Week 6: Work Requirements, Power Struggles & Rappin' Reps
Now, this is the story all about how Week 6 of the Legislature got flipped-turned upside down? Utah's beatboxing lawmakers are gearing up for their final spurt to the finish line with several big items still left on Republican leaders' to-do list. Notably, two proposals to add work requirements to Medicaid, the federal low-income health care program, are racing through the chambers as we speak. One lawmaker is also getting support for a last-minute bill to establish a "red flag" law to confiscate guns from people who pose a credible threat to public safety. The Legislature is also doing some Arnold Schwarzenegger-level flexing of power over a number of entities, including cities, the executive branch and — albeit unsuccessfully — the press.
Bills & Issues Mentioned in this Episode:
- The Senate and House are both debating proposals to add work requirements to Medicaid. KUER reporter Erik Neuman did a story on what those might look like.
- Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, is getting support from leadership for a bill to take guns away from dangerous individuals, a law used in at least five other states. Utah lawmakers also form a new commission to look at school safety in depth.
- Among preemption laws being debated: a ban on plastic bag bans, a bill to delay ballot initiatives, and a constitutional amendment to let lawmakers call themselves into a special session.
- There's also this big bill to set up an international trade hub in Salt Lake City's northwest quadrant.
- News organizations beat back an attempt to impose an arbitrary time restriction on when journalists can be on the floor of the House.
- Rep. Mike Noel is pushing two controversial measures: one to remove cities' of authority over their watersheds and another to rename a highway after President Trump.
Better Know These Lawmakers Thanks to This Embarrassing Viral Video
In a widely mocked video, the Utah House of Representatives try to explain how a bill becomes a law in Utah using the theme song from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." It's pretty bad. Late-night comedian Stephen Colbert called it "Schoolhouse Sucks." We'll let you decide for yourself.
Our representatives have taken the time to explain how a law is made...with a surprise twist. Give it a listen and share so all your friends can know how laws are made! #utpol @GHughes51 @BradWilsonGOP @kimfcoleman @NormThurston @mikemckellutah @RepJimDunnigan @JohnKnotwellUT pic.twitter.com/KqaUSqOKtC — Utah House of Reps (@UtahReps) February 28, 2018
Mark Your Calendars!
We're doing a live event in Cedar City on Wednesday, March 21, at 5:30 p.m. We'll be partnering with the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service at Southern Utah University for a panel with southern Utah lawmakers on how the session went. There will be trivia and a Q & A. The event is free and will be taped for an episode of our podcast. Come see us! Learn more here.