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PM Brief: Juneteenth becomes Utah holiday, Davis school harassment & helping indigenous voters

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Brian Albers
/
KUER
The dome of the Utah state capitol building in Salt Lake City.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

State

Student fees and tuition go up in Utah

The Utah Board of Higher Education voted Thursday to raise student costs at all eight public colleges and universities. The increases range from $471 for in-state undergraduates at the University of Utah to $44 at Southern Utah University. Following the U, Utah Valley University and Utah State University had the highest dollar increases at $260 and $250, respectively. College leaders say the increases are needed to match salary and benefits requirements passed by the state Legislature. And to fight inflation and increased competition from the private sector. Only one board member voted against the tuition hikes. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Governor’s bill-signing pen still busy 

Gov. Spencer Cox signed more than100 bills into law Thursday. One makes Juneteenth an official state holiday. Last year, the federal government recognized it as an official national holiday. Another newly signed law puts free period products in schools starting July 1. Cox also allowed two bills to become law without his signature. One increases tax credit incentives for films that are made in rural Utah. The other is related to funding for waste tire recycling. As of Thursday, the governor has signed 420 bills and vetoed one. — Emily Means 

Northern Utah

Woman sues Davis School District alleging racial harassment

Davis School District faces a civil rights lawsuit after a woman alleged her son has faced repeated racial harassment. The Standard-Examiner reports the woman claims her ninth-grade son was called a “cotton picker” and was asked to give out an N-word pass so others could freely use the word around him. The lawsuit comes about six months after the U.S. Justice Department found serious and widespread racial harassment in the district. The district did not immediately respond to the Standard Examiner’s request for comment. — Ross Terrell

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aims to inform readers across the state.

Region/Nation

Biden administration releases plan to help Indigenous voters 

The Biden administration released a report Thursday detailing the barriers Indigenous voters face like extreme distances to polls, lack of standard addresses and language barriers. Austin Weahkee, political director of NM Native Vote, said one problem is tribal, state, and federal governments using different polling locations on Election Day. He said one man he knows faced walking six hours to vote in 2020. The report’s recommendations include adding post offices in tribal lands, ensuring reliable internet access, and passing voting rights legislation. — Emma Gibson, Mountain West News Bureau 

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