Politics & Issues | KUER 90.1

Politics & Issues

Photo of Erin Mendenhall making the announcement outside.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

On the 11th day of her term as Salt Lake City Mayor, Erin Mendenhall fulfilled a campaign promise by announcing that a city-owned building in Sugar House will house 145 emergency beds for homeless residents.

Headshot of Rob Bishop in front of an American flag.
Wikimedia Commons

Former Utah Republican Party Chair Thomas Wright announced Thursday that Utah Congressman Rob Bishop is joining his ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor. 

Photo of student speaking at a podium with several students standing behind him.
Jessica Lowell / KUER

Wednesday evening, Jan. 15, 2020

Jon Reed / KUER

About a year after major reforms to Utah’s juvenile justice system, early indications show the state is heading in the right direction, detaining fewer kids and reducing staffing inefficiencies. 

Headshots of Mike Lee and Ben McAdams
KUER file

Two members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation — Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams — are responding very differently to the Trump administration’s handling of the fatal airstrike against Iran’s top general. 

Photo of an asylum application in front of an American flag.
iStock

Immigration judges in Utah and across the country made a record number of decisions on asylum cases last year. About 70% of those 67,406 decisions were denials, according to data released last week by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a think tank at Syracuse University. 

Photo of buildings in downtown Salt Lake City
Brian Albers / KUER

In Utah, one in eight households is cost-burdened by their housing, meaning they pay more than 50% of their income towards it. That’s according to a 2018 report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Wages have not kept up with rising housing costs, and the state has an approximately 50,000 unit housing shortage, according to that same report. 

Woman sits at table signing paper.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Ron Van Otten is camped out in a conference room at the Davis County Library. For several hours a day this month, he’s been greeting people who come to sign a petition against a controversial tax reform measure approved by lawmakers in a December special session.

Photo of Rodney Chatman sitting at a table in a police uniform.
Courtesy of the University of Utah

The University of Utah has selected Rodney Chatman, the executive director of public safety and chief of police at the University of Dayton, as its new police chief. 

Photo of Greg Hughes announcing his bid for governor at an auto shop.
Jessica Lowell / KUER

Former Utah House of Representatives Speaker Greg Hughes announced Wednesday he is jumping into the race for governor.

Screenshot from a video of Mike Lee speaking to reporters.
C-SPAN

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, broke from his own party Wednesday and announced he’ll side with Democrats in support of a resolution scaling back President Donald Trump’s military powers in Iran.

Man stands at a podium with the Utah state seal.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Updated 3:56 p.m. MDT 01/08/19:

Continuing his focus on education and managing Utah’s growth, Gov. Gary Herbert unveiled a $20 billion budget proposal Wednesday that includes $100 million to improve air quality, an endowment to preserve open spaces and an education funding boost. 

Four men in heavy winter coats gather around a pic-nic table with a sign that reads “Keep the Road Home Open. Housing is a human right. Party for Socialism and Liberation.” Tents and the City County Building are in the background.
Brian Albers / KUER

Monday evening, Jan. 6, 2020

The race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District launched in earnest this weekend, as several candidates held kickoff events, volunteer trainings and started to gather signatures to get on the ballot. 

Photo of marijuana poured out on top of a medical prescription.
iStock

Friday afternoon, January 3, 2020

Photo of Sen. Mitt Romney
KUER file

U.S. forces killed a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in a targeted airstrike at the Baghdad airport early Friday morning local time. The U.S. Department of Defense said Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” Iran said it will will retaliate harshly.

Photo of students raising their hands in a classroom.
iStock

Thursday evening, January 2, 2020

Sonja Hutson / KUER

Updated 11:48 a.m. MST 1/3/20

Former Utah Republican Party Chair Thomas Wright announced Thursday he is jumping into the increasingly crowded governor’s race. 

At a rally last November in Las Vegas, a reporter noted Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s experience leading Denver Public Schools, and asked the presidential candidate, “With your experience in the education area, [how] would you use that experience as president to help the education system?”

It’s an unremarkable question—except for the fact that it was posed by a 12-year-old.

Photo of downtown Ogden.
Wikimedia Commons

Monday evening, December 30, 2019

Photo of cases of beer on store shelves.
Elaine Clark / KUER

From the inland port to ballot initiatives to beer, KUER’s reporters have been following 2019’s biggest stories. Political reporter Nicole Nixon and education reporter Rocio Hernandez joined Caroline Ballard to discuss the issues they’ve been following.

Photo of a man sitting behind the wheel of a car
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Doug Hronek was driving home to Heber City through Provo Canyon about five years ago when he tuned his car radio to a conversation about unique investment opportunities. 

Four men in suits and hard hats shovel dirt for a groundbreaking.
Jon Reed / KUER

20 companies took advantage of the state’s 2019 tax rebate program. They’re bringing nearly 10,000 high-paying and over $300 million in state revenue with them over the next 15 years, according to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). 

Photo of the Natural History Museum of Utah
Brian Albers / KUER

Monday evening, December 23, 2019

Photo of man sitting at table signing a piece of paper.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

The night earlier this month when the Utah legislature passed a sweeping tax reform bill, former Republican state Rep. Fred Cox was watching intently on his phone. 

Photo of Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service via Flickr

Friday afternoon, December 20, 2019

Photo of airplanes outside the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Brian Albers / KUER

Thursday evening, December 19, 2019

Photo of Gov. Gary Herbert
File photo / KUER

Despite a referendum moving ahead against a large and controversial tax reform bill passed last week, Gov. Gary Herbert announced he signed the measure Thursday morning.

Photo of where the Riverwalk Trail meets the river leading up to the Narrows Trail at Zion National Park.
David Fuchs / KUER

Thursday morning, December 19, 2019

Screenshot of a recording of Rep. Chris Stewart speaking during the hearing.
PBS News Hour recording

Wednesday evening, December 18, 2019

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