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PM Brief: Salt Lake City is out for the RNC, Utah sued over redistricting & Romney resolution

Salt Lake City Downtown Aerial View, Feb 2022
Scott G Winterton
/
Deseret News, pool
Downtown Salt Lake City and the Capitol seen from the air, Feb. 15, 2022.

Thursday, Mar. 17, 2022

State

Gov. Spencer Cox weighs in on trans sports bill, inflation and more

In his first monthly news conference since the end of the Legislature’s 2022 General Session, Gov. Spencer Cox said he’s still reviewing bills in the order they arrive at his desk. One that’s top of mind bans transgender girls from competing in school sports, which the governor has said he would veto. As of Thursday, he hasn’t — but he said his position remains unchanged. Cox also talked about how inflation is impacting Utahns. He said he’s been meeting with legislative and industry leaders about alleviating the pain people feel at the gas pump. Read the full story. — Emily Means 

Utah sued over redistricting maps 

The League of Women Voters of Utah, Mormon Women for Ethical Government and others are suing the state over the new congressional map saying it’s an example of an extreme partisan gerrymander. “As a registered Republican, I believe the actions of the Legislature are unethical and contrary to the values of the Republican Party,” said Salt Lake City resident Vicki Reid, a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “By gerrymandering me into an ultra-conservative district, the Legislature has taken away my freedom to try to elect a moderate representative.” The plaintiffs want the court to declare the Legislature’s map unconstitutional and order the drawing of fair maps. Lawmakers approved the map during the recent redistricting process. It cracks Salt Lake County into four congressional districts. Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday morning he still believes the maps were not illegally gerrymandered. — Emily Means

Romney cosponsors resolution to send military equipment to Ukraine  

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, cosponsored a resolution Thursday urging the Biden administration to transfer aircraft and air defense systems to Ukraine. The resolution came the day after Ukraine’s president addressed Congress and called on the U.S. to do more. Romney said America must do everything in its power to help Ukrainians defend themselves against “the monstrous actions of Vladimir Putin.” The resolution calls on the Biden administration to send MiG-29 jets, anti-tank missiles and ammunition to Ukraine. It was co-sponsored by nine other Republican senators. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

No RNC for SLC 

Salt Lake City is no longer in the running to host the 2024 Republican National Convention. Gov. Cox confirmed that the city will not host the event ahead of the next presidential election during his monthly news conference. He said the decision isn't surprising because political parties typically hold conventions in swing states. Utah is solidly Republican. Political and tourism officials said Salt Lake City was eliminated because it was already slated to host too many other events during that same timeframe of July 2024 timeframe. — Associated Press

Region/Nation

Colorado enshrines abortion rights

Colorado lawmakers recently passed a bill that enshrines the right to an abortion. It contrasts legislation approved in neighboring Idaho that mirrors Texas’s six-week abortion ban. Elizabeth Nash, with the Guttmacher Institute, a research group advocating for reproductive rights, said the passage of Colorado’s bill bears major significance for the Mountain West. “Colorado is very important for abortion access, particularly if states like Idaho and Wyoming are successful in banning abortion,” Nash said. States are increasingly taking abortion rights into their own hands ahead of an upcoming Supreme Court decision that will have major implications on the matter. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

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