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PM News Brief: Special session bills signed, Ken Ivory returning to Legislature & Tribal Summit continues

Photo of capitol.
Brian Albers / KUER
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Gov. Spencer Cox has signed all the bills passed during last week’s special session. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, Nov. 16, 2021

State

Gov. Cox signs all 10 bills from Utah’s special session 

Gov. Spencer Cox has signed all the bills passed during last week’s special session. One allows workers to get out of a vaccine mandate from their employer if it goes against their personal beliefs. Cox also approved legislation to ease Utah’s reliance on cash bail. The new state House and Senate district maps are now law. They’re not as controversial as the Congressional map but could be trouble for some House democrats. — Sonja Hutson 

Northern Utah

Ken Ivory set to return to the Utah Legislature

Former Utah Representative Ken Ivory has his old seat again after a special election Monday. The West Jordan Republican was selected by the Salt Lake County GOP to fill a vacancy created when Steve Christiansen resigned last month because his family was being harassed by the public. Ivory served in the state Legislature from 2011 to 2019. He stepped down to take a job with a company that secured a contract with the state during his time as a legislator. He has also been a big proponent for transferring public lands from federal to state control. — Emily Means 

Utah mental health experts talk bullying and solutions 

Utah doctors and mental health specialists met Tuesday to discuss the impacts of bullying on young people. They say it’s incredibly common and destructive, leading to depression, anxiety and negative internalized beliefs. There are lots of reasons people bully others, but experts said often it’s because they’ve been bullied themselves or have felt excluded. He said it’s important to look for changes in behavior that might signal a child is being bullied, such as having trouble sleeping or giving vague excuses for why they don’t want to participate in certain activities. He said ultimately, parents and schools need to create a culture in which bullying is confronted and treated seriously. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Southern Utah

St. George residents plan next course of action after Dixie name change  

Many St. George residents are disappointed in the Legislature’s decision to remove “Dixie” from Dixie State University. Starting next July, it will be known as Utah Tech. Some considered filing a state referendum in an effort to reverse the lawmaker's decision. However, leaders of the group Defending Southwestern Utah Heritage Coalition recently announced they won’t go that route. Instead, they will turn their focus to getting new people elected. The group said in a Facebook post there is a “very consequential and obvious need of replacing most of our legislative leadership in Utah’s Dixie in upcoming elections.” Just two of the six Washington County legislators voted to change the university’s name. — Lexi Peery, St. George 

Region/Nation

White House continues its Tribal Summit with Native American leaders

The White House hosted day two of its summit with Native American leaders Tuesday. U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a new initiative to improve consultation between federal authorities and tribal governments. The Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee, or STAC, will be the first of its kind. Federal law requires the government to consult with tribal nations on decisions that affect them. But many Native Americans say the process is jammed with red tape or doesn’t allow enough time for community input. — Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

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