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State Sen. Jim Dabakis announced his exit from the Legislature earlier this year in a video that captured the Salt Lake Democrat’s trademark theatrics.

Austen Diamond / KUER

On the first day state lawmakers were able to open new bill requests for the 2019 legislative session, Utah Democrats unveiled one of their top priorities: reducing gun violence.

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Some candidates for legislative and county-level races can set their sights on the Nov. 6 election. Others are headed for primaries in June.

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Gov. Gary Herbert opposes a proposed ballot initiative to more broadly legalize medical cannabis in Utah and worries it would “potentially open the door to recreational use.”

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah state Sen. Margaret Dayton is resigning from the Legislature.

Austen Diamond / KUER

After Gov. Gary Herbert rejected two bills that lawmakers passed this year to give themselves more power, legislative leaders say they’re looking to override the vetoes.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Gov. Gary Herbert met his March 28 deadline to sign or decline the bills sent to him by state lawmakers. Here’s a look at what he vetoed and what he approved from the 2018 general session.

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We are live in Cedar City this week for a special recap of the 2018 legislative session. Joining Julia and Nicole on stage are three Utah lawmakers from the region: Rep. Walt Brooks of St. George, Rep. John Westwood of Cedar City and Sen. Don Ipson of St. George. What laws will have the biggest effect on southern Utah and how did the legislature tackle some of the critical issues facing it? This show was taped at Southern Utah University in partnership with the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

Recent gains by Democrats in special elections across the country have some Republicans worried about an anti-Trump wave come November. In Utah, a solidly red state, that looks less likely, but it hasn't stopped Democrats from fielding more candidates for statewide races.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser has announced his retirement from state government, joining a mass exodus of longtime lawmakers from the Utah Legislature.

Austen Diamond / KUER

 

The 2018 Utah Legislature drew to a close on Thursday night, wrapping up their 45 day annual session with a $16.7 billion budget that increases funding for education, overhauls public transit and continues the fight against homelessness.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

The Utah lawmaker behind a controversial plan to rename a highway after President Trump quietly withdrew his proposal after facing criticism.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Utah lawmakers are using their last two days of the legislative session to finalize a $16.7 billion budget plan that includes $10 million to help tackle homelessness and $8.5 million to get the state's Winter Olympics facilities ready for another bid for the games.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah’s Republican majority is pushing through some last-minute changes to laws that could complicate this year’s general election.

Austen Diamond / KUER

The 2018 Utah legislative session ends Thursday night, and lawmakers are passing bills at a breakneck pace. More than 60 were passed on Tuesday alone. Here’s a look at some of them:

Julia Ritchey / KUER

A coalition of tribal groups and House Democrats are calling on the state to give Native Americans a better seat at the table when making policy decisions.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

A bill making its way quickly through the Utah legislature could create the largest Medicaid expansion in the state in years. That’s the state and federal low-income health insurance program. But, it comes with a catch.

Austen Diamond / KUER

State lawmakers unveiled a funding compromise Tuesday that could sidestep a ballot initiative to raise money for schools.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Sen. Diedre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, used to bring a calculator to the grocery store.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Utah lawmakers advanced a bill Monday giving the Lt. Governor authority to ignore the state GOP’s controversial rule change targeting candidates who gather signatures.

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Utah will not abolish the death penalty this year. A bill to outlaw capital punishment in the state died Friday on the House floor.

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Now, this is the story all about how Week 6 of the Legislature got flipped-turned upside down? Utah's beatboxing lawmakers are gearing up for their final spurt to the finish line with several big items still left on Republican leaders' to-do list. Notably, two proposals to add work requirements to Medicaid, the federal low-income health care program, are racing through the chambers as we speak. One lawmaker is also getting support for a last-minute bill to establish a "red flag" law to confiscate guns from people who pose a credible threat to public safety. The Legislature is also doing some Arnold Schwarzenegger-level flexing of power over a number of entities, including cities, the executive branch and — albeit unsuccessfully — the press. 

A state lawmaker wants to name a highway in southern Utah after President Donald Trump.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Republican Rep. Mike Noel proposed the idea Thursday, in part to thank Trump for shrinking two national monuments that he and other state leaders opposed.

Austen Diamond / KUER

There are six citizen-led initiatives making their way to the ballot this year, addressing everything from medical marijuana to election laws. But even if some of those pass, Utah lawmakers are looking at delaying their implementation.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Utah lawmakers may take legislative action after the Utah Republican Party passed a controversial bylaw over the weekend.

Austen Diamond / KUER

The Utah House passed a controversial bill this week that would allow colleges and universities to report sexual assaults to law enforcement, even if victims ask for confidentiality.

Whittney Evans / KUER

Utah lawmakers are pushing forward with a measure to motivate cities around the state to either build more affordable housing and homeless shelters, or help shoulder the cost of them in other communities.

Austen Diamond / KUER

House lawmakers quickly dropped an idea to restrict journalists from the chamber floor this week — a proposal met with immediate backlash by most local news organizations.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Since Monday, state lawmakers have introduced legislation that would expand health care for low-income earners, impose new taxes and create a new inland port in Salt Lake City.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney was at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday meeting with Republican lawmakers. While the meetings were held behind closed doors, Romney said he spoke with Republican lawmakers about  his campaign and challenges facing rural Utah.

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