Sonja Hutson | KUER 90.1

Sonja Hutson

Reporter

Sonja Hutson is a politics and government reporter at KUER. She’s been reporting on politics ever since the 10th grade, when she went to so many school board meetings the district set up a press table for her. Before coming to Utah, Sonja spent four years at KQED in San Francisco where she covered everything from wildfires to the tech industry. When she’s not working, you can find her skiing, camping, or deeply invested in a 1000 piece puzzle.

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Photo of a man in a suit sitting on a couch looking down at a piece of paper.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Utah lawmakers have more than $900 million extra to spend this year, according to new estimates released by state leaders Thursday. 

Bernie Sanders standing at a podium on a stage surrounded by thousands of people.
Whittney Evans / KUER

When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Utah during his 2016 presidential campaign, he drew a crowd of thousands.

Photo of school bus.
MovieAboutYou / iStock.com

A Utah House committee is divided over whether to require restorative justice for minors who make threats against a school. 

Photo of Deidre Henderson inside the Utah Capitol building
KUER file

Listen to the story here.

A bill to effectively decriminalize polygamy for consenting adults unanimously passed the Utah Senate Tuesday. 

Photo of the inside of a tanning booth.
Wikimedia Commons

It’s the end of week three for the Utah Legislature, and lawmakers have been busy considering bills that touch on everything from corporate tax incentives to tanning beds to medical marijuana. KUER’s Sonja Hutson and Caroline Ballard spoke in the press room of the Utah State Capitol to cover all that and more in our weekly political roundup. 

Photo of woman standing in the middle of a room filled with people sitting behind tables in a horseshoe formation.
Courtesy of Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist / Utah House Democrats

Listen to this story here.

Utah Democratic lawmakers are condemning behavior during its Thursday caucus meeting, when a presenter gave the state’s lone African American lawmaker a name tag that said “slave” on it, while comparing polygamy to slavery.

Photo of people voting at electronic voting booths.
Renee Bright / KUER

2020 is a big election year in Utah: We’re electing a president, a governor and multiple congressional representatives. 

After elections systems in multiple states were targeted by Russian hackers in 2016 and 2018, will this year's elections be secure?

Photo of an amazon fulfillment center
Tony Webster via Flickr

Utah could help create an agreement that would prevent states from poaching companies from each other through tax incentives under a new bill in the state legislature. 

Photo of Michael Bloomberg
Wikimedia Commons

As Utah inches closer to its March 3 presidential primary, Democratic candidate and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg is stepping up his already robust campaign in the state. 

Photo of three men is suits sitting in armchairs, with a group of microphones in the middle.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Updated 1:39 p.m. MST 2/6/2020

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, met with Republican leadership in the Utah House and Senate Thursday to explain his vote to convict President Donald Trump on the first of two articles of impeachment.

Photo of Jacob Anderegg presenting a bill to a Utah Senate committee
Sonja Hutson / KUER

A $35 million affordable housing bill passed a state Senate committee Tuesday, with two Democrats voting for it and one Republican voting against it. 

Congressman Ben McAdams
Kelsie Moore / KUER

The race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, currently represented by the state’s lone Democrat, remains deeply lopsided when it comes to campaign donations, according to the latest filings with the Federal Elections Commission. 

Young woman in blue blazer sitting at round brown table in front of a brown bookcase.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

 

In her first year as Utah’s youngest lawmaker, 27-year-old Rep. Candice Pierucci, R-Herriman, often gets mistaken for an intern by security officers at the State Capitol.

Photo of Curt Bramble and Mary Taylor presenting the bill.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

A bill requiring that medical providers bury or cremate an aborted or miscarried fetus passed a Utah Senate committee Friday. 

Photo of the gubernatorial candidates on stage for their first debate.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Six Republican candidates for Utah governor sparred in a debate Friday at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit. It largely focused on how best to manage the state’s growth and highlighted the conversation about political insiders and outsiders. 

Interior photo of Utah State Capitol building.
KUER File Photo

 


Utah’s legislative session kicked off this week. Over 45 days lawmakers work to pass a budget and wade through more than a thousand bills. KUER’s Caroline Ballard joined political reporters Nicole Nixon and Sonja Hutson to help break it down.

Photo of the Utah Senate gallery.
Lee Hale / KUER

In a move to prepare Utah’s water system for more explosive population grown, a bill to create a market system for temporarily buying and selling water rights is moving through the Utah State Senate. 

Photo of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert delivering his State of the State address in the state Capitol building.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Despite being forced to roll back a tax reform plan he had recently signed into law, Gov. Gary Herbert delivered a reflective and hopeful speech at his annual State of the State address Wednesday evening.

Photo of the rotunda of the Utah State Capitol building.
Austen Diamond for KUER

Updated 6:13 p.m. MST, 1/28/2020

Six weeks after passing a contentious tax reform bill in a special session, Utah lawmakers repealed it Tuesday under threat of a referendum. Gov. Gary Herbert signed the repeal Tuesday evening. 

Photo of the U.S. Capitol building as viewed from the Senate side.
iStock

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is among a small group of Republican senators that could hold the key to how the Senate impeachment trial plays out.

Photo of Utah valley.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Speaking before the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in 2018, Gov. Gary Herbert hailed the Utah tech industry’s contribution to the state.

Women in bright dresses with pieces of metal sewn on dance in front of a courthouse
Sonja Hutson / KUER

PROVO — Growing up as a young Navajo girl here, Erin Tapahe would get upset that every time she left the house, her parents fell into the same routine.

Police tape at a crime scene
Tony Webster / Flickr

This is a developing story

Police in Tooele County have arrested a boy suspected of killing four members of a family in their Grantsvillle home Friday. 

Headshot of Rob Bishop in front of an American flag.
Wikimedia Commons

Former Utah Republican Party Chair Thomas Wright announced Thursday that Utah Congressman Rob Bishop is joining his ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor. 

Headshots of Mike Lee and Ben McAdams
KUER file

Two members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation — Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams — are responding very differently to the Trump administration’s handling of the fatal airstrike against Iran’s top general. 

Photo of buildings in downtown Salt Lake City
Brian Albers / KUER

In Utah, one in eight households is cost-burdened by their housing, meaning they pay more than 50% of their income towards it. That’s according to a 2018 report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Wages have not kept up with rising housing costs, and the state has an approximately 50,000 unit housing shortage, according to that same report. 

Photo of Greg Hughes announcing his bid for governor at an auto shop.
Jessica Lowell / KUER

Former Utah House of Representatives Speaker Greg Hughes announced Wednesday he is jumping into the race for governor.

Man stands at a podium with the Utah state seal.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Updated 3:56 p.m. MDT 01/08/19:

Continuing his focus on education and managing Utah’s growth, Gov. Gary Herbert unveiled a $20 billion budget proposal Wednesday that includes $100 million to improve air quality, an endowment to preserve open spaces and an education funding boost. 

The race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District launched in earnest this weekend, as several candidates held kickoff events, volunteer trainings and started to gather signatures to get on the ballot. 

Photo of Sen. Mitt Romney
KUER file

U.S. forces killed a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in a targeted airstrike at the Baghdad airport early Friday morning local time. The U.S. Department of Defense said Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” Iran said it will will retaliate harshly.

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