News Briefs: Wintry Roads, Rising Household Debt & Exporting Utah Electricity
Winter Driving Conditions
Navigating mountain passes and high elevation roads will be tricky for motorists through the day today. The Utah Highway Patrol reported four rollovers in Salt Lake City, Summit County and on in southern Utah yesterday. The state Department of Transportation says a winter storm continues to affect parts of the state.
The National Weather Service Winter Storm Warning is in place until 4 today with heavy snow adding up to several inches in the Southern Mountains. That area includes Loa, Panguitch, and Bryce Canyon. Gusty easterly canyon winds are blowing across the state capitol and the general northern Wasatch Front. — Diane Maggipinto
Power Connects Los Angeles and Delta, Utah
The tiny city of Delta, Utah and sprawling Los Angeles don’t have much in common. But there is one thing that brings them together: power. That’s because a coal plant in Delta is LA’s single-largest power source. Read the full story. — Jon Reed
Vaping Legislation For Utah Schools
A Utah lawmaker is proposing a legislative plan to allow schools to confiscate and destroy students' e-cigarettes. Rep. Susan Pulsipher, R-South Jordan, says many teens don't realize that vaping is dangerous, so her proposed companion education program would be funded by a $4000 stipend per school. It's expected the measure will be considered by the full House next session. — Diane Maggipinto
Household Debt Up Across The Country — And In The Region
Total U.S. household debt has risen for more than five years straight and is now at nearly $14 trillion, a record high. That’s according to the latest numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While mortgages make up the bulk of this debt, student loans are taking up a higher proportion of debt payments and are expected to rise. In the Mountain West region, Colorado, Nevada and Utah have higher amounts of debt than the national per capita rate. Read the full story. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau
Rep. John Curtis Introduces New Temporary Workers Bill
Rep. John Curtis has introduced a bill that seeks to create a new kind of visa program for temporary workers. It would allow states to customize it to fit their economic needs. The Republican’s new bill is similar to 2011 Utah law that has since been repealed.
Carolina Núñez, an associate dean and law professor at Brigham Young University, says that effort was different because it was a state law that attempted to change immigration policy, a federal matter.
But it remains unclear if the bill will be successful. Congress hasn’t made any significant immigration reforms in more than 20 years. — Rocio Hernandez