Utah Legislature

Politics
4:26 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Utah Legislator Proposes $10K Limit to Campaign Contributions

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

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Environment & Public Lands
1:33 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Repeal of HB 155 on Special Session Agenda

Sego lilies, Utah's state flower, growing on BLM land near Moab, UT
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.

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Politics
3:36 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Utah House Democrats Unsure of Role in Special Investigative Committee

File: Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart
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.

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Politics
1:33 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

How to Impeach a Utah State Officer in 5 Easy Steps

File: Utah Attorney General John Swallow
Credit 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

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Politics
6:36 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Utah House to Investigate John Swallow

Utah Attorney General John Swallow
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.

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Politics
5:59 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

BYU Poll Shows 72% of Utah Voters Want Swallow Impeached

John Swallow is sworn in as Utah's new Attorney General
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.

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-KUER News Pod
1:14 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

KUER News Pod: Monday June 17, 2013

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.

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-KUER News Pod
11:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

KUER News Pod: Tuesday June 11, 2013

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.

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Politics
4:49 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

House and Senate Dems Call For Investigation of John Swallow

Utah Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis calls for an investigation in to Attorney General John Sallow
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.

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-KUER News Pod
12:00 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

KUER News Pod: Friday Juney 7 , 2013

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.

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Politics
4:10 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Utah House of Reps Prepares For Possibility of Impeachment Proceedings

File: Utah State Capitol
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.

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Politics
3:23 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Governor Appoints Six Members to New Prison Relocation and Development Authority

File: Utah State Prison

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.

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Health Care
4:24 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Utah Lawmakers Consider Partnership to Encourage Long-Term Care Insurance

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.

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Politics
4:48 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Utah House Not Yet Discussing Impeachment of Attorney General

File: Utah State Capitol
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.

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Politics
2:44 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Governor Herbert Vetoes Constitutional Carry Bill

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.

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Politics
4:49 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Quick Action on Election Law Bill

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. 

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Health Care
4:45 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Ban on Medicaid Expansion Passes House

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. 

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Politics
3:25 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Medicaid Battle Looming

Representatives Jacob Anderegg, Ken Ivory and Dana Layton address a news conference at Utah's state capitol.
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. 

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Health Care
1:28 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Bill Advances to Stop Medicaid Expansion

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.

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Politics
4:12 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Herbert: Medicaid Decision Delayed

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert
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.

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Environment & Public Lands
10:59 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Clearing the Air: What the Legislature Proposes

Democratic Representatives Brian King, Joel Briscoe and Patrice Arent attend a clean air rally at the Capitol. Both Briscoe and Arent are among the sponsors of a series of bills Democrats hope would provide some future relief from inversion air.
Credit Andrea Smardon

As Utahns persist through one of the worst winter inversion seasons in a decade, many have focused their frustration and anger over dirty air on elected officials in the Utah legislature.  In part two of our series Clearing the Air, KUER News explores the  short and long term solutions lawmakers are proposing.

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Politics
4:03 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

House Okays Protections for Dating Violence Victims

A bill extending protection to victims of dating violence advanced in the Utah house today. HB 50, sponsored by Minority Leader Jennifer Seelig was met with heated opposition on the house floor. 

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Politics
9:22 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Chief Justice: Utah Courts Stronger, More Efficient

Utah courts are becoming stronger, more efficient and more transparent according to newly-appointed Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant. Durrant gave the annual State of the Judiciary to lawmakers this afternoon on day one of the 2013 legislative session. 

Chief Justice Durrant touted the high court's ability to handle a 10 percent cut in staff during the recession. In the face of reductions, the court system was able to reduce the age of pending cases by 34 percent, meaning cases are being resolved faster.

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Politics
7:40 am
Mon January 28, 2013

New Legislators Ready for Session

Representatives Dana Layton (R-Orem) and Keven Stratton (R-Orem)
Utah House of Representatives

The Utah legislature opens its general session on Monday with a lot of new faces.  21 out of 75 members of the Utah House of Representatives are serving their first terms, along with 4 out of the 29 members of the state Senate.  Republicans still far outnumber Democrats.  In fact, there are only 14 Democrats left in the House.  But among those new Republican members, there could be a few more moderate voices.  KUER's Dan Bammes spoke to a couple of new members of the House from Utah County.

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Politics
1:05 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Hinckley Forums: Lobbying at the Utah State Legislature

Hinckley Forums: Lobbying at the Utah State Legislature

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lobbying at the Utah State Legislature
David Spatafore, Spatafore Consulting Group

Click here for more information about the Hinckley Institute of Politics Forums at the University of Utah.

Past Hinckley forums can be found here.

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Politics
8:17 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Utah's New Auditor Promises Closer Scrutiny

State Auditor John Dougall
courtesy photo

John Dougall will be sworn in this morning as Utah's new state auditor as business opens for the day.  He won't be on the platform with Governor Gary Herbert or the other state officials during Monday's inauguration ceremony.  Dougall is a former Republican state legislator from northern Utah County who won the auditor's job after defeating the incumbent, Austen Johnson, in a primary election last summer.  He's promising to bring some fresh energy to the job.

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Politics
1:29 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Hinckley Institute: A Reporter’s Perspective of the Utah State Legislature: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

A Reporter’s Perspective of the Utah State Legislature: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Paul Rolly, Columnist, The Salt Lake Tribune

Click here for more information about the Hinckley Institute of Politics Forums at the University of Utah.

Past Hinckley forums can be found here.

Politics
5:15 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Lawmakers Postpone Decision on Redistricting Records: Documents Remain Hidden in Boxes

State Senate President Michael Waddoups and Utah Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis share a word during a recess of the Legislative Records Committee.
Andrea Smardon

Two bins of documents related to Utah’s controversial redistricting process remain hidden from the public.  That’s mainly because Utah’s Democratic Party is refusing to pay thousands of dollars to let them go.  The legislature’s Records Committee put off a decision Monday on whether to waive the fee for the records request.  The committee decided it needs more information to determine whether the request primarily serves the public or the Democratic party. 

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Healthcare
5:05 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Utah Lawmakers Undecided on Medicaid Expansion

Since the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, governors in four states have declared they will not expand Medicaid. Utah is currently undecided. State lawmakers met Tuesday to review the Supreme Court’s decision - and Utah’s options.

Republican Representative James Dunnigan of Taylorsville is chair of the state’s Health System Reform Task Force. He says the expansion of Medicaid is a big policy decision for Utah, and lawmakers are still gathering information. 

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Business & Labor
10:19 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Utah Legislature Approves 90 New Liquor Licenses

Senate Bill 4001 was approved by a majority of lawmakers.
Andrea Smardon

State lawmakers have given the green light to 90 new liquor licenses for restaurants in Utah.  It was one of the issues decided in a special session Wednesday called by Governor Gary Herbert. 

President of the Utah Restaurant Association Melva Sine says these new licenses will be snapped up fast, and were needed for the industry to continue to grow in Utah.

“We have a critical issue here, and they’ve addressed it in the best way possible in the shortest amount of time possible, so we’re happy with that,” said Sine.

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