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.
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Bail reform was repealed and now the work starts again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 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.
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.
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.