Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Week 1: State of The State, Rapid Fire Bills & Speaker Hughes


The gavel has fallen and the Utah Legislature is officially in session! This week we dissect opening speeches by Gov. Gary Herbert and House Speaker Greg Hughes, then Speaker Hughes will also join us later in the episode for our “Better Know a Lawmaker” segment. To wrap it up, we'll sprint through some of the bills that have started to gain momentum on the hill.

Listen wherever you find podcasts, including iTunesStitcher and TuneIn. You can also listen above, and via KUER's mobile app

Bills & Issues Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Gov. Gary Herbert declared the state of the State of Utah “truly, truly exceptional.”
  • Speaker Hughes assures Utahns that Attorney General Sean Reyes will sue big pharma companies for damages in Utah’s opioid crisis. But will Reyes follow through?
  • Bills are Moving! Lawmakers are hearing and debating bills that could overhaul state transportation policy, significantly restrict summer fireworks, provide support for working Utah families, lead to more toll roads and restrict some abortions.
  • Thanks to everyone who came to our launch party at Silicon Slopes! Special thanks to Reps. John Knotwell and Cory Maloy.

Better Know A Lawmaker: House Speaker Greg Hughes (R-Draper)

Credit Austen Diamond / KUER

Since 2003, Greg Hughes, R-Draper, has represented District 51 in the Utah House. In 2015, he became Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives.  

Since then, Hughes has ushered through – and blocked – big pieces of legislation. He sponsored resolutions urging changes to two Utah National Monuments and in 2015 blocked Gov. Herbert’s plan for limited Medicaid expansion. 

We talk with Hughes about his declaration of war against opioid makers and his top priorities for his final legislative session.

Have a question for your lawmaker that you want Julia & Nicole to investigate? Submit it here!

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.