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State Lawmakers to Tackle Medicaid Expansion, Prison Relocation, Other Big Issues in 2015

Brian Grimmett

Utah State Lawmakers will be working through a long list of pressing issues in the next 45 days of the 2015 legislative session including Medicaid expansion, the relocation of the state prison and a state-wide anti-discrimination bill.

As Republican Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser addressed the Utah Senate during Monday morning floor time, he reflected on the recent passing of former House Speaker Becky Lockhart and offered some words of motivation for the 29-member body. 

“I don’t recall being faced with so many big issues in one session,” Neiderhauser said. “It will surely test our courage and wisdom and our ability to set politics aside and do what is right for the long-term health, safety and prosperity of our state. So buckle up lets go to work.”

Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis added Democrats this year will be focused on bills that “reinvest” in the citizens of Utah, namely public education.

“We’re looking forward to reinvesting in all of our infrastructure, water, roads, but most importantly is making sure that the people are heard and the people have great representation as that’s what we’ve been elected to do,” Davis said.

President Neiderhauser listed a state-wide anti-discrimination bill as a top issue for lawmakers this year. The senate put a hold on bills dealing with LGBT protections last year, as the state awaited the outcome of Utah’s same-sex marriage case in U.S. District Court. Senate Leaders suggested Monday it may still be premature to debate an anti-discrimination bill as they may want to wait for the outcome of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Same-Sex Marriage.  

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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