Politics & Issues | KUER 90.1

Politics & Issues

Photo of cattle grazing.
Courtesy of Utah Bureau of Land Management

The Trump administration has spent the past month announcing sweeping changes that could benefit ranchers on public lands, including a proposal to overhaul grazing regulations for the first time in 25 years. 

Photo looking down at the House floor where Brad Wilson addresses representatives.
Nicole Nixon

It didn’t take long for House Speaker Brad Wilson to address what he called “the elephant, or to be bipartisan, donkey in the room.” 

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

As President Trump's legal team pressed the case for acquittal on Monday, they repeatedly made two points: the charges against Trump do not meet the constitution's criteria for impeachment. And if the president is removed from office for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, it will set a "dangerous" precedent.

"You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo," said one of Trump's lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, calling the charges "vague, indefinable."

A water tank sits behind a chain-link fence, marked with a logo depicting a Native American man in a headdress.
David Fuchs / KUER

CEDAR CITY — A Utah lawmaker is catching heat over a proposed resolution that discourages abandoning the use of Native American names, images and symbols.

Photo of a woman speaking at the forum.
Rocio Hernandez

Over the last 10 years, more college students nationwide have reported feeling depressed, hopeless and angry, said Dr. David Reetz with the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors. Reetz was the keynote speaker at Utah’s first Student Safety Forum focused on colleges and universities.

A still from the film Crip Camp showing a man smiling and holding another man, with another man standing beside him and another man in a wheelchair behind them.
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Friday evening, Jan. 24, 2020

Updated at 9:00 p.m. ET

House Democrats on Friday finished their third and final day of arguments that President Trump, impeached by the House, now should be convicted and removed from office by the Senate.

The president's lawyers will get their turn to lay out the case for acquittal starting this weekend.

"A toxic mess"

Government building - lighted in the morning.
Elaine Clark / KUER

Updated 4:47 p.m. MST 1/23/2020

Confronted by the possibility of a referendum against a tax reform law approved in a December special session, Republican leaders announced Thursday they will repeal the controversial measure.

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

House Democrats finished their second day of oral arguments on Thursday, contending that that President Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigations was not only an attempt to cheat in the 2020 election, but Democrats said it was also the kind of behavior the nation's founding fathers hoped to guard against.

Photo of the Tooele County District Court building.
Google Street View

Not much is known yet about the motives behind the shooting last weekend in Grantsville. The suspect though is 16-year-old Collin Haynie, accused of killing his mother and three of his siblings in their family home. 

Utah has become the 19th — and most conservative — state in the U.S. to ban "conversion therapy" for minors. The widely discredited practice, aimed at changing a patient's sexual orientation or gender identity, is now formally barred in the state after the new rule took effect late Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who directed licensing regulators to make the change, confirmed the move to NPR on Wednesday.

Photo of the U.S. Capitol building as viewed from the Senate side.
iStock

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is among a small group of Republican senators that could hold the key to how the Senate impeachment trial plays out.

Photo of Navajo Mountain
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

NAVAJO MOUNTAIN — Big, wet snowflakes fell on this small community on the Navajo Nation yesterday, blanketing its red dirt roads and thwarting the San Juan County Commission’s latest attempt to hear from residents of the Utah Navajo strip. 

 

Photo of Matheson Courthouse.
Brian Albers / KUER

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall are among the more than 30 people who have submitted public comments in favor of allowing certain young immigrants to practice law in Utah. 

Photo of Brad Wilson inside the Utah State Capitol building.
Austen Diamond for KUER

Utah’s general legislative session begins next week. That means until mid-March, lawmakers will be debating and voting on bills that could affect Utahns. 

KUER’s political team, Nicole Nixon and Sonja Hutson sat down with House Speaker Brad Wilson to get a preview of this year’s session. 

Illustration of U.S. Capitol.
Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

The Senate is holding a trial on the impeachment of President Donald Trump, who is accused by the U.S. House of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. Each day of the trial will stream through this player as proceedings begin. At the conclusion of the trial, senators are expected to vote on whether Trump should be removed from office.

Rep. Craig Hall on the floor of the Utah House of Representatives.
Cory Dinter for KUER

Information from popular at-home DNA test kits are increasingly being used by police to identify suspects as part of an emerging trend in criminal investigations.

Photo of Utah valley.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Speaking before the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in 2018, Gov. Gary Herbert hailed the Utah tech industry’s contribution to the state.

Photo of a family hugging with balloons and flowers.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Imelda Vasquez’s heart first broke 38 years ago.

That’s when her younger brother, Raul, left their native Michoacan in central Mexico to find a better paying job in the United States. He left behind his children who Vasquez, now 62, raised as her own.

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.

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