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AM News Brief: Bail Reform Uncertain, Policing Equity Recommendations & Connecting St. George To Zion

Photo of a building with the 'Bail Bonds' painted on the windows
KUER File Photo
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Wednesday morning, March 3, 2021

State

Bail Reform Fate Uncertain

A Utah Senate committee advanced a proposal Tuesday to repeal a major bail reform law passed last year. That law requires judges to release people accused of low-level crimes using the least restrictive condition. The repeal bill just needs to be approved by the full Senate to go to the Governor’s desk. Another bill that was originally intended to fix the bail reform law has been changed and passed by the Senate. It now just creates a task force to study the issue, which the sponsor said is necessary whether or not the repeal passes. The task force bill still needs to be approved by the House, and the legislative session ends Friday at midnight. — Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

Commission Makes First Recommendations For Equity In Policing

Salt Lake City's Racial Equity in Policing Commission gave its first official recommendations to the City Council Tuesday night. The commission is calling for more active diversity recruitment among field training officers and also wants to see an expansion of the Crisis Intervention Team beyond one shift. A statement in the minutes from the meeting last night said the Council signaled support for the suggestions. The Salt Lake City REP Commission was formed in the wake of violent racial injustice protests in the city last year, and it focuses on Salt Lake City Police Department policies and practices, training and school safety. — Bob Nelson

Southern Utah

Connecting St. George To Zion

St. George is one step closer to getting a public transit system from the city to Zion National Park. The Washington County Commission approved an agreement with St. George Tuesday to support the system. The Utah Department of Transportation has already awarded the proposed system $15 million, and County Commissioner Dean Cox said this deal will keep the buses running if it costs more than that. The initial agreements and funding for the shuttle is for 10 years. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Region/Nation

Grass Roots Vaccine Tracking

A lot of people are turning to pharmacies to get their COVID-19 vaccine, but it’s challenging to figure out when they all have open appointments. One Colorado man is trying to solve that with his website vaccinespotter.org. This National Renewable Energy Lab worker built the site on his own time, and now it’s helping people across the nation. Other coders can contribute data to improve tracking. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau