News Brief: Black Market Prescriptions, Utah Growth & Space Force | KUER 90.1

News Brief: Black Market Prescriptions, Utah Growth & Space Force

Dec 11, 2019

Wednesday evening, December 11, 2019

REGION/NATION

Black Market Prescriptions

Drugs aren’t getting any cheaper, which has patients turning to the black market. A new study from the University of Utah found that rather than going through insurance or a pharmacy, diabetes patients are scanning sites like eBay and social media message boards to find medication they couldn’t otherwise get. Americans spend more on drugs than anyone else in the world, and lead author Dr. Michelle Litchman says while the black market may be illegal, their survey found that many people have altruistic motives. Read the full storyJon Reed

A Step Closer To A Space Force

The U.S. House passed a comprehensive defense bill Wednesday to establish a new armed services branch — the United States Space Force. It would become the sixth branch of the U.S. military and the first new branch to be added since the Air Force was created in 1947. The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act earmarks $148 million for a Combined Space Operations Facility. It will be built on Schriever Air Force Base near Colorado Springs. The legislation still needs to go to the senate where it’s expected to pass. — Ali Budner, Mountain West News Bureau

STATE

Governor Calls Special Session

The Utah Legislature has announced plans to tackle tax reform in a special session after receiving the recommendation from a legislative task force this week. Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has set the special session for Thursday at 5 p.m. to decide on the restructuring of the state tax code. The plan would hike the sales tax on food and apply new taxes to certain service transactions and motor fuel purchases while making cuts to the income tax. — Bob Nelson

Utah Growth

Utah has seen a significant increase in its population over the past decade. The University of Utah's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute released analysis that found that Utah County's 26.1% growth rate leads the trend. That's nearly 135,000 more people in the county since 2010. Salt Lake County had a 12% increase of nearly 124,000 people over the decade. Officials say Utah's population is now at 3.2 million people. — Bob Nelson

Utah First With New Foster Care Alternative

Utah on Wednesday became the first state to receive federal approval of a plan under the Family First Act. The plan allows more children at risk of entering foster care or juvenile justice to remain safely at home. It outlines how the state will provide more evidence-based substance use treatment, mental health care and in-home parenting skills services to families. — Bob Nelson