News Briefs: Water Boiling, Snow Blowing & Tax Reforming
Monday morning, November 25, 2019
Latest Tax Reform Proposal
Utah’s tax code will get a major overhaul by the end of the year if lawmakers get their way. Lawmakers want to raise or add sales taxes on food, gasoline and services ranging from Netflix to parking. A new draft tax reform package was unveiled Friday night and includes all of that, coupled with an income tax cut of just over 0.3 percent. One thing the draft bill does NOT include is an alternative way to fund education. Some lawmakers want to remove the earmark on income taxes for schools. A public hearing on the newest proposal is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday. Read the full story — Nicole Nixon
Windy, Winter Weather
In the heart of the Wasatch, a winter weather advisory is in place through tomorrow afternoon.
The National Weather Service says snow is expected in the Cache, Salt Lake and Tooele valleys. In southwest Wyoming, the Wasatch back, west central Utah and the southern Wasatch Front, the forecast calls for a few inches down low and more in the mountains. Snow will develop across northern Utah this morning, and spread. Motorists should plan for slippery road conditions during the morning and afternoon drives. — Diane Maggipinto
BYU Cross Country Champs
Brigham Young University men’s cross country won its first national title in program history. BYU women runners finished second at the NCAA Championships. And BYU head coach Ed Eyestone is now the first person in NCAA men’s cross country history to win an individual national title as a runner — in 1984 — and then coach a team to a national championship. — Diane Maggipinto
Navajo Census Wrap
For the 2020 Census, residents of the Navajo Nation will receive a paper questionnaire, hand-delivered to their door. That means the Census Bureau must recruit workers to visit every home on the reservation. But efforts to recruit workers are lagging behind, which could have a big effect on how much federal funding for Tribal programs and on 2021 redistricting. Read the full story — Kate Groetzinger, Gallup, N.M.
Boil Water Order
Residents in the Uintah Basin are still boiling water, after an order was issued Friday by the state's Department of Environmental Quality The mandate encompasses all homes served by the South Duchesne Culinary Water. DEQ says multiple tests detected coliform bacteria in its drinking water supply. The order requires customers to boil their water before using it for drinking, preparing food or brushing teeth. Residents have been under the advisory for more than 2 weeks. — Diane Maggipinto
Covering Mental Health Care
A report out this month found that people seeking treatment for mental health or substance abuse go out-of-network more than they do for primary care. In Utah people were about twice as likely to go out-of-network for behavioral health office visits than for primary care office visits. It isn’t supposed to be that way. A 10-year-old federal law says when it comes to insurance, it should be just as easy to get treatment for mental health and substance abuse as it is to get treated for medical or surgical conditions. Read the full story — Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau