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AM News Brief: More Snow, School Bells & San Juan Signatures

Snowy Salt Lake City. photo: Katherine H/Creative Commons via flickr
Snowy Salt Lake City. photo: Katherine H/Creative Commons via flickr

Wednesday morning, Feb. 5, 2020


Working Together For Campus Safety

Democratic Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay, introduced legislation Tuesday on campus safety at Utah colleges and universities. Her bill would study public safety and police departments on Utah campuses. Iwamoto began working on campus safety issues last year with a law inspired by deceased University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey. Read the full story. — Rocio Hernandez

Funding Affordable Housing

A $35 million affordable housing bill sponsored by Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, passed a state Senate committee Tuesday, with two Democrats voting for it and one Republican voting against it. Legislative leaders have said it may be difficult to fund expensive bills like this now that a tax reform law, which would have put more money into the general fund, has been repealed. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Make Way For Golf Carts

Utah cities and towns may have the option of letting people drive golf carts on the road under a bill moving through the state legislature. The bill, sponsored by Republican Representative Marc Roberts, passed the House Transportation Committee Tuesday. A number of the committee’s questions were about alcohol since, as one lawmaker put it, there’s a lot of beer consumed while people are golfing. The bill passed after an amendment that would make cart drivers subject to DUI penalties. — Elaine Clark

Later School Bell?

The Utah House Health and Human Services Committee unanimously gave the nod to a resolution in support of later start times for high schoolers. The resolution will proceed to the full House for a vote. Rep. Suzanne Harrison, D-Draper, offered research showing the waking and sleeping cycles of teenagers are different from those of children and adults. She's also a physician, and says forcing teens to rise before they are fully rested can affect their ability to drive safely, and impact their academic performance and mental health. — Associated Press

Rep. Suzanne Harrison is a member of KUER’s advisory board.

Northern Utah

More Snow For The Wasatch

Another shot of snow is headed for the Wasatch. This time the storm appears to be more usual, with heavier snow on the ridges than the benches. The National Weather Service Winter Weather Advisory, in place from midnight Wednesday through late Friday afternoon, applies to the Wasatch Mountains, Western Uintas, Wasatch Plateau and Book Cliffs. — Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

San Juan Tax Referendum Signatures

People are still talking about the state tax referendum petition in San Juan County, even though the law was repealed by the state legislature last week. San Juan County needed 583 verified signatures to count toward the statewide effort, but the county clerk’s office only verified 493 of the over 800 signatures petition organizers say they collected. County Clerk John David Nielsen said he received an email from the Lieutenant Governor’s office last week telling him to stop counting, since the law was repealed. But petition organizer Cheryl Bowers asked Nielsen to finish counting the signatures, to prove “San Juan County mattered.” That’s unlikely though since the verification deadline was Tuesday and the Lieutenant Governor’s office now has the packets. — Kate Groetzinger, Blanding


Coronavirus And Mountain West Economy

Thousands of cases of the Coronavirus have been reported worldwide, with most occurring in China. And the outbreak could have big economic impacts in our region. Experts say several U.S. companies are already being impacted by the virus. And if it were to spread to our region, the industries most at risk of quarantine or slowdowns include tourism and entertainment, recreation, manufacturing and retail. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau


Utah Lawmakers On State Of The Union

Utah’s congressional delegation praised a strong economy and opportunities for bipartisanship after the president’s State of the Union address last night. Democratic Congressman Ben McAdams sat with a bipartisan group of lawmakers and said he looks forward to working with Donald Trump and Congress to lower prescription drug costs. In his speech, Trump said he is committed to protecting programs like Medicare and Social Security. Sen. Mitt Romney urged Trump and Congress to address the national debt to preserve such programs. Read the full story. — Nicole Nixon

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