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.
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Bail reform was repealed and now the work starts again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 host Heidi Hatch is joined by former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and political consultant Scott Howell in a new episode.
The big topic of discussion is President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. Early Friday, the Senate approved a measure that would let Democrats muscle Biden’s coronavirus relief plan through the chamber without Republican support. Vice President Kamala Harris was in the chair to cast the tie-breaking vote — her first.
Other topics discussed include:
- Sen. Mitt Romney’s Family Security ACT proposal to be added on to stimulus package: Romney released the Family Security Act on Thursday — which the senator plans to propose as an amendment included with the Democrats’ stimulus package. It would provide families up to $3,000 a year in financial support per child ages 6 to 17 and up to $4,200 a year for infants to age 6. Americans expecting a child would be able to start applying for the monthly benefit four months prior to their due date.
- Student loan crisis: Proposed relief with $50K student loan forgiveness.
- Catfishing Bill: The House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted Thursday afternoon to move forward with a bill intended to protect people who are impersonated online. House Bill 239, sponsored by Rep. Karianne Lisonbee (R-Clearfield), would criminalize the impersonation of someone else on the internet to harm, intimidate, or threaten.
- After a record number of police shootings in 2020, police reform bills face the first test in Utah Legislature. House Bill 84, sponsored by Rep. Angela Romero (D-Salt Lake City), would require law enforcement agencies to report data regarding use-of-force incidents to the Bureau of Criminal Identification.
- House Bill 162, sponsored by Rep Romero would require officers’ annual training to include a substantial focus on “mental health and other crisis intervention responses, arrest control, and de-escalation training.”
- Senate Bill 38, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Thatcher (R-West Valley), would tighten the certification and training requirements for police dogs and their handlers. That bill passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House of Representatives.
- Senate Bill 13, sponsored by Sen. Jani Iwamoto (D-Salt Lake City), would require providing information about officers under certain investigations to POST. It would also require providing information about officers to prospective employers if asked. That bill passed a Senate committee last week.
Congressman Chris Stewart sits down with 2News Anchor Heidi Hatch in a special edition of Take 2.
They talk about the federal government’s response to coronavirus, economic fears and a possible stimulus package giving each American adult $1,000.
Stewart has an alternate plan that may help those hardest hit. Click here to listen.