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PM News Brief: ACA premiums drop, Emery County solar power & community participation in Utah

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Premiums for health plans under the Affordable Care Act will decrease on average in Utah next year. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, Dec 7, 2021

State

Utah governor unveils latest budget proposal 

The Great Salt Lake, affordable housing and education are some of the top priorities in Gov. Spencer Cox’s new budget proposal. Standing at the Antelope Island Visitors’ Center Tuesday morning, Cox said he had reflected on the past while crafting the budget to help guide investments for future generations. Given this year’s historic drought, Cox proposed around half a billion dollars in water infrastructure and conservation efforts, including money specifically for the Great Salt Lake. The administration’s recommendations also include a refundable grocery tax credit for low and middle-income families. Read the full story. Emily Means

Affordable Care Act premiums set to decrease across Utah 

Premiums for health plans under the Affordable Care Act will decrease on average in Utah next year. The Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed data from insurers and the state marketplace and put those rates into different scenarios. They then created a county-by-county map of likely premiums for different levels of coverage and income. The largest increase is expected in Iron County for a 40-year-old ineligible for a tax credit. They could see a monthly increase of $102 for gold plans. However, most Utah counties will see rates staying the same or even decreasing. Gold level coverage in that same scenario will see the biggest price drop for counties in the central part of the state. — Caroline Ballard

Utah outpaces the nation in community participation

When it comes to participation in their community, Utahns tend to outpace the nation. That’s based on the latest report released Tuesday by the Utah Foundation. It found the state gives more in charitable donations and volunteering than the rest of the country. It also takes the top spot in religious service and neighborhood project participation. However, Utah ranks near the bottom when it comes to membership in professional and non-professional organizations. Those include things like alumni groups or nurses and bar associations. The state came in dead last for the number of professional orgs per capita in the U.S. — Ross Terrell

Southern/Central Utah

New solar power project headed to Emery County

A new solar power project is coming to Emery County. The Bureau of Land Management has signed a decision to bring a solar power collector line to federal lands near Castle Dale. It’s part of the Biden administration’s goal to increase renewable energy on public lands. The line would alternate between overhead and underground. Once fully built, the project could deliver power to the equivalent of 70,000 homes. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Nevada’s role in boarding school investigations

Tribal communities in Nevada will play a key role as the federal investigation into native boarding schools continues. Gov. Steve Sisolak said the state will provide “all the resources necessary” alongside the U.S. Department of Interior. He acknowledged the role Nevada had to play in funding Stewart Indian School in Carson City which was part of a federal program to assimilate Native communities. He made these remarks after meeting with federal officials and Tribal leadership at the school's campus. Starting in 1890 and up until the 80s, at least 20,000 kids were brought in from miles away from home-with one goal in mind: Kill the Indian, save the man. — Gustavo Sagrero, KUNR

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