Utah Legislature

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says Utah’s liquor laws are just fine the way they are.  But that may not stop further attempts to change them during the upcoming legislative session. 

Tammy K. Nakamura Utah Department of Natural Resources

  The Utah Lake Commission is asking the legislature for 7-point-5 million dollars to help reduce the number of carp in Utah Lake.  A legislator from Lehi thinks that’s a great idea, and he’s hoping they can find the money during the general session that starts next week.

The Commission has been paying a commercial fishing business to take tons of carp out of the lake, hoping to reverse the environmental damage the fish have caused over the past century.

Wikimedia Commons

  Newer cars are a lot cleaner than older cars, but a member of the Utah Senate would like to make sure the rules for inspecting those older vehicles are being applied fairly.

A Republican state representative is proposing a gas tax increase this year. The Utah legislature has not passed a fuel tax increase in more than 15 years, but Representative Jim Nielson of Bountiful argues the roads need funding, and those who use them should be the ones who pay. Republicans as a rule don’t like to do be associated with tax increases, but Nielson insists raising taxes on gasoline is a conservative idea.

Utah Lake Commission

The Utah Lake Commission thinks it can finish the job of reducing the carp in the lake if it can get some help from the Utah legislature. 

  For years, the Utah Lake Commission has been paying a commercial fisherman to remove thousands of tons of carp from Utah Lake.  But it’s asking for $7.5 million from the state to help reach its goal of reducing the carp population by 75%.

courtesy photo

  State Representative Jim Nielson says he won’t be running for a third term. 

In three legislative sessions, the Republican from Bountiful earned a reputation as a conservative in a House that’s pretty conservative already.  As he prepares for his final session, Nielson says it’s likely lawmakers will be looking at ways to address the same-sex marriage issue – perhaps by getting government entirely out of the marriage business.

Brian Grimmett

Utah Governor Gary Herbert released his 2015 budget proposal today at Utah Valley University in Orem and its main focus is on increased education funding.

For the 2015 fiscal year the Governor’s office of Management and Budget projects the state will receive $338 million dollars in new money. Governor Herbert’s proposal calls for more than 75% of it to go towards education.

Raul Lieberwith

A draft of a bill that would raise the legal smoking age from 19 to 21 received approval from the Health and Human Services Interim Committee today.

Sponsors of the bill say that raising the age limit would help prevent younger teenagers from starting smoking. The Senate sponsor, Republican Stuart Reid, says the change would also promote better public health.

University of Utah

  A new legislative audit criticizes the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative for poor financial management.  But a University of Utah official says the school has followed the rules with its U-STAR partnership.

Brian Grimmett

House Speaker Becky Lockhart has announced the names of the representatives who will serve on the special committee investigating Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

The state Government Operations interim committee will be taking a look at a bi-partisan proposal Wednesday to put a limit on campaign contributions.

Dan Bammes

  One of the items on the agenda of Wednesday’s special legislative session is the possible repeal of a controversial bill restricting the authority of federal law enforcement officers.  KUER’s Dan Bammes has more.

House Bill 155 limits the authority of Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service personnel to enforce state laws on public land, and threatens them with prosecution if they try it.  A federal court has issued an injunction preventing the state from implementing the law.

Brian Grimmett

House Speaker Becky Lockhart says she will announce on Wednesday the names of the people she’s appointed to the special investigative committee of Utah Attorney General John Swallow. In the meantime, Utah House Democrats are left waiting anxiously to see what kind of role, if any, they’ll play in the investigation.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah House of Representatives will begin an investigation into Attorney General John Swallow on July 3rd. While it IS NOT the beginning of impeachment proceedings, the results of the investigation could push them in that direction. But what does it mean to impeach someone, and how do you do it? Well, here’s a step-by-step guide. “How To Impeach a State Officer”

Step 1: Convene the House

Brian Grimmett

The Utah House Republican Caucus voted today to convene the entire body and create an investigative committee to look into the allegations surrounding Utah Attorney General John Swallow. They decided not to start impeachment proceedings at this time.

The Salt Lake Tribune (pool photo)

A new poll released by the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University shows that the majority of Utah voters think that Attorney General John Swallow should resign.

The Great Salt Lake Council threatens a local scout leader with expulsion over marching in the Utah Pride Parade, Utah House Democrats want to be included in any impeachment decision, and a man is shot while attending a service at an Ogden Catholic Church.

Democrats in the legislature call for an investigation into Attorney General John Swallow, three candidates file to challenge Cottonwood Heights first and only mayor, and Utah’s fire season is shaping up to be another difficult one.

Brian Grimmett

Utah Senate Democrats are calling on House and Senate leadership to authorize a committee to investigate the allegations brought against Attorney General John Swallow.

Senate Minority leader Gene Davis says the call for an investigation isn’t about impeachment. That’s a process left for the Utah House to begin. But he does say it’s in the interest of open government and the integrity of our elected officials to find the truth.

Utah officials look to Arkansas for ideas on Medicaid expansion, a state lawmaker’s bill could take children away from murder suspects, and the Utah House of Representatives prepares themselves for the possibility of impeachment proceedings against Attorney General John Swallow.

Brian Grimmett

In response to questions from state lawmakers about the allegations surrounding Utah Attorney General John Swallow, the Utah House Majority leadership is sending out weekly informational emails to legislators while the body considers options for dealing with the embattled public official.

Governor Gary Herbert appointed six members to the newly formed Prison Relocation and Development Authority today. The group is tasked with examining the potential of moving the state prison that is currently located in Draper.

Utah lawmakers are considering a bill that would encourage citizens to buy private long-term care insurance. More than 35 states already have this type of public-private partnership.   

Utah insurance broker Craig Oberle told the state Health and Human Services committee that people don’t like to think about long term care, and how much it might cost.

“We all know the baby boom generation and what’s happening, it’s an absolute tsunami that’s coming,” Oberle said.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah legislature is meeting this week for their monthly interim meetings but they don’t plan on discussing the fate or potential impeachment of Attorney General John Swallow.  

Speaker of the House Rebecca Lockhart says she’s concerned about the recent allegations brought against Attorney General John Swallow and that they’re looking into how the legislature might address them.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has vetoed HB 76, a bill that would allow any Utahn over the age of 21 to carry a concealed firearm without a permit unless the weapon has a round in the chamber. Now it’s up to Utah lawmakers to decide if they want to overrule the governor’s decision.  

Governor Herbert says he vetoed HB 76 because Utah’s current gun laws have served the state well and have become a model for the nation.

“So that’s a reason why if it ain’t broke don’t fix it," Herbert says.

Dan Bammes

  Current Utah law would have required Utah’s Attorney General to investigate a complaint against himself of violating Utah’s election rules.  But the Utah State Senate passed a bill Thursday afternoon to give that job to an independent lawyer. 

The Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act permits states to opt out of the law's Medicaid expansion, and that’s what Utah House lawmakers aim to do with House Bill 391. The bill would ban Utah’s governor and the Department of Health from expanding the Medicaid program. It passed the Utah House of Representatives this morning and now heads to the Senate where it faces opposition from leadership. 

Medicaid Battle Looming

Mar 8, 2013
Dan Bammes

  A battle could be shaping up in the Utah House of Representatives over a bill that would stop the state from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. 

A bill that would stop the state of Utah from expanding its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act passed a committee vote Wednesday evening.

pool photo

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert says a decision on expanding Utah's Medicaid program may have to wait until this summer.  Herbert told his monthly news conference on KUED Thursday morning that Utah won't follow the lead of any other state on the issue.

Pages