Utah Legislature

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.

Dan Bammes

  Utah’s current law prohibits state regulators from imposing any air quality regulations stricter than federal requirements. A bill that would change that will be up for discussion in a legislative committee this week.

On Wednesday, the legislature’s  Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment committee will gather for an interim meeting. Lawmakers will look at a proposal that would allow the state of Utah to impose stricter air quality standards than the federal government.

Brian Grimmett

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development, or GOED, is collecting data about how Utahns feel about Daylight Saving Time.

More than 30 people gathered at the Clark Planetarium in downtown Salt Lake City to voice their opinion about Daylight Saving Time.  A majority of those attending said they’d prefer to move to standard time year round like Arizona. Many who made comments expressed similar ideas to those of Provo resident Ed Bernsen.

Brian Grimmett

Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City is on the verge of becoming one of a few sites in the country to study the effectiveness of cannabis based product intended to treat epilepsy in children.

Herbert: Delay Hasn't Hurt Medicaid Alternative

Mar 27, 2014
Brian Grimmett

  Governor Gary Herbert says he doesn’t think Utah’s long delay in coming up with an alternative to expanding Medicaid has hurt the prospect of a successful program.

The legislative session ended without action by lawmakers on any proposal for reaching those who aren’t covered by either Medicaid  or the Affordable Care Act.  Governor Herbert has proposed a program funded by block grants from the federal government to buy private health insurance for those people.  He says the Obama administration has indicated it will be flexible in working out a solution.

Andrea Smardon

Clean air advocates released their grades for Utah lawmakers Tuesday. Compared to past legislative sessions, lawmakers showed improvement, but advocates say there is still a lot of work to be done. 

2014 Utah Legislature Comes to a Close

Mar 13, 2014
Brian Grimmett

As the 2014 session of the Utah Legislature comes to a close we're putting together an ongoing list of the best sights, sounds, stories, and tweets from the last day. Be sure to check back frequently to see the lastest.

Utah Legislature Rushes Through Final Day

Mar 13, 2014
Dan Bammes

  It’s the last day of Utah’s general legislative session.  State senators and representatives will be working ‘till midnight to get as many bills passed as they can. 

Whether it’s the chime that tells members of the House it’s time to vote, or state Senate clerk Paula Tew calling the roll, the final day of the legislative session is filled with vote after vote after vote.  Inevitably, there are many bills that won’t pass.  And there are issues that won’t be addressed in this session.

Sex Abuse Education Bill Passes Legislature

Mar 12, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

  House Bill 286 passed a final vote in the Utah House of Representatives 71-0 on Wednesday, after an amendment in the Senate required it to come back one last time.

The normal place to find Utah political chatter on Twitter is #utpol, but on Tuesday morning the hashtag InternPickUpLines exploded with humor and wit perfect for the last few days of the Utah legislature. Here is a selection of the very best.

Pages