Week 3: Sex Scandal, Tax Breaks & Rep. Coleman
Happy Winter Olympics! Utah misses you so. That's why lawmakers are eager to win them back by 2026 or 2030 — they've even passed a resolution that says as much. But who can think of the cold when things are heating up on Capitol Hill? The halls are feeling warmer than usual after a bombshell report by a British tabloid that a Republican state lawmaker paid for sex with an escort. That lawmaker, former Rep. Jon Stanard of St. George, resigned unexpectedly this week, just before the report came out. The fallout from the scandal continues to reverberate as the state carries on an investigation into his use of taxpayer money to carry out the alleged affair. Meanwhile, lots of bills continue forward.
Bills & Issues Mentioned in this Episode:
- Lawmakers and Gov. Gary Herbert are gung-ho about hosting another Winter Olympics in Utah
- Ex-Rep. Jon Stanard is out after a sex scandal and Washington County Republicans hope to replace him by next week
- A top donor to Utah lawmakers gets a generous tax break
- A food tax repeal advances after its sponsor asks his colleagues to show some compassion
- The bill to swap out Philo Farnsworth for Martha Hughes Cannon is close to a House floor vote
- A change to the state's surrogacy law is quashed after some powerful testimony
- A bill to expand the state's power to enact toll roads just got more expansive
- Utah lawmakers tried to change the state's law involving private recordings but backed away after public outcry
Better Know A Lawmaker: Rep. Kim Coleman (R-West Jordan)
Rep. Kim Coleman has served District 42, including parts of West Jordan, South Jordan and Herriman, since 2015. Her priorities this session include a raft of bills increasing protections for student civil liberties and victims of sexual assault. That includes running a joint resolution with the Legislature's most liberal member, Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake.
The West Jordan Republican says her interests are in protecting free speech on college campuses and promoting the free market. Legislation she's sponsoring that would allow Tesla to sell its cars directly in Utah may finally pass this year, she hopes, after years of stonewalling by the car dealership lobby.