Utah Legislature | KUER 90.1

Utah Legislature

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Nicole Nixon / KUER

After failing to get additional funding for special education in Utah earlier this year, a state lawmaker is trying again. 

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Emily Means / KUER

Utah’s housing advocates are gearing up for a rise in evictions with the end of two federal pandemic assistance programs last week. 

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Brian Albers / KUER

Utah’s Democratic candidate for governor Chris Peterson added his voice to a growing number of Democrats in the state calling for a statewide mask mandate to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Renee Bright / KUER

Utah state Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, plans to sponsor a bill that would prohibit organizations, like political campaigns, from turning in voters’ ballots for them. 

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Courtesy of the Chris Wilson campaign

In a stunning upset, state Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, has been ousted by a political newcomer after 35 years in the Utah Senate and nearly 40 years in the state Legislature. 

The Utah State Capitol.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Organizations that advocate for local government informed a Utah legislative committee Wednesday that they have limited resources to address the coronavirus pandemic. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
KUER File Photo

The Utah Legislature’s Executive Appropriations Committee approved $850 million Wednesday in total budget cuts for the next fiscal year. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

The state Legislature is taking steps to ban police officers from using chokeholds or kneeling on someone’s neck as a form of restraint. 

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Steve Gehrke of the Utah Department of Corrections

A legislative subcommittee approved plans Wednesday to cut up to nearly $45 million in funding for Utah’s courts and Department of Corrections. 

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Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday evening, May 27, 2020

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Brian Albers / KUER

Utah lawmakers met Wednesday to discuss plans to cut up to $1.3 billion out of the state’s budget for the next fiscal year.

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Brian Albers / KUER

Wednesday morning, May 13, 2020

Screenshot of Kirk Cullimore speaking during the Utah Legislature's virtual meeting
Emily Means / KUER

The Utah Legislature passed a bill during Thursday’s special session that protects businesses and people from civil lawsuits, if someone thinks they caught COVID-19 from a person or business. 

Photo of a laptop computer screen showing a video conference call
Courtesy of Candice Pierucci

Normally, the sound of chimes in the Capitol calls representatives to the House chamber to debate and vote on bills. Now, it brings them to their computers. 

Photo of two men in suits greeting one another with an elbow bump. One man is wearing a mask while the other holds a mask in his hand.
Jeffrey Allred / Deseret News Pool Photo

At the beginning of March, before Utah had any confirmed coronavirus cases, Gov. Gary Herbert stood at a podium in the state’s emergency operations center in the basement of the Capitol. He had an announcement. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

The Utah Legislature passed a bill Friday granting immunity from lawsuits to health care providers that give their patients experimental drugs to treat diseases causing a public health emergency. The immunity also covers any medication used for a different purpose than the Food and Drug Administration has approved it for. 

Screenshot of lawmakers wearing masks at dais.

Updated 5:52 p.m. MDT 4/16/2020

The governor would have to notify legislative leadership of an executive action during a pandemic at least 48 hours before they announce it, under a new bill passed by the Utah House of Representatives Thursday. 

Photo of capitol facade.
Brian Albers / KUER

The Utah Legislature’s first-ever virtual special session kicks off Thursday morning. There won’t be live public comment, but Utahns can submit their thoughts on bills through the Legislature’s website directly to their representatives or to all lawmakers. 

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Austen Diamond for KUER

Legislative leaders announced Monday night they have called the Utah legislature into a special session set to begin Thursday morning. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol building and a branch of cherry blossoms
Roddy Nikpour / KUER

The Utah Legislature plans to call itself into special session late this week to potentially make changes to local stay at home orders, expand vote by mail, make budget adjustments and appropriate federal aid to fight coronavirus. 

Photo of Gov. Gary Herbert
File photo / KUER

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed 125 bills into law Monday, including a bill to to spend more than $16 million in state money to expand mental healthcare and one banning the prosecution of minors in certain instances. 

Herbert has now signed 459 of the 510 bills passed in the 2020 legislative session.

Man in a suit and red tie stands at podium with the Utah state seal.
Pool Photo

Gov. Gary Herbert signed 151 bills Saturday, including a $10 million affordable housing bill, a bill essentially decriminalizing polygamy and a controversial bill to ban elective abortions should Roe v. Wade be overturned. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol building at night
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah's legislative session wrapped up Thursday night. Lawmakers passed a $20 billion budget and 510 bills over the past 45 days. 

Photo of the Utah Capitol building at night
Brian Albers / KUER

The Utah Legislature wrapped up its 2020 legislative session Thursday night — defined by big changes to education funding, debates over abortion bills and polygamy, a global pandemic and a tight general fund that left many bills unfunded. 

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Sonja Hutson / KUER

A bill banning all elective abortions, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, passed the Utah Legislature Thursday after the House of Representatives approved it 51-21.

Photo of the inside of the Utah Capitol building.
KUER file

There’s less than a week left in Utah’s legislative session, which means lawmakers are busy trying to pass bills before the clock runs out at midnight Thursday, Mar. 12. 

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Wikimedia Commons

Friday evening, March 6, 2020

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Brian Grimmett / KUER

Conviction Integrity Units have been popping up in prosecutors' offices across the country: California, Texas and Salt Lake County to name a few. The units review convictions for new or non-disclosed evidence and can recommend that prosecutors try to vacate the conviction or modify the sentence. 

Photo of a man sitting behind a wooden desk, in front of several people sitting behind a large wooden desk.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

In an attempt to address the state’s “structural imbalance” of tax revenue, a state Senate committee approved a constitutional amendment Thursday that would allow money earmarked for education to be spent to “support children and to support individuals with a disability.” 

Photo of Curt Bramble and Mary Taylor presenting the bill.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

A Utah bill requiring the burial or cremation of fetuses would now only apply to abortions, not miscarriages, after changes made on the House floor Wednesday morning.