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Week 1: Medicaid Fight, Opening Gavel and Two Freshmen (Women!) Lawmakers

Image of Gary Herbert.
Renee Bright / KUER

The first week of the legislative session always has a very back-to-school feel, with lawmakers sworn in, speeches from new leaders and interns wandering around lost. In this week’s episode, the governor’s ambitious tax cut, more on the fallout over lawmakers’ attempts to repeal and replace Prop 3, and a conversation with new female lawmakers from opposing parties.

Bills & Issues Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Senate Republicans are pushing through a controversial bill that would scale back portions of the Medicaid expansion initiative approved by voters in November. It’s moving fast and could be in the House by next week.
  • House Speaker Brad Wilson opened the session on Monday by calling for a $225 million sales tax cut — the largest in state history. Gov. Gary Herbert quickly jumped on board.
  • The House passed a bill that would allow candidates to use campaign funds for child care while on the campaign trail.
  • A Senate committee gave unanimous approval to a bill that would provide $24 million in incentives for cities to build affordable housing.
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.
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