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News Brief: Economic Forecast, Campaign Money & Pillars Of Salt

Photo of a mound of salt in the Great Salt Lake.
Courtesy of Utah State Parks
Rare salt formations are being documented for the first time on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. They’re expected to dissolve as the weather warms up. ";

Friday evening, Jan. 10, 2020


Funding Affordable Housing

Republican State Sen. Jake Anderegg is sponsoring a more than $35 million bill to address the state’s lack of affordable housing. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Spencer Cox Gubernatorial Campaign Money

According to a campaign release, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox reportedly raised nearly $1.2 million in 2019 for his campaign for governor. He will start the new year with $850,000. Around $157,000 of that money is from Cox himself, with the rest coming from about 1,500 unique donors. The Cox campaign also reported having more donors than any other candidate, and claimed they were more than 1,000 donors ahead of the closest candidate for Friday’s filing deadline. — Grace Osusky


Tribal Hunting Licenses

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Uintah Valley Shoshone Tribe illegally sold hunting and fishing licenses to its members, but refused to issue a permanent injunction. The Tribe sold the licenses online in 2016 and 2017, prompting the federal government to sue it for wire fraud. A district court ruled the Tribe does not have the authority to issue the licenses, because it is not federally recognized. But the court also determined that the Tribe did not commit wire fraud. — Kate Groetzinger, Blanding

Rare Salt Formations

Rare salt formations are being documented for the first time on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, and they could yield insights about salt structures found on Mars. They're showing up now in part because water levels have been lowered by drought and water diversion, exposing more shoreline. That leaves more places where water can bubble up to the surface from warm, sulfate-rich springs. A mineral separates out when the water hits the cold winter air, eventually forming into crystal spires and terraces. The structures are expected to dissolve as the weather warms up. — Associated Press


Economic Forecast 2020

Friday, Zions Bank released a national economic outlook for 2020. U.S. unemployment is at a five decade low and Utah has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country. All Utah industries saw economic growth from 2018 to 2019, and the state has the third lowest poverty rate in the country. But Zions Bank Public Policy officer Robert Spendlove said that while it appears the U.S. economy is still growing, it is also clear that it is beginning to slow down. — Jessica Lowell

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