Week 4: Air Quality, A Changing Climate & Rep. Eliason
This week lawmakers paused to honor the 17 lives lost in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla. But the latest school violence is unlikely to persuade Republican leaders to propose any big changes to gun laws this session. Meanwhile, a committee finally approved something close to a resolution acknowledging climate change without actually using the phrase "climate change." We also talk about some air quality bills and medical marijuana. Rep. Steve Eliason joins us on 'Better Know A Lawmaker' and explains how he's tackling Utah's youth suicide problem.
Bills & Issues Mentioned in this Episode:
- Sen. Todd Weiler's bill to let school districts install stronger locks in case of a shooting or lockdown passes both chambers
- Rep. Becky Edwards' resolution on climate change lives, while Rep. Ray Ward's dies
- It's gotten less attention this year, but air quality bills are happening
- Rep. Mike Noel wants the state to pay $2 million to challenge California coal taxes
- A companion bill to legalize the growing of medical marijuana squeaks through the House
- A bill to swap out statues at the U.S. Capitol with Utah trailblazer Martha Hughes Cannon is ready for the governor's signature or veto
- If you hadn't heard yet, Mitt Romney is running for Senate
- Tesla could cut a deal with Utah dealerships this year that allows it to sell its own cars on State Street
Better Know A Lawmaker: Rep. Steve Eliason (R-Sandy)
Rep. Steve Eliason has served in the Utah House since 2011. He sits on the House Health and Human Services and Revenue and Taxation committees. This session, he's championing a number of bills to address the problem of youth suicide in the state, which has skyrocketed over the last five years. That includes a bill that would ensure the state's crisis lines are staffed 24/7. He tells us why this is such a resonant issue for him. You can reach the state crisis line at 801-587-3000.
ICYMI, we dropped a bonus episode earlier this week on the LDS Church's influence on state politics. Be sure to give it a listen when you have a chance.