will replace David Wilde, who resigned earlier this month with a year left in his term.
Prior to her work as the city’s communications director, Newton served on the Taylorsville City Planning Commission and Economic Development Committee. Newton is among three of the nine-members on the council who live on the west side of the county and the only woman. She says she wants to use her social media skills to get more people involved in county government.
The Salt Lake County Republican Party will hold two special elections tonight: One to replace 3rd District County councilman David Wilde and another to replace former state Representative Derek Brown in House District 49. Both resigned in January.
David Wilde left the Salt Lake County council to work for Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, where he will be eligible for the health care benefits he’ll need to combat cancer.
Derek Brown left the Utah House of Representatives to serve as U.S. Senator Mike Lee’s Deputy Chief of Staff.
The Salt Lake County Council has unanimously approved an audit of its mental health care system. The decision comes after Valley Mental Health announced it would no longer serve hundreds of patients due to a reduction in funding.
Salt Lake County Council Chairman Steve Debry says he and other council members learned that Valley Mental Health would be shrinking its patient rolls by reading the newspaper.
“We were caught off guard and by surprise. To put it mildly, we’re upset with it,” Debry says.
The Salt Lake City School Board approves a tax hike, Kennecott Utah Copper announces they are done with layoffs - for now, and the Salt Lake County Council Okays a proposal for a mutual commitment registry.