Heidi Hatch, Greg Hughes, and Maura Carabello are back this week to review the political news you might’ve missed — and they’ve got a few things on their minds.
Utah’s two senators cast opposing votes on Friday regarding a proposed commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The first Republican challenger, Becky Edwards, has announced a run to unseat Sen. Mike Lee. And President Joe Biden wants to know whether COVID-19 could have started in a lab in Wuhan.
Heidi Hatch is joined by Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello to discuss these developments and other Utah political news you might have missed this week.
Heidi Hatch, Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello are ready to de-brief after another week of news.
Gov. Spencer Cox: Masks can be ditched the last week of school: He said schools will still have the option to require masks during the last week, but the state will no longer mandate the rule.
Cox wants to give away millions to encourage more Utahns to get vaccinated: Is this legal and is it a good idea? The announcement comes a day after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine established a lottery system to give five people $1 million each as a vaccination incentive.
“There is no amount of money that is too much to help us get an extra 5% or 10% of people vaccinated,” Cox said.
CDC says vaccinated can toss the mask: Why Now? In a move to send the country back toward pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places.
The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.
Liz Cheney voted out of House leadership: Rep. Blake Moore voted to keep her, Owens did not vote, Curtis and Stewart voted for change.
Sen. Mitt Romney backed Cheney, Lee would not weigh in on the issue because it was in the House.
Plus, Heidi’s whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C. for an exclusive sit down with Utah’s Senators, in the same room at the same time. Watch 2 News at 10 on Thursday, May 20.
Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello join 2News anchor Heidi Hatch to review this week in Utah politics.
They’ll review Gov. Spencer Cox’s first 100 days in office, the ongoing mask debate in Utah, Republicans’ opposition to President Joe Biden’s definition of “infrastructure,” and a war of words between Salt Lake Tribune cartoonist Pat Bagley and Utah’s congressional delegation over a cartoon criticism of Rep. Burgess Owens’ speech at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Take 2 host Heidi Hatch welcomes Maura Carabello and Greg Hughes as the state of Utah — and the nation — reflect on the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic changing everything about our daily lives.
This week’s political news:
President Joe Biden delivered his first primetime address to the nation on Thursday, setting a May 1 goal for all American adults to be made eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Utah has a target date of April 1 for that to happen, as 2News reported earlier this week.
American Rescue Plan is passed and signed, with individual checks to start this weekend. Utah’s entire Congressional delegation voted against it.
Does Utah need the money and, if yes, how should it be used?
Questions about a Latter-day Saint general authority’s political donations emerged this week: “These donations were made by our family using an online account, which is shared by our family and associated with my Name. I regret such an oversight on my part. I fully support the church’s policy related to political donations from church leaders.” – statement from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Daylight Saving Time this weekend: Utah passed a bill a year ago to end the clock change, but it’s still happening.
502 bills passed that may become laws. Are there any for-sure vetoes?
April 10: The statewide mask mandate is expected to be lifted (schools and 50+ gatherings not included)
The mental health day bill for school kids passed
Bail reform was repealed and now the work starts again
Constitutional carry or permit-less carry: Adults 21+ can conceal a firearm without a permit
No more picketing private homes
More doctors can recommend cannabis for up to 15 patients
Take 2 host Heidi Hatch is joined by former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello, founder of the Exoro Group, for this week’s Take 2 podcast.
Hughes joins remotely as he is in quarantine with COVID-19.
This week in the Utah Legislature:
- The Utah pioneer license plate: It’s been panned on social media. Do the people of Utah need it or want it?
- Budget: Lawmakers unveil $2.26 billion transportation and construction package with $1.4 billion in bonds for transit and construction projects. Senate Republicans are not convinced borrowing such a large amount of money is prudent.
“In a year when we’re flush with cash, you have to ask whether it makes sense to bond right now,” said Assistant Senate Majority Whip Kirk Cullimore (R-Sandy).
- Senate Bill 205: Is Dan McCay trying to gut “count my vote?”
- House Bill 388: Should 16-year-olds be able to vote in school board elections?
- The death of the transgender athlete bill
- Changing the name of Dixie State University: Will it happen?
- Where are we on police reform?
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill is praising a bill moving through the legislature that would define when police should not use deadly force. House Bill 237, sponsored by Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost (D-Salt Lake City), would specify that officers should not use deadly force on an individual who is suicidal and does not pose a threat to anyone else.
- Women’s Bills: Maura has a whole list of what we didn’t accomplish.
- House Bill 143 passes, meaning Utah will no longer suspend driver’s licenses for unpaid court debt
- Minimum wage: A bill that would incrementally increase Utah’s minimum wage to a peak of $15 an hour by July 2026 stalled in a House committee on Thursday. Republicans worried it would kill jobs and hurt the economy prevailed over Democrats who said it would help lift people out of poverty. Is this the right place for the conversation or should this be a national issue?
Take 2 is back after months away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A lot has changed and at the same time a lot has remained the same. It’s a new year but the same or similar problems remain.
We are still in the middle of a pandemic and the way forward is different depending on who you talk to.
Social unrest has bubbled up again the people demonstrating, and rioting have changed and the ones sitting home in disgust have swapped places.
We have a new governor, but a familiar face. A smooth transition of power.
On the flip side President Donald Trump today said he will not attend President-elect Biden’s inauguration, the first time a sitting president has forgone the tradition since 1869.
People still only like to hear people who agree with them and believe the same way. With that, a conversation we hope will help you see the other side and find some middle ground.
- Greg Hughes (R)
- Jim Dabakis (D)
Host: Heidi Hatch
Dabakis joins the conversation from an “undisclosed location” while Hughes is live with Hatch in the 2News Podcast Room.
It took no time at all once the call started to be at odds over whether the Vice Presidential debate at the University of Utah should take place considering President Trump’s recent positive COVID-19 test.
Dabakis says it should be canceled while Hughes is all for it going forward as planned.
What Hughes did say that even Dabakis couldn’t have agreed more with was his opinion that Trump should’ve allowed Presidential Democratic Candidate Joe Biden to talk in their debate that took place earlier in the week.
Other topics talked about are:
- GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE: Any minds changed?
- SPENCER COX TEAM: Tweeting out expenditures from the Jon Huntsman, Jr., campaign that proves he was behind his write-in campaign. Does it matter?
- JOHN DOUGALL COVID-19 AUDIT: Silicon Slopes – should they be under the microscope? We still don’t know who signed off on an $800,000 state expenditure on Hydroxychloriquine.
The trio talked about the three Salt Lake City police officers who sat down with 2News to talk about why they have no trust in their chief and mayor. Dozens of officers say they want to leave the department. Who’s at fault?
Additional topics discussed are:
- A record 911 new COVID-19 cases Thursday Friday ___?___ should we be freaking out, or carrying on with hand washing and what we are doing? No new deaths, hospitalizations remain unchanged. (most age 15-24) Many BYU and UVU students. Gov. Gary Herbert calls the case spike a “Red Flag warning.” Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox:
The new number of cases this week should be deeply concerning for all Utahns. The good news is that we are not yet stressing our healthcare facilities and we have beaten a wave like this once already…you know what to do!…
- Who should make decisions over when schools shutdown with COVID-19 cases?
- New airport: Who should we name it after?