AM News Brief: Redistricting Timeline, Portrayal Of Women Politicians In Utah Media & No Child Support? No Hunting.
Thursday morning, July 1, 2021
Redistricting Committee Faces Tight Timeline
A timeline has been released for the state's redistricting process to address delays caused by COVID-19. Every ten years, the Legislature is required by the constitution to redraw legislative, congressional and school board district boundaries to reflect population changes. But data from the 2020 Census is delayed until mid-August due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite that, lawmakers say a bipartisan committee will hold the same number of public meetings and hearings this summer and fall as were held in the last redistricting cycle. Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, is co-chair of the Legislative Redistricting Committee. He said they are now tasked with quote "essentially completing nine months of work in six weeks." The Legislature is slated to adopt final maps before Thanksgiving. — Pamela McCall
No Child Support? No Hunting
People who are more than $2,500 behind on child support won't be able to get a fishing or hunting licence anymore. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is prohibited from issuing them under a new law which goes into effect July 1. The Office of Recovery Services will be implementing the law and will place a block on the DWR accounts of those who are behind. To remove it, people must either pay the full amount owed or enter into a payment plan for at least 12 consecutive months. Individuals who obtain a judicial order staying enforcement of the past-due payments are exempt. Anyone who currently has a valid license or permit will not be affected until their license expires. — Pamela McCall
Portrayal Of Women Politicians In Utah’s Media
A new study released Thursday found that over the past 15 years, women politicians were portrayed negatively in Utah’s newspaper coverage 31% of the time. The Utah Women and Leadership Project analyzed about 400 articles from 1995 to 2020 in the state’s main newspapers — The Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune, Ogden’s Standard Examiner and Provo’s Daily Herald. The study found about 14% of the time, a woman's physical appearance was mentioned, like her clothing, race and age. The group said collecting this data helps show how media coverage creates a disparity in how candidates are perceived. However, researchers did not look at how men are represented in the media. — Tess Roundy
ATV Group Argues Road Closures Limit Dispersed Camping
The Bureau of Land Management recently completed a travel management plan for Canyon Rims recreation area. It will close around 50 miles of road within the 91,000 acre area in San Juan County. Now, the off-roading advocacy group Blue Ribbon Coalition is warning campers that road closures will impact access to dispersed camping sites. The environmentalist group Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance said though the road closures are necessary to protect wildlife and vegetation and that there are still “thousands of miles of routes in southern Utah where there is room for dispersed camping.” Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff
This is Kate Groetzinger’s last story for KUER. She joined the station two years ago as a Report for America corps member. In the time since, she’s worked from Bluff covering Bears Ears, the Navajo Nation, and public lands.