Utah Politics

The population in St. George, Utah could triple in the next 40 years, so leaders are planning a 140-mile pipeline to deliver water from the Colorado River. But is that the best plan for a desert city?

Utahns are trying to get six initiatives onto the 2018 ballot. Monday, we’re talking about these measures and the tension they inject into the process of making Utah’s laws.

Gage Skidmore / CC via Flickr

Wednesday, we’re talking about Senator Orrin Hatch’s decision to retire after more than 40 years in office. We’ll explore his career, his legacy, and ask who may run in his place.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Tuesday, Utah reporter Rod Decker is our guest. Decker just retired after 37 years at Utah CBS affiliate KUTV Channel 2, and he’s got a lot of stories to tell. Decker is known for his unique delivery and for jumping head-long into a story, whether it meant antics to get the viewers’ attention or blunt questions to get a politician’s answer. We’ll discuss his observations on Utah politics and culture, how serving in Vietnam made him skeptical of liberals, and the fact he doesn’t watch TV.

The Chaffetz Effect

Apr 24, 2017

Last week, Jason Chaffetz abruptly announced he would not seek reelection for Utah’s 3rd congressional district in 2018. He’s also said he might not even finish the term he started just 4 months ago, which has a number of Utah Republicans eyeing his seat. Monday, we’re talking about Chaffetz’s decision and its fallout. We’ll ask what it means for the congressional oversight committee Chaffetz chairs and how his next moves, including a possible run for governor, could affect Utah politics.

James Palinsad (http://bit.ly/2mSdcGv) via CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://bit.ly/1dsePQq)

Earlier this month, Utah legislators passed a bill that would give the state the strictest DUI law in the country. The Beehive State was the first to lower the legal blood-alcohol content from .1 to .08, and the new law, if signed by Governor Gary Herbert, would further lower that limit to .05. Supporters say doing so will reduce drunk driving and save lives, while opponents worry that the law will hurt restaurants, bars, and the state’s reputation. Thursday, we’ll hear from both sides.

brykmantra via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1LK1GCe

After Governor Gary Herbert’s plan for expanding Medicaid coverage died in the Utah state legislature this spring, six Republican leaders were tasked with devising a compromise plan. They met behind closed doors for months. The plan they recently unveiled, Utah Access Plus, called on health care providers to contribute $50 million in subsidies. That plan died Tuesday afternoon in a GOP meeting. Wednesday, we’ll discuss how the plan was crafted, why it failed, and ask what comes next Medicaid in Utah.