Utah Legislature

Brian Grimmett

New car manufacturers like Tesla have begun disrupting the new car sales industry. They’re trying to sell directly to consumers without using independent dealers, and that’s caused some controversy across the county, including here in Utah.

Utah Republican leaders announced Friday that they have found consensus around a conceptual framework for Medicaid expansion.  A group of six state leaders have been meeting since the close of the legislative Session to find a resolution to the 'coverage gap' for low income residents. House Majority leader Jim Dunnigan says they now have the bare bones of a plan to cover the population up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Brian Grimmett

At BYU’s annual religious freedom conference, state Senator Stuart Adams outlined how Utah’s compromise religious liberty, LGBT protection legislation should be a model for the nation.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

The annual Utah Taxpayers Association conference is always heavily attended by state legislators and important policy makers and that means it’s also a great way to figure out what Utah’s most pressing budget and tax issues will be for the coming year.

Starting Tuesday police can now pull over motorists in Utah for not wearing seat belts.

Utah State Library

Supporters say a $75 million property tax increase will benefit Utah’s public education system and it will likely go further to increase funding in the future.

Utah State Office of Education

The Utah State Board of Education on Thursday will consider asking the governor to veto a bill that aims to streamline the state’s education code.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The House has voted down a bill that would have made State School Board elections partisan.

Brian Grimmett

The Senate has delayed a vote on a bill that aims to make the use of medical marijuana legal. 

Sen. Mark Madsen began presenting the bill with only 30 minutes left in the scheduled floor time. He tried to explain it as quickly as possible, but did not leave enough time for the other senators to ask as many questions as they’d like. 

It only took 5 weeks, but the legislature has turned it up to 11 and has started to move through some important legislation at break neck speeds.

Governor Gary Herbert says he’s still holding out hope that his amended Healthy Utah plan will be considered by the state House of Representatives, even though House Speaker Greg Hughes says it has no chance of passing.

Brian Grimmett

A Senate Committee has approved a bill that would make medical marijuana legal in Utah.

Goodiez / Flickr Creative Commons

A new bill would make Utah the 24th state to allow the medical use of marijuana. The measure also allows for medical marijuana entrepreneurs.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Senate defeated a bill on Tuesday that would have delayed the implementation of the Count My Vote Compromise.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Senate has given preliminary approval to placing a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot that would affirm the right of political parties to establish their own election process.

Believe it or not, but we’ve made it past the half way mark of the 2015 legislative session. That means the real work can finally begin.

It’s the end of week three and we’re basically in the same spot we were at the end of week two.

Whittney Evans

A number of local faith leaders joined Equality Utah in prayer and song Wednesday at the state capitol and to speak against a statewide proposal they say would codify discrimination against LGBT people.

A Senate Committee has given unanimous approval to a bill that would increase the gas tax 10 cents. SB 160’s sponsor, Sen. Kevin Van Tassell says while his bill isn’t perfect yet, it is a simple and understandable way to increase much needed transportation funding.

The Utah House voted unanimously to pass HB74 Tuesday. The bill clarifies the meaning of consent in sexual offense cases.

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