Utah Legislature | KUER 90.1

Utah Legislature

Legislative Fiscal Analyst


Half a billion dollars. That’s the amount Utah estimates it forgoes every year in sales tax due to the state’s abundance of exemptions.

 

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Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill to overhaul the state’s liquor laws. Meanwhile, state regulators are already preparing to work through the changes.

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Utah may become the first state in the country to have a legal blood alcohol limit of .05 after the state legislature passed a bill to lower it from the current .08. But members of the restaurant community are trying to get Gov. Gary Herbert to veto the bill.

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Utah’s general legislative session ended midnight Thursday. During the past 45 days, lawmakers passed several bills dealing with serving and consuming alcoholic beverages. 

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Lawmakers gave final passage to a bill that would allow people as young as 18 years old to carry a concealed weapon.

Lee Hale / KUER

The Utah Legislature passed the lengthy bill to reform some of the state’s alcohol laws. It now needs only Governor Herbert’s signature to become law. 

NIcole Nixon

The Utah Legislature introduced and passed a bill this week that would allow the state to borrow an additional $100 million for the new state prison in Salt Lake City. But state representatives quickly received backlash as the bond did not receive any public hearing.

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Members of a state senate committee approved a bill today Monday that would automatically update a person’s voter registration when they renew a driver license.

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A state senate committee passed a bill Monday that would impose mandatory jail time for repeat DUI offenders.

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Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, received national attention last year for running a resolution to declare pornography a public health hazard. He says this year’s Senate Bill 185 is a follow-up and would allow a person to sue a pornography distribution company for damages to a minor.

Nicole Nixon

When Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, unveiled House Bill 442 earlier this week, he quickly ran into pushback from restaurant groups.  Many had concerns about having a choice limited to keeping up 7-foot barriers known as ‘Zion Curtains’ or instituting a 10-foot child-free buffer zone around a bar, what’s now being referred to as a ‘Zion Moat.’

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Clean-air advocates called on Utah Governor Gary Herbert Monday to veto two bills they say would negatively impact air quality in the state.

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The long-awaited legislation that could bring down the barriers known as Zion Curtains was unveiled at the Utah Legislature Monday, but the restaurant walls are just one of many potential changes to Utah’s alcohol policy included the 144-page bill.

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A bill to end the requirement for concealed carry permits was passed out of a legislative committee on Wednesday. It came back from a tie vote that stalled its progress last week.

Lee Hale

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee is a Republican and a freshman legislator from Clearfield. She says the idea for her bill, HB 198, was brought to her by a group of young women who want to defend themselves from rape.  

Lee Hale

On Wednesday the Utah House of Representatives voted to ban the consideration of race or gender when filling judicial vacancies.

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Utah lawmakers are recommending a 3% boost in per-student spending to the state’s education budget.

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Utah lawmakers approved a bill Friday to lower Utah’s legal blood alcohol content level to curb drunk driving.

Julia Ritchey, KUER


Newly elected Rep. Logan Wilde is standing on the back of his Ford truck, cutting twine from bales of hay on a frosty day in December. His 15-year-old daughter Charlotte is at the wheel as they drive toward a mass of black cows huddled together in the pasture.  

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A new bill  at the Utah Legislature is aimed at helping ex-cons find housing and stay out of jail. It would get rid of city-sponsored incentives landlords sometimes get for refusing to rent to people who have a criminal history.

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The Democratic leader in the Utah House of Representatives is making another attempt to pass a sex education bill. Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, tried to run a comprehensive sex education bill last year but it failed.

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Two Republican lawmakers are reportedly working on a bill that would allow the so-called “Zion Curtains” to come down in restaurants.

Erik Neumann


After millions of women rallied around the country and the world over the weekend to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump, a spin-off rally on the first day of Utah’s legislative session sought to underscore the message of advancing women’s rights at a local level.

Brian Grimmett/KUER

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes emphasized Monday that the state is facing a homelessness crisis and it cannot be solved by one city, one county or the state alone. The Republican lawmaker made his case to the Utah House of Representatives on the first day of the 2017 Legislative Session.

Julia Ritchey, KUER


A recount of a close Utah House race has not changed the outcome. Republican Rep. LaVar Christensen maintained a slim, five-vote lead over his Democratic challenger, Suzanne Harrison, in the race for House District 32.

Utah Lawmaker Wants Online Porn To Be Opt-In

May 23, 2016
Brian Grimmett

The Utah lawmaker who helped get pornography declared a public health crisis is now considering legislation that could restrict porn on the internet.

Brian Grimmett

Legislative leadership has decided to study the impacts of the federal government’s letter recommending guidelines for how to treat transgender students.

Republican state Rep. Kraig Powell of Heber has decided to drop out of his race for reelection.

KUER

Some state lawmakers say Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s decision to veto spending on a handful of education programs is misinformed.

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Homeless service providers are looking forward to more shelter options, likely outside the overburdened Rio Grande Corridor in Salt Lake City.  Utah lawmakers set aside money this year to move forward with that plan.

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