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View From the Gallery - Week 3

It’s the end of week three and we’re basically in the same spot we were at the end of week two.

Senate Medicaid Plans

During the few times the Senate isn’t recognizing a guest or taking a personal privilege, they did manage to hold a majority caucus meeting to discuss Medicaid expansion alternatives. While they didn’t take any official position, Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser did say that he would prefer a plan like Sen. Brian Shiozawa’s SB164.

Healthy Utah Moves Forward

For the uninitiated, Shiozawa’s bill essentially is the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan. At the moment it’s competing against Sen. Allen Christensens’s SB153, which would expand coverage to only those considered medically frail. But Shiozawa’s bill has the upper hand at the moment as it has already passed out of committee and is on its way to the floor.

House Inaction

Meanwhile over in the House, republican leadership continues to say they can’t remember a year when so many important issues needed to be tackled, even though, at this point, they haven’t actually introduced many bills aimed at addressing them.

Moment of Silence

However, they did manage to at least pass Democratic Rep. Angela Romero’s bill that clarifies the definition of sexual consent. The debate even included a moment of silence.

After everyone was made to feel as awkward as possible, the bill did pass unanimously.

Non-Discrimination vs. Religious Liberties

And finally, the discussion about non-discrimination and its battle with religious liberty continues to heat up. But lawmakers can’t decide if protections for both need to be included in one bill, or considered separately. The newest of several proposals is from Rep. LaVar Christensen. It would basically give people a blank check to do whatever they please based on their personal religious beliefs. It’s also probably not the one that will survive the session.

And that’s this week’s “View From the Gallery.” Be sure to set a time certain for the same time next week. 

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