Governor Gary Herbert along with legislators and government leaders are putting their support behind a bill that would help local and state agencies expand their fleets of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles.
The University of Utah is starting a new center to study air pollution and its impacts on health and society. The U hosted a retreat Monday, bringing academics together to talk about what they have to contribute and how they can collaborate.
Supporters of expanding Utah’s Medicaid program under the President’s health care plan don’t expect to see a decision during the legislative session. But they came to Utah's state capitol Friday to make their point anyway.
There were about a hundred people on the capitol steps for a rally in support of Medicaid expansion, but many more links in the paper chains they brought along. Each of the 150-thousand links represents a Medicaid client in Utah – somebody like Stacey Stanford, who’s been in a wheelchair since a car accident in 2010.
The Utah House looks at tax credits for clean fuel vehicles, Governor Herbert is against a bill eliminating the need for a concealed carry permit, and legislators join a coalition of groups from the private sector to promote workplace safety.
A massive coalition of manufacturers, retailers and agencies including law enforcement and mass transit have come together to promote a safer Utah. Democratic Senator Karen Mayne of West Valley City says we all need to learn to live together safely.
“As we say with all these good organizations and companies, we have come together to build a culture of safety,” says Mayne.
Scott Bruce is the General Manager of Health, Safety, Environment and Quality at Rio Tinto Kennecott Utah Copper. He says the company’s safety success comes from employees working in a caring environment.
The Utah House passed a bill today that would provide tax credits to those who purchase clean fuel vehicles over the next five years.
Republican Representative Jack Draxler’s bill, HB 96, would change the current tax incentive program by eliminating credits for gasoline and propane vehicles. The Logan lawmaker hopes his legislation would motivate people to buy cars and trucks that produce minimal or zero emissions.
The Utah Legislature looks at a bill that would delay the start date for Utah’s guest worker program, the so-called “Zion Curtain” may be coming down, and KUER’s Dan Bammes takes a look at how Utah’s Industries are contributing to air pollution.
The air pollution that we can see suspended in the cold air trapped during Utah’s infamous temperature inversions is called PM 2.5 – particulate matter 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller. Just how much of that comes from large industrial polluters is a subject of some dispute, along with just what should be done about it. Dan Bammes has the third in our series of reports on Clearing the Air.
Firefighter Representatives being recognized on the House floor for their work during 2012 wildfire season. Rep. Spencer Cox (R) from Sanpete and Juab Counties seen on lower left recalling Wood Hollow battle.
Representatives of all firefighting agencies in Utah were honored on the House floor Wednesday with the Concurrent Resolution on Utah Wildfires. They included state, federal, county and city professionals and volunteers. HCR 4 was brought by Democratic Representative Joel Briscoe of Salt Lake City. The 2012 was fire season is described in the resolution as the most devastating on record burning more than 413-thousand acres.
The number of young people in Utah who are going to jail is declining according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s National Kid’s Count Project. The report shows the decline is about on pace with the majority of the United States. But the progress could be cut short because of budget cuts.
A state Senate committee voted Wednesday to push back the start date for Utah’s guest worker program by two years to give Congress a chance to work on comprehensive immigration reform.
Utah’s guest worker program was set to go into effect this July, but Republican Senator Curt Bramble of Provo introduced Senate Bill 225 to postpone the implementation until 2015. Bramble told the Senate Business and Labor committee that Utah’s guest worker law was designed to pressure the federal government into reforming immigration policy.
A couple of alcohol related bills managed to make their way through House committees Wednesday including one that would eliminate Utah’s so-called “Zion Curtain.”
HB228 eliminates provisions in Utah law that requires restaurants to keep open liquor bottles and the actual mixing of drinks out of public sight. Republican Rep. Gage Froerer voted in favor of the bill. He says the current law is an unnecessary obstacle.
The latest Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index numbers revealed today highlight the difference between Utah’s economy and the rest of the country. The Cicero Group does the survey for Zions Bank. Cicero’s Randy Shumway says the small increase of 1.1 points in Utahns’ confidence shows the contrasts between the two stories.
The Utah House of Representatives considered three gun bills Tuesday afternoon and managed a vote on only one of them.
Of the three gun-related bills that the Utah House had a chance to debate, only Republican Rep. Dixon Pitcher’s HB121 received a vote. It would allow an individual to turn over a gun in his or her household to the police for up to 60 days if they feel it presents a danger to themselves or others in the house. Rep. Pitcher says he believes this law will help save lives without causing too much inconvenience.
State Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck talks about her bill that would begin the process of expanding Medicaid in Utah. She and other members of the Democratic caucus are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to expand the program.
Utah Democrats in the state legislature called on Governor Gary Herbert today to move forward with increasing Medicaid coverage. States have the option to expand their programs under the Affordable Care Act.
Utah lawmakers are hoping to bring in millions of additional tax dollars from online retailers, but a bill being proposed might be in conflict with the U-S Constitution. Federal law currently allows the state to collect taxes from online retailers as long as they have a physical location in that state, like a store or distribution warehouse. Senate Bill 226, sponsored by Republican Senator Wayne Harper would empower Utah to collect taxes from some out-of-state online retailers.
The Utah House of Representatives voted Monday to allow restaurant patrons to order drinks before ordering food. House Bill 218 would also make more liquor permits available for certain types of dining establishments.
Under current statute, restaurant customers are required to order food if they want to order an alcoholic drink. If they don’t, the restaurant may be fined 500 dollars, which happened to several Utah establishments recently. Republican Gage Froerer of Huntsville says his bill will clarify the state’s policy and prevent future fines.
The U.S. Supreme Court is receiving briefs from all over the country as it prepares to take up same sex marriage next month, including Utah. The Court will hear arguments in two cases concerning the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. The Utah Pride Center plans to file an amicus brief to the nation’s highest court this week, arguing that laws that ban same sex marriage amount to discrimination. But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Utah’s Attorney General have filed their own briefs in defense of traditional marriage and states’ rights to decide.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert addresses Medicaid expansion, guns, and the sequester at his monthly news conference, the Legislature debates a suicide prevention bill, and former Governor Jon Huntsman says he supports gay marriage.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and a number of other regional and state leaders joined together to announce several new projects and events that will make riding a bike throughout the county easier and safer. Becker says they’ve received more positive feedback from their bike initiatives over the past few years than anything else and that this year it will only get better.
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman announced his support yesterday for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the latest edition of The American Conservative magazine.
In the Op-Ed, Huntsman called on all Republicans to support marriage equality saying [quote] “Building a winning coalition to tackle the looming fiscal and trust deficits will be impossible if we continue to alienate broad segments of the population.”
Lawmakers from separate parties and different chambers are finding synergy in moving anti-bullying and anti-suicide legislation during the session. Democratic Senator Luz Robles and Republican Representative Gage Froerer say when they found out they were working individually on the same thing they decided to team up. Froerer says HB-134 is a statewide effort to make a dent in the epidemic of teen suicides as well as bullying in our schools.