News Brief: Facial Recognition, Tuition Hikes & The 21st Amendment | KUER 90.1

News Brief: Facial Recognition, Tuition Hikes & The 21st Amendment

Dec 5, 2019

Thursday evening, December 5, 2019

STATE

Democratic Tax Plan

Utah Democratic lawmakers are proposing an alternative tax reform plan ahead of a tentative special session next week. It calls for higher income taxes on wealthy Utahns, and proposes replacing the sales tax with a tax of less than 1% on all business revenue. Republican lawmakers want to convene a special session next week to pass a large tax reform plan, but House Minority Leader Brian King is urging them to wait. He says the bill deserves more vetting and should be considered in the next general session, which convenes Jan. 27. — Nicole Nixon

21st Amendment Day

Dec. 5 is 21st Amendment Day. Eighty-six years ago, the nationwide prohibition on alcohol was repealed. Utah was the 36th state to ratify the amendment, the last one needed to bring an end to the unpopular 13-year long ban. Historian Will Bagley says yes, even Utah was fed up with prohibition. — Cami Mondeaux

CENTRAL UTAH

Westminster Tuition Hike Protest

Westminster College students are holding a silent protest Friday against a tuition increase planned for next academic year. The school announced an 8.5% tuition hike, which will increase costs by about $3,000 annually. Some students on social media have said the increase may “jeopardize” their attendance next year. — Cami Mondeaux

SOUTHERN UTAH

Washington County Tax Increase

The board of the Washington County Water Conservancy District has voted in favor of a proposed property tax increase. The State Tax Commission will ultimately decide whether to raise the county’s property taxes. The goal of the tax hike is to mitigate inflation and generate more revenue for capital projects such as the Lake Powell Pipeline. — David Fuchs, St. George

NATION

Law Enforcement And Facial Recognition Technology

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is pushing for tighter federal regulations on law enforcement use of facial recognition software. Lee has introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would require federal law enforcement to get a search warrant before using facial recognition technology for ongoing surveillance, like tracking someone’s movements. But that wouldn’t apply to one time searches, including scanning Utah’s drivers license database. — Sonja Hutson