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PM Brief: Romney on Ukraine defense, Lee’s SHIP IT act & drought update

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Brian Grimmett
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Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, introduced a bill Thursday to help ease supply chain disruptions and high inflation. That story and more in this evening's news brief.

Thursday, Mar. 10, 2022

State

Consumer advocates want Gov. Cox to veto online privacy bill  

National consumer advocates are asking Gov. Spencer Cox to veto an online privacy bill, saying it doesn’t go far enough. SB 227, which passed the Legislature unanimously, allows people to opt out of having their data be used for targeted advertising or sold to third parties. It also allows people to get a copy of their data and have companies delete it. Irene Ly with Common Sense Media, a California nonprofit that advocates for kids' digital privacy, said sometimes it can be difficult to find out how to ask a company to delete your data. Additionally, requiring people to individually contact each website or app they use is too burdensome, she said. Bill sponsor Sen. Kirk Cullimore, R-Sandy, said — based on his conversations with technology companies — a universal opt-out isn’t feasible yet. The governor’s office said Cox is still reviewing the bill. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson 

Sen. Lee introduces bill to help solve supply chain issues 

Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, introduced a bill Thursday to help ease supply chain disruptions and high inflation. The SHIP IT Act simplifies and suspends some regulations on ports, ships and trucks. It would, among other things, allow 18 year olds to get commercial drivers licenses if they’re transporting cargo from a port. Right now, they have to be 21 to transport across state lines. Lee said the legislation will “provide the relief our national supply chains need to get products off of ships, into trucks and onto shelves.” U.S. inflation is nearly 8% which is a 40 year high. — Sonja Hutson 

Sen. Romney presses U.S. to send fighter jets to Ukraine

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, isn’t mincing words about how he believes the U.S. should respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Thursday morning, he pressed an assistant secretary of state to send aircraft to Ukraine. “We've had this discussion now, day after day after day,” Romney said. “This is war. People are dying. We need to get this aircraft immediately to the people of Ukraine. That's what they're asking for.” But the Pentagon said Wednesday providing fighter jets to Ukraine could lead to an escalation of the war. Romney also joined other Senate Republicans at a press conference Thursday afternoon to call on the Biden Administration to immediately equip Ukraine. — Emily Means

Utah’s soil moisture is above average. But severe drought remains

Utah is 25 days away from when snowpack usually peaks. So far, soil moisture is slightly above normal, which will help with runoff. Reservoir storage is lower than it was this time last year. Statewide it’s about 55%. Last year it was 65%. The snow water equivalent is just over 11 inches. That’s how much water there’ll be when it melts. It’s at 71% of the median peak, which happens around the beginning of April. Almost all of Utah is experiencing severe drought conditions. — Lexi Peery 

Region/Nation

Grand Canyon Trust seeks to be more inclusive for indigenous teens

This summer the Grand Canyon Trust, among others, is hosting a free trip down the Colorado River for Indigenous teens and young adults. The idea came about due to the high cost of recreation in the canyon. Organizers said they fear that excludes some Indigenous people from visiting, but they want young Natives to know they have a place in this sacred area and in conservation. — Emma Gibson 

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