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.
What Utah political news did you miss this week? Heidi Hatch, Greg Hughes, and Maura Carabello are back to fill you in.
Utah Republican Party convention this Saturday includes a vote to censure Mitt Romney.
Where is Utah at with redistricting?
Utah is the fastest-growing state, according to 2020 Census data. What does that mean for the future?
First Lady Abby Cox launches her “Show Up Utah” initiative to combat what she’s calling an “empathy crisis.”
Joe Biden celebrates 100 days in office, but Utah Republicans don’t appear to be celebrating with him.
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 Datch welcomes guests Scott Howell and Greg Hughes to talk about recent issues in Utah and Utah politics. The trio discusses public lands after federal and local officials visited Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments. They ask talk about possible gun reforms after more mass shootings in the United States. Utah’s mask mandate is also a topic and the U.S. border with Mexico.
PUBLIC LANDS: Interior Secretary Haaland in Southern Utah touring Bears Ears and Grand Stair Case with the Governor and Congressional leaders. Her visit comes after President Biden signed and order on his first day in office to change boundaries and cut off fracking, drilling in the area.
Is this visit just for show? Or do we think there are real conversations happening. Secretary Deb Haaland is the 1st Native American to serve in the position. She Is a member of the Pueblo tribe and 35th generation New Mexican.
GUN REFORM: 2 Mass shootings Thursday in the US on Thursday.
One in Texas where an employee of a company shot 5 people, killing one- 4 critically injured. Then shot a trooper who was in pursuit of him.
In South Carolina: Former NFL player Phillip Adams fatally shot five people including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren before later killing himself, authorities said Thursday.
That morning President Biden signed executive action to start the process of enacting new gun laws. “He pushed back against arguments that these executive actions would infringe upon the right to bear arms. The changes include reviewing federal policy surrounding ghost guns — handmade or self-assembled firearms that don’t include serial numbers — and the use of stabilizing braces on pistols, a modification that turns the weapon into a short-barreled rifle.” – CBS
UTAH’S MASK MADATE ENDS ON SATURDAY:
Salt Lake City Mayor used executive powers to keep the mask mandate in place. Even adding possible $1000 fine and up to 6 months in jail if you refuse to wear a mask.
Salt Lake County Health Dept. Did not recommend a mandate. County buildings and parks require masks. Is the park mandate good policy for sports like softball and baseball?
Grand County keeps the Mandate through June 15th.
Will there be confusion and nastiness?
Masks are still required in schools- and where businesses ask that patrons where a mask.
Mike Lee visited last week
Burgess Owens was there this week
What is the best way forward? Can we all admit there is a problem?
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 welcomes Maura Carabello and Greg Hughes on the same day Utah’s legislative session ends. With a slew of things to talk about, including all that happens on the session’s last day, the trio tackle some of the highlights of what Utah’s lawmakers have been up to.
An English-only bill died on Utah’s political hill while another piece of legislation wants to get rid of mask mandates in the state. This happens just as Utah and other counties move to the “moderate” phase of COVID-19 precaution.
In a sobering reality of the virus, Rep. Jon Hawkins of Pleasant Grove joined the Utah House of Representatives from his hospital bed. Hawkins has been hospitalized with coronavirus since January and said he will have to learn to walk and swallow again.
“The things we all take for granted,” he said.
A new position will be created after the Legislature approved to help tackle those who are homeless. Is Utah having a “homeless czar” the right move? In addition, lawmakers put $50 million into housing
One bill with no controversy, a Senate law enforcement modification bill, passed the House unanimously Thursday that will put some oversight over BYU police.
There is also a big transportation bill that passes that includes $1 billion in one-time spending and borrows an additional $264 million.
Other topics include:
SB228 Social Media Controls: A bill passed Thursday would regulate how social media companies’ moderate content on their platforms. SL TRIB SB228 requires social media platforms to clearly state their content moderation policy, and inform Utah users within 24 hours when they run afoul of it. There’s also a requirement that those companies provide an appeal process for Utah account holders.
Bail Reform Passes: Greg’s work is complete? Or just beginning
Party Switching Bill: A bill limiting certain Utahns from switching parties before a primary election has passed the Senate and is on its way to Gov. Spencer Cox’s desk. House Bill 197, sponsored by Rep. Jordan Teuscher (R-South Jordan), passed the Senate 22 to 3. One Democrat joined Republicans in voting for it.
The bill specifies that for those who are already registered with a political party after March 31, any party affiliation change would not take effect until after that year’s primary election. Unaffiliated voters could register with a party at any time and still vote in the primary.
Two new Utah state parks: Raptor State Park and Lost Creek State Park by Echo Reservoir are here.
There is also a new law to studying flying car traffic.
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?
Host Heidi Hatch welcomes guests Maura Carabello and Greg Hughes to talk about the political issues impacting the state of Utah.
The tackle a variety of issues including a transgender sports bill aimed at eliminating transgender athletes from girls high school sports in Utah.
Another bill would require Utah students to learn about consent, coercion and sexual violence prevention behavior narrowly moved past its committee to head the larger legislative body.
Other topics the trio discusses includes a bill to limit Utah’s governor’s powers in a time of crisis, a rioting bill, Jason Chaffetz, new jobs for Ben McAdams and words from Rep. Burgess Owens about reparations for Black Americans.