Utah Legislature | KUER 90.1

Utah Legislature

Photo of Utah Capitol at night.
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah lawmakers from both parties say they make take legislative action following admission by the Utah Department of Public Safety that the agency routinely runs facial recognition software through a state database of driver’s license and mugshot photos.

House Speaker Brad Wilson.
Austen Diamond for KUER

Utah lawmakers are promising a fresh start on tax reform proposals after major backlash against a bill earlier this year.

Austen Diamond for KUER

Utah lawmakers often pride themselves as a deliberative, decision-making body, spending just 45 days each year to pass legislation, but new research may suggest otherwise.

Renee Bright / KUER

Utah lawmakers will convene next week on Capitol Hill to hammer out a deal over Proposition 2, the ballot initiative voters approved to expand access to medical marijuana.

Photo of legislature.
Austen Diamond for KUER

Utah lawmakers are celebrating their newfound power to call themselves into special session without approval from Gov. Gary Herbert. Whether they’re playing coy by saying it will be used sparingly remains to be seen.

Photo of Hansen portrait.
Judy Fahys / KUER

Utah Republican and Democratic leaders remembered former Congressman Jim Hansen, Utah’s longest-serving member of the House, who died Wednesday at age 86.

school safety hearing
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

A state school safety committee asked lawmakers on Wednesday to budget almost $100 million to improve security at schools and hire more mental health professionals.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Parts of the Mountain West region have joined a number of state legislatures introducing tax credits to help low-income Americans. Utah could be the latest.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes will not seek reelection at the end of the year. But he says he won’t be a lame duck, and expects his last session to be his best. 

Renee Bright / KUER

Earlier this year, a woman who works at the Utah Legislature was talking to a lawmaker in the hallway at the Utah State Capitol. It was a professional conversation — they were talking about a bill, when the lawmaker started fiddling with a button on his jacket. It was starting to come loose, and he hinted that he’d like her to sew it back on for him.

West Jordan Passes Hate Crimes Resolution

Sep 14, 2017
Julia Ritchey / KUER

West Jordan City Council has passed a resolution urging the state to stiffen penalties for those who commit hate crimes.

Legislative Fiscal Analyst


Half a billion dollars. That’s the amount Utah estimates it forgoes every year in sales tax due to the state’s abundance of exemptions.

 

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Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill to overhaul the state’s liquor laws. Meanwhile, state regulators are already preparing to work through the changes.

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Utah may become the first state in the country to have a legal blood alcohol limit of .05 after the state legislature passed a bill to lower it from the current .08. But members of the restaurant community are trying to get Gov. Gary Herbert to veto the bill.

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Utah’s general legislative session ended midnight Thursday. During the past 45 days, lawmakers passed several bills dealing with serving and consuming alcoholic beverages. 

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Lawmakers gave final passage to a bill that would allow people as young as 18 years old to carry a concealed weapon.

Lee Hale / KUER

The Utah Legislature passed the lengthy bill to reform some of the state’s alcohol laws. It now needs only Governor Herbert’s signature to become law. 

NIcole Nixon

The Utah Legislature introduced and passed a bill this week that would allow the state to borrow an additional $100 million for the new state prison in Salt Lake City. But state representatives quickly received backlash as the bond did not receive any public hearing.

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Members of a state senate committee approved a bill today Monday that would automatically update a person’s voter registration when they renew a driver license.

istock / aijohn784

A state senate committee passed a bill Monday that would impose mandatory jail time for repeat DUI offenders.

File Photo

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, received national attention last year for running a resolution to declare pornography a public health hazard. He says this year’s Senate Bill 185 is a follow-up and would allow a person to sue a pornography distribution company for damages to a minor.

Nicole Nixon

When Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, unveiled House Bill 442 earlier this week, he quickly ran into pushback from restaurant groups.  Many had concerns about having a choice limited to keeping up 7-foot barriers known as ‘Zion Curtains’ or instituting a 10-foot child-free buffer zone around a bar, what’s now being referred to as a ‘Zion Moat.’

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Clean-air advocates called on Utah Governor Gary Herbert Monday to veto two bills they say would negatively impact air quality in the state.

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The long-awaited legislation that could bring down the barriers known as Zion Curtains was unveiled at the Utah Legislature Monday, but the restaurant walls are just one of many potential changes to Utah’s alcohol policy included the 144-page bill.

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A bill to end the requirement for concealed carry permits was passed out of a legislative committee on Wednesday. It came back from a tie vote that stalled its progress last week.

Lee Hale

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee is a Republican and a freshman legislator from Clearfield. She says the idea for her bill, HB 198, was brought to her by a group of young women who want to defend themselves from rape.  

Lee Hale

On Wednesday the Utah House of Representatives voted to ban the consideration of race or gender when filling judicial vacancies.

File Photo

Utah lawmakers are recommending a 3% boost in per-student spending to the state’s education budget.

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Utah lawmakers approved a bill Friday to lower Utah’s legal blood alcohol content level to curb drunk driving.

Julia Ritchey, KUER


Newly elected Rep. Logan Wilde is standing on the back of his Ford truck, cutting twine from bales of hay on a frosty day in December. His 15-year-old daughter Charlotte is at the wheel as they drive toward a mass of black cows huddled together in the pasture.  

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