Utah Legislature

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.

Brian Grimmett

A legislative committee has voted in favor of two pieces of legislation that would impact the implementation of the so-called Count My Vote compromise made last year.

The second week of the Utah Legislature is now in the books, and while it wasn’t as eventful as the first week, it definitely had its moments.

auntneecey via Flickr

A bill passed the Utah House today that would restrict political candidates from accepting anonymous campaign donations. 

Brian Grimmett

A Utah Senate committee approved a bill today that would give the Attorney General’s office a deadline to file a lawsuit over Utah’s public lands.

Brian Grimmett/KUER

Utah House lawmakers narrowly passed a bill on Tuesday that would fund software designed to help students build language arts skills. 

Flickr: Rich Misner

The legislature will be considering several air quality bills this session, including a newly proposed bill that would turn some of the states current wood burning restrictions into law.

Brian Grimmett/KUER

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the Utah Attorney General to appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the longstanding argument over who owns Utah’s public lands.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Thousands of Utahns gathered at the State Capitol Saturday to remind lawmakers they want more action on clean air.

A Utah legislator is proposing a bill that would help fix the regulatory problems facing online HR company Zenefits.

The 2015 Legislative session has finally arrived, and it’s already looking like there will be plenty to battle over in the next 45 days.

Flickr: Bill McChesney

The House Transportation Committee approved a bill on Thursday that would help schools and school districts replace old buses with ones that run on cleaner fuels.

Ian Burt via Flickr

A bill that would require Utah students to pass an American civics test in order to graduate high school advanced in committee Tuesday afternoon.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

In the wake of the death of former Utah House speaker Rebecca Lockhart, new speaker Greg Hughes was sworn in today and laid out his agenda for the legislative session.

Brian Grimmett

Utah State Lawmakers will be working through a long list of pressing issues in the next 45 days of the 2015 legislative session including Medicaid expansion, the relocation of the state prison and a state-wide anti-discrimination bill.

Pool: Deseret News

Hundreds of people gathered in the State Capitol Thursday to remember the life of Former Utah House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart.

Brian Grimmett

Several legislators are now saying that they are considering legislation to address some of the regulatory issues facing the online HR company Zenefits.

Democrats Lose Three Close Legislative Races

Nov 19, 2014
Dan Bammes

  Democrats in Utah’s state House of Representatives are choosing new leaders at a meeting Wednesday evening.  The minority party lost three close races Tuesday when the final vote tallies were announced.

One of the Republicans who won a hard-fought race is former State Representative Fred Cox, who defeated Democrat Mike Lee in District 30 in West Valley City.  The margin was just 47 votes.  Cox said his opponent was gracious when the results were announced.

Garrett via Flickr

Utah lawmakers may be seeking a comprehensive solution to the state’s transportation funding issues during the next legislative session.

The Salt Lake Chamber’s, Utah Transportation Coalition has identified an $11 billion dollar hole in the state’s transportation funding for the next three decades.  Representative Johnny Anderson Chairs the Utah House Transportation Committee. He says house and senate leaders are considering a wide range of options, including raising the gas tax, and better aligning registration fees with vehicle fuel efficiency.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

The Legislative Process Committee is recommending that the legislature take a look at expanding the 45-day legislative session.

Hughes Chosen as Utah House Speaker

Nov 7, 2014
Utah House of Representatives

  State Representative Greg Hughes will be the new Speaker of the House when the legislature begins its work in January.

Hughes represents District 51 in Draper.  The 60 Republicans in the House met Thursday evening and picked Hughes over two other candidates, Representatives Brad Dee of Ogden and Mel Brown from Coalville.

Erik Crosman / University of Utah

Utah’s winter pollution season officially gets underway this weekend, and thanks to $1 million from the Legislature, new research is focusing on what causes the state’s air-quality problems and how to solve them.

A dozen studies will look hard at what makes sooty winter pollution so nasty in Utah and why ground level ozone gets so high. They also will zero in on air chemistry and the weather’s role.

Brian Grimmett

A group of people interested in seeing the Utah Transit Authority expand the hours its buses and trains operates recently challenged the UTA Board of Trustees and leadership to use only public transit for seven days. For the few who accepted the challenge the experience had quite an impact.

Brian Grimmett

Republican state Senator Todd Weiler is asking the Attorney General’s office to take a closer look at a development deal involving the Utah Transit Authority, after an audit indicated a possible lack of proper oversight.

Dan Bammes

  A member of the Utah legislature is trying again to change the law that keeps the state of Utah from imposing stricter environmental rules than the federal government. 

Republican Representative Becky Edwards of North Salt Lake had a similar bill in the last general session.  It passed the House, but it was defeated in the state Senate, in part because of opposition from industry.