Politics & Issues | KUER 90.1

Politics & Issues

Photo of a street sign on a highway that reads "Sunny Acres Lane."
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

MONTICELLO — From the potential construction of a 13-acre truck stop to the conversion of housing into overnight rentals to the loss of their dark night skies, people who moved to Spanish Valley for peace and quiet say their way of life is under threat. 

Photo of empty Utah Senate Chamber.
Austen Diamond for KUER

Utah lawmakers approved a medical cannabis system that will use more privately-run dispensaries instead of public health departments to help distribute the drug. 

A photo of Andrew Gruber, executive director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, presenting the Wasatch Choice 2050 Vision plan at a convention on Thursday in Salt Lake City.
Jon Reed / KUER

Growth is coming to the Wasatch Front. 

That was the refrain at Planners’ Day, part of the Utah League of Cities and Towns annual three-day convention in downtown Salt Lake City on Thursday. 

Photo of the Utah State Board of Education seal on a wall inside the board building.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

People interested in serving on the Utah State Board of Education may have to run under a political party starting in 2020 after the Utah Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that partisan elections for the school board are constitutional. 

Illustration of microphones.
Angela Hsieh / NPR

September's Democratic presidential debate has been narrowed to one night only, as more candidates have called it quits altogether.

Photo of a brown wooden sign that reads "Manti-La Sal National Forest, U.S. Department of Agriculture" with some trees in the background.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Public lands are usually a divisive issue in Utah, but state and federal lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are working together to help counties secure annual reimbursements for federally-owned land. 

Photo of flags through capitol window.
Cory Dinter for KUER

The abortion debate is getting a lot of attention these days. Anti-abortion rights activists see President Trump’s conservative appointments to the Supreme Court as an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade. A new poll asked Utahns about their support for 1973 case that legalized abortion.

Photo of the Utah State Board of Education building
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Although still four months away, the Utah State Board of Education has begun discussion of its possible legislative policy requests for the 2020 Utah Legislative Session. 

A recent report looking at the best states to work in doesn't show the Mountain West in a particularly good light. Only one state in our region ranked in the top half.

Photo of bagged medical marijuana and medicine bottles.
iStock.com / Patrick Morrissey

Utah’s medical cannabis law will continue to evolve as the state prepares to sell marijuana products next spring.

Ammon Bundy, who led an armed standoff with the federal government in an Oregon wildlife refuge, took to Facebook this past weekend. He said he failed a background check to buy a firearm -- and then things took a turn.  

Photo of school board meeting.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The Salt Lake City Board of Education voted Tuesday night in favor of two resolutions that reaffirmed its commitment to protecting its immigrant students and families as the Trump administration ramps up immigration enforcement.

Photo of protesters and CECY sign.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Updated 6:33 p.m. MDT 9/3/19

A Salt Lake City activist has avoided deportation — for now — following protests against her removal last week, an immigrant rights group said Tuesday.

iStock.com / Bplanet

Americans have a tough time talking about guns, or at least talking about them in a way that feels productive.

Photo of the Utah Governor's Mansion in Salt Lake City.
Wikimedia Commons

This story has been corrected

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and the unofficial start of campaign season ahead of big election years — and 2020 will be a huge one.

Photo of people marching at a rally.
Courtesy of Meskee Yanabah Yatsayte / Navajo Nation Missing Persons Updates

In response to advocates who say the Navajo Nation isn’t doing enough to help families looking for missing loved ones, the nation recently announced plans to improve missing persons investigations. 

Photo of inland port sign.
Brian Albers / KUER

Despite overwhelming public opposition, the Salt Lake City Council voted Tuesday to approve a hefty tax reimbursement to a developer in the city’s northwest quadrant, where an inland port is planned.

Photo of flag on Utah Capitol.
Cory Dinter for KUER

There are 31 U.S. states that give some sort of preference to veteran-owned businesses when awarding state contracts, according to a report presented at a Tuesday meeting of Utah’s Veterans and Military Affairs Commission. 

Close-up photo of woman in wheelchair.
iStock.com / vadimguzhva

The U.S. Department of Education announced last week that it would automatically forgive student loan debt for any veterans who became totally and permanently disabled because of their military service. 

Photo of commission meeting.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Updated 1:45 p.m. MDT 8/24/19 

A little more than six months after the swearing-in of San Juan County’s first majority-Navajo County Commission, long-simmering tension brought on by years of distrust, frustration and, at times, prejudice is bubbling over.

Photo of VP Pence.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

South Jordan — During a visit to a Utah-based medical device company Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence touted a strong U.S. economy while pushing a new trade deal. He also called on Utahns to support President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection bid. 

Salt Lake City teachers hold signs
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Salt Lake City teachers today voted to ratify a 4.1% salary increase offered by school district officials. 

KUER File Photo

After a rash of mass shootings last month, Gov. Gary Herbert said Wednesday all gun control measures should be on the table for discussion.

Renee Bright / KUER

Mormon culture influences nearly every aspect of life in Utah. But these days, many long-held values are being challenged, even by the faithful. KUER’s series “Latter-day” examines how Mormon culture is — and isn’t — changing in response.

Photo of Luz Escamilla.
Jenny Goldsberry / KUER

Updated 8:00 p.m. MDT 8/15/19: For the first time in Salt Lake City history, two women will face off in a mayoral race this November.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

Updated 12:15 a.m. MDT 8/14/19: Salt Lake City’s mayoral primary was too close to call Tuesday night with just over 700 votes separating three candidates.

Photo of sign outside Colorado City.
iStock.com / TSnowImages

A legal skirmish has unfolded regarding whether former polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is mentally capable of testifying in a sexual abuse case against him, the United Effort Plan Trust and other leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. 

Photo of mailer.
KUER

Salt Lake City voters and mayoral candidates alike have disavowed tactics by a new political action committee (PAC) which targeted some candidates over the weekend. But according to one political scientist, the controversial mailers and messages could move the needle in a close municipal primary.

Phot of a boy playing a handheld video game in front of an old camper trailer. The desert stretches out in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

St. George — It’s Back to School Night at Diamond Valley Elementary, and the auditorium is filled with the usual suspects: tired, young parents and restless, wriggling children. But near the back of the room, seated at the edge of the aisle, is a 47-year-old woman with a blue streak in her hair. She’s equal parts exhausted, anxious and out of place. 

photo of Utah State capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

After lawmakers made significant changes to two voter-approved ballot initiatives in recent months, there’s pushback from advocates who want to protect future citizen-sponsored measures.

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