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📺 WATCH LIVE: Day 3 of the 2024 Republican National Convention

AM Brief: Tribal water rules, designing a new state flag & banning Russian wood imports

The American flag flies above the Utah state flag. The two flag poles are framed by a deep blue sky.
Mike Knell
Wikimedia Commons
Utah is calling for submissions for a redesign of the state flag.

Northern Utah

Salt Lake County Democratic delegates vote on 2022 candidates

Salt Lake County Democratic delegates voted in favor of two candidates challenging incumbent Senators at their convention on Saturday. Renewable energy activist Nate Blouin won 73% of the vote. He’s running against 23-year incumbent Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake. Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake, garnered support from about 40% of delegates. His challenger, Naloxone advocate Jennifer Plumb, got just shy of 60% of the vote. No one got knocked out of these races though, and all four candidates will appear on the ballot. The primary election is June 28. — Sonja Hutson

GOP delegates side with challengers in Utah County Attorney race

Utah County Republican delegates snubbed County Attorney David Leavitt at the party’s convention on Saturday. Leavitt received support from just 10% of delegates during the first round of voting. He’ll still be on the Republican primary ballot because he collected enough signatures to qualify. Leavitt has come under fire for some of the reforms he’s instituted since being elected in 2018, including abandoning the death penalty and starting a diversion program. One of his prosecutors, Adam Pomeroy, and Jeff Gray, who works for the state attorney general’s office, will join Leavitt on the primary ballot. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson


Deadline nears to submit ideas for state flag

Utah residents have until April 30 to submit designs and ideas about symbols, colors and themes for the new state flag. Gov. Spencer Cox launched the initiative to create a new flag in January, which has received more than 3,500 submissions. After the deadline, a committee will review residents’ ideas and publish final designs in August. Residents will be able to comment on the finalists. — Leah Treidler


Rep. Owens sponsors bill to ban imports of Russian wood

Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, is co-sponsoring the No Timber from Tyrants Act, which would ban imports of wood products from Russia and Belarus, and ramp up harvesting of U.S. timber on fire-prone land. In a statement, Owens said the U.S. imported $500 million worth of wood products from Russia and Belarus last year. He said this bill would fight back against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while also supporting Utah’s federal lands and creating high-paying jobs. — Leah Treidler

Removing federal oversight on tribal water rules

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland recently announced that she will remove some federal oversight from rules that govern how water is used on tribal land. A memorandum from 1975 had required certain federal approvals for tribes to change their water codes, but now, that’s no longer the case. Mark Squillace, a law professor at the University of Colorado, said this is a recognition that tribes can decide what to do with their own property. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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