federal government

Salt lake city government

“Devastating”: school meals programs in danger

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A significant impact from the lack of pandemic funding could be felt in canteens across the country and right here in Utah.

This funding included waivers for school lunch programs.

The loss of these waivers is to local school districts.

The federal government has until Friday to decide whether it wants to keep the pandemic waivers for school meals.

For now, it is not included in the $1.5 trillion spending bill.

The Salt Lake City School District and Granite Schools both said there would be serious consequences if this is not continued.

The spending plan approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday is missing a key element according to the School Nutrition Association; one that some Utah school districts say will leave them scrambling.

“It will be devastating,” said Kelly Orton, child nutrition director for the Salt Lake City School District.

School districts like the Salt Lake City School District will face serious consequences if the federal government removes pandemic waivers for school lunch programs.

“We won’t have the funds to support the rising cost of fuel and labor and everything that’s going on around us,” Orton said.

The waivers allowed schools to provide free meals to all students and expand meal services in communities.

Orton said without an extension, schools would cut summer lunch programs and face major problems.

“As a result, school districts across the country, including the Salt Lake School District, are going to have to seek out our own taxpayers, our own funding through school districts, and pull that funding out of textbooks and schools,” Orton said.

Ben Horsley of Granite Schools said there could also be issues.

“Yes and no,” Horsley said. “This is going to impact our families and again, eligible families will still be able to receive free or reduced price lunches. All they have to do is complete the application.

The federal program did not require an application, and as it stands, it expires on June 30.

Orton said he and state superintendents are calling on community members for help.

Child nutrition staff in Salt Lake schools are 30% understaffed.

“We really need manpower,” Orton said. “We need people to help serve lunch. We don’t have enough people to serve lunch. We are closing our service lines because we don’t have enough staff. So if we had people from the community to help us serve lunch, that would help us tremendously. »

Orton said he and his colleagues want Congress to extend the program for at least another year so they can put a plan in place.

From now on, if the program expires, Orton said school lunch prices could be $5 per meal and funds for teachers, textbooks and technology will have to be cut.

Locally, there are always free and reduced lunches offered, however, districts have said that these meals will cost them, the district itself, more, and they will have to figure out how to pay for them as gas is more expensive, food is more expensive and there is a labor shortage.

If you are interested in working in school cafeterias in Salt Lake City, click here.

For Granite Schools, click here.

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Salt lake city government

Watch Big Brother | Hits and misses | Salt Lake City

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Watch big brother
There’s the legalese, and then there’s the legislature creatively using the English language to make them seem smarter than the average bear. And sure enough, almost all of their Acts this session sent the message that, yes, they’re smarter than you, they know better than you, and you better swallow it all. Let’s first talk about how something might “involve the principles of federalism or state sovereignty”, which The Salt Lake Grandstand fortunately put in quotes. In the real world, to implicate means to show that something or someone is involved in a criminal prosecution. Are the principles of federalism and state sovereignty doing something criminal? That’s not what Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, meant with his bill, HB209, which seeks to police the federal government. And they’re going to ask a third party to do that “check” and decide what exactly those principles of federalism are, if not someone’s questionable interpretation of the Constitution.


fire away
We’re talking about gun laws again and the multitude of ways “the militia” has come to mean anyone, anytime, with any weapon and doing anything with it. . What happened was that Michael Clara, 58, fired at a truck that drove away after hitting his 4Runner, KSL reported. Clara, an outspoken and pompous political activist, said he was defending himself, believing his life was in danger. Yeah, his bullets totally missed the fleeing truck but nearly killed a young girl in the back seat of another vehicle. “Although it disturbs me to hear the story of a young child who was nearly killed in the back seat of his car while traveling down the street, my hands are tied by the demands imposed by the legislature in the new law,” a judge said. That’s because Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, literally cut and pasted Florida’s self-defense law, where “hold your ground” now means “prepare to die.”


call of spades
As the Republican Party turns into anarchic fascism, Utah Senator Mitt Romney stands firm with the old guard, you know, the moral ones. “I have to think anybody who sat down with white nationalists and spoke at their conference was definitely missing a few IQ points,” Romney told CNN. This after he called Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, and Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, “morons” because they attended America’s first political action conference amid cheers frenzied “Putin! Putin!” Romney also voted twice to impeach the former US president and faced backlash from the conservative right in Utah. But he can handle it, for now. He won’t run again until 2024, so he has some time to curry favor with the Utah right and make sure he doesn’t fall into the hands of the GOP fringe.

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Salt lake city government

COVID-19: More than 5.9 million vaccines have been distributed in Utah. That’s how much the state actually handed out


It has now been 62 weeks since the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine were sent to states, kicking off the biggest vaccination campaign in human history. As of February 24, 688,186,745 doses of vaccine have been sent across the country, equivalent to 209.7% of the US population.

While the initial distribution of the vaccine took longer than federal projections indicated, in recent months the United States has made great leaps in the global race to administer the vaccines – and some states are walking away. come out much better than others. Under the current system, led by the White House COVID-19 Response Team, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends states limited shipments of vaccine along with funds and instructs them to distribute the vaccine in accordance relatively loose federal guidelines.

Each state has developed its own deployment plan, prioritizing different age groups and categories of essential workers. The combination of policy and logistical challenges across the country has resulted in wide variations between states in both the percentage of vaccines administered and the percentage of population vaccinated.

In Utah, 84.8% of allocated vaccines were administered to residents as of Feb. 24, which is higher than the national average of 80.2% and the eighth-largest share of any state.

Administered doses amount to 157.9% of the state’s population, which is lower than the national figure of 168.1% and the 25th-largest share of any state.

While a majority of Americans are still unvaccinated due to a lack of supply, some are not considering getting a vaccine at all. According to a US Census Bureau survey, 64.4% of US adults 18 and older who have not yet received the vaccine are unlikely or definitely not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the future. In Utah, 80.8% of adults who have not yet received the vaccine say they are unlikely or definitely not going to receive a vaccine in the future, the second highest share of any state. The most commonly cited reason for not wanting a vaccine is fear of possible side effects. Other commonly cited reasons include believing they don’t need a vaccine, not trusting the government, and thinking COVID-19 isn’t a big threat.

To determine how states are doing with rolling out the vaccine, 24/7 Wall St. looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked by the number of vaccines administered in a state as a percentage of the number of vaccines distributed to that state by the federal government as of February 24. Data on confirmed COVID-19 cases as of February 24 came from various states and local health departments and were adjusted for population using data from the US Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Data on the percentage of adults who are unlikely or definitely not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and their reasons for not receiving one come from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, conducted from December 29, 2021 to January 10, 2022.

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Salt lake city government

Here’s how many COVID-19 vaccines Utah has received so far


It has now been 62 weeks since the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine were sent to states, kicking off the biggest vaccination campaign in human history. As of February 22, the United States has sent 686,948,505 doses of the vaccine across the country, equivalent to 209.3% of the American population.

While the initial distribution of the vaccine took longer than federal projections indicated, in recent months the United States has made great leaps in the global race to administer the vaccines – and some states are walking away. come out much better than others. Under the current system, led by the White House COVID-19 Response Team, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends states limited shipments of vaccine along with funds and instructs them to distribute the vaccine in accordance relatively loose federal guidelines. The distribution of the vaccine is based on the size of the adult population in each state, which – according to some experts – can create inequalities in states where the spread of COVID-19 is worse and where a larger share of the population is. at risk.

Utah has received a total of 5,957,950 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 22. Adjusted for population, Utah received 185,839.9 vaccines per 100,000 people, less than the national average of 209,282.7 vaccines per 100,000 Americans and 11th fewest of all states. .

While Utah has so far received fewer vaccines per capita than the nation as a whole, the state has a greater need for vaccines than the rest of the country. As of Feb. 22, there were 28,610.0 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in Utah — higher than the national rate of 23,648.0 cases per 100,000 Americans and the fifth highest of the 50 states.

While the federal government distributes vaccines to states, it is up to state governments to administer the vaccine, which creates variations in both the percentage of vaccines that have been administered and the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated. In Utah, 84.7% of allocated vaccines were administered to residents, which is higher than the national average of 80.2% and the 10th highest share of any state.

Vaccines administered represent 157.4% of the state’s population, which is lower than the national figure of 167.8% and the 25th-largest share of any state.

While a majority of Americans are still unvaccinated due to a lack of supply, some are not considering getting a vaccine at all. According to a US Census Bureau survey, 64.4% of US adults 18 and older who have not yet received the vaccine are unlikely or definitely not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the future. In Utah, 80.8% of adults who have not yet received the vaccine say they are unlikely or definitely not going to receive a vaccine in the future, the second highest share of any state. The most commonly cited reason for not wanting a vaccine was fear of possible side effects. Other commonly cited reasons include believing they don’t need a vaccine, not trusting the government, and thinking COVID-19 isn’t a big threat.

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Salt lake city government

Utah legislature decisions reflect tensions between local and state government

The Utah State Capitol Building reflects sunlight. Recent legislative decisions targeting education and public health reflect a pattern of disagreement between state and local government. (Decker Westenburg)

Recent decisions by the Utah legislature targeting education and public health reflect a pattern of disagreement between state and local government.

The Utah legislature ended mask mandates in Salt Lake and Summit counties from Jan. 21 to SJR3, despite conflicting views from local leaders. Earlier this month, Governor Spencer Cox signed into law HB183 which suspended the “test to stay” requirement in public schools and said instead that local leaders make the final decision on whether a school district becomes remote.

Cities and local governments are “creatures” of the state and have the legislature’s permission to make decisions, said University of Utah political science professor Dave Buhler.

“But if the legislature doesn’t like the way it wields its power, it can step in and change the rules,” Buhler said.

Buhler has seen many examples throughout his political career of conflicting decisions between the local and state level. As a state senator, he introduced bills to override city council decisions he disliked. But a few years later, as a member of the Salt Lake City Council, he had a different view and thought: “The Legislature leaves us alone, we get it.

He shared an old saying in politics: “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”

Angela Dunn, MD, is executive director of the Salt Lake County Health Department. Dunn acknowledged lawmakers had the power to overturn the county’s mask mandate in a Jan. 20 interview with KSL NewsRadio.

“I think it’s unfortunate given their priority of keeping control at the local level for the COVID response,” she said.

According to Buhler, it is not an excess of state power for the legislature to terminate local public health orders because it has the power to do so.

“It’s not that unusual, but I feel like the legislature over time has become more and more assertive, both about local governments and in its dealings with the state executive. “, did he declare.

Local control “railing”

HB183 sponsor rep Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, said local control is extremely important to him, but as a state legislator, it’s part of his job to put up “guardrails.” around him. SB107, signed into law in March 2021, had already had heads of state approve a district’s request to go remotely. The new law gives additional procedures for districts to follow and requires approval from the Governor, Speaker of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and State Superintendent before logging on.

Teuscher said school districts did not have enough COVID-19 tests to implement testing to stay through the omicron spike when required by law. Heads of state decided to suspend the test to remain in response to these concerns. If the districts want to test to stay, they can, but there is no longer an obligation.

“So in some ways it made local control over the test to stay and then just set the parameters to how someone would request remote days,” he said.

But state involvement in local issues like education and public health is a concern for some.

“I think it’s more political than anything else,” said Steven Sylvester, a political science professor at Utah Valley University.

Parents already have a democracy — school boards and city councils — where they can voice their objections, Sylvester said. “Why does the state need to get involved? »

According to Adam Brown, a BYU political science professor who studies state constitutional politics, there is no doubt that the legislature has the power to set broad policies at the local level. For example, states have independent authority while cities, counties, and school districts only have delegated state powers. States have their own constitutions, cities do not.

But HB183 raised constitutionality issues because it gave the Speaker of the House and the Speaker of the Senate vetoes over certain school district decisions, even though they don’t have the executive power to do so under the constitution of the state.

“The Utah Constitution gives the President and the Speaker of the Senate the power to organize the business of their respective chambers, but not to make binding decisions on their own authority,” Brown said. tweeted. “Changing that would presumably require an amendment to the Utah Constitution, not just a law.”

Attorneys Brent D. Wride and Paul C. Burke called on Governor Cox to veto HB183 in an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune and claimed he violated Utah’s separation of powers doctrine by assigning powers executives to legislative officers.

“The constitutional flaw in House Bill 183 is that it violates our state’s constitution by granting legislative officers the power to interpret and apply the law,” they wrote.

In response, Teuscher and prosecution sponsor Senator Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, wrote in another op-ed that Article III of the Utah Constitution requires the legislature to establish and maintain the education system. public: the system will be, and any exceptions that might apply.

National model

The United States and Utah flags flutter in the wind at the Utah State Capitol. Some of Utah’s political science professors view the legislature’s involvement in local issues as a broader pattern both in the state and nationwide. (Emma Gadesky)

Some of Utah’s political science professors view the legislature’s involvement in local issues as a broader pattern both in the state and nationwide.

“Whenever the federal government proposes an action that would force states to follow a particular course, you can expect Utah lawmakers to kick and shout and insist on the virtue of local control,” Brown said.

But in Utah, that faith in local control does not extend to restricting the legislature’s control over cities, counties and school districts, he said: ‘And maybe that is logically inconsistent.”

Josh McCrain, a professor of political science at the University of Utah, said state interference in local issues such as education has no basis in real conservatism. It’s counterintuitive to classic party beliefs like individual choice, freedom and small government, he said.

In 2018, Utahans voted to legalize medical marijuana in Proposition 2. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, state lawmakers replaced the voter-approved proposition with the Cannabis Act. Utah Medical. Democrats have argued that the legislature should not overrule voters who approved the ballot initiative the previous month.

Further overbreadth issues arose after former Governor Gary Herbert signed into law HB3005 in May 2020. The law required the governor to notify certain members of the legislature before declaring a state of emergency. Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, worried the legislature was overstepping the bounds and said it seemed unnecessary and excessive, The Daily Universe reported.

Beyond Utah, state governments have a history of getting involved in social issues at the local level. In North Carolina, McCrain said some cities were willing to have progressive gender bathroom policies, but the Republican state government disagreed.

Utah lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate are 78 percent Republican and 22 percent Democrat, but the Salt Lake area is more liberal. (Made with Adobe Illustrator by Emma Gadeski)

North Carolina passed House Bill 2 in 2016, which required people in public buildings to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate, regardless of their gender identity. This led to boycotts and cost the state millions in lost tourist revenue.

“It had a massive economic backlash because a ton of industry left the state after that, which of course is something that can happen at any time,” McCrain said.

Utah’s legislature is 78% Republican in 2022, but Salt Lake is more liberal. In 2020, 53.6% of Salt Lake County voted for President Joe Biden in the presidential election, compared to 37.6% statewide.

McCrain said it’s important for Utah to control what happens in Salt Lake City because it’s the “economic powerhouse” of the state.

“We usually see this in contexts where it’s a conservative state government and a city, which are usually very liberal,” he said.

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Utah economy

Why Utah Lawmakers Passed This Tax Cut Package | Opinion

At the start of the 2022 general legislative session, the legislature was determined to help Utahns by leaving more of their hard-earned money where it belongs: in their family budgets.

Now, halfway through the 45-day session, the House, Senate and Governor have delivered on that commitment through a bipartisan tax cut bill.

Tax policy is one of the most complex issues we face on Capitol Hill. Every adjustment has a ripple effect triggering a series of outcomes, many of which are difficult to predict. Cut taxes too much too quickly and an increase may be needed later. Nobody wants that.

On the other hand, if you collect more than you need for too long, the government inevitably increases its “needs” to match its means.

Determining that sweet spot of fiscal policy is even more complicated today, as the federal government prints money with reckless abandon and pumps it into our state, making it difficult to distinguish between real economic growth and economic growth. ‘inflation.

Utah is well positioned to make tax cuts, but those cuts must be made carefully so that we don’t make long-term decisions based on short-term revenue increases. Over the past decade, Utah has experienced significant economic growth, which has resulted in increased tax revenue. Per capita tax revenue fell from $814 in 2011 to $1,828 last year. This has allowed our state to increase education funding by a record amount while bolstering our rainy day fund and investing in roads, transit, and generational projects like the Inner Harbor and the peak of the mountain.

While the government can always find something to do with taxpayers’ money, there is an important benefit to keeping those funds in the hands of those who earned them, rather than in government coffers.

This session’s tax relief comes in three parts.

Tax rate reduction

First, the legislator reduced the income tax rate to 4.85%. By design, this is a modest reduction that applies equally to all taxpayers. While this is the fairest way to implement tax relief, it does not by itself achieve all of our policy goals.

Earned income tax credit

We’ve also targeted those most in need with an earned income tax credit. Here’s how it works: Utahans who earn less than $57,414 a year will be eligible for a 15% state match of the federal earned income tax credit.

The EITC offers those who earn the least a benefit that makes a real difference to their budget. The Utah Legislative Tax Analyst estimates that the average Utah EITC recipient will save about $200.

Social Security income tax credit

The third element of the plan is a cut in Social Security taxes, which builds on the credit we passed last year. Under the new plan, all Social Security income is tax-exempt for those earning up to $37,000 for individuals and $62,000 for those filing jointly.

The result: More people who depend on Social Security benefits and live on fixed incomes will be eligible for tax relief.

Critics of the tax reform plan were either premature in their rejection or deliberately considered only part of the overall effort. Considering all of the tax cuts shows that lawmakers are committed to lowering the tax burden for all Utahans and targeting the relief to those who need it most.

It should also be noted that these changes follow tax cuts passed by the Legislature just a year ago. Good tax reform rarely comes in one shiny package in a single year.

Utah has a long history of good tax policy that benefits Utahans and our economy. This bill continues that tradition, and in the future we will continue to look for ways to put more money back in your pockets.

Just this week, Utah was ranked at the top of another major publication’s economic rankings, and things are about to get even better.

Brad Wilson, a resident of Kaysville, is the Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives.

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Salt lake city government

Feds dismiss lawsuit against BYU over school’s treatment of LGBTQ students

This is not the outcome that LGBTQ students had hoped for.

After months of investigation, the US Department of Education has dismissed a complaint filed against Brigham Young University over the private religious school’s treatment of its gay students.

In a letter this week, investigators said the school was rightly exempt from federal laws prohibiting gender discrimination. The university will be allowed to continue disciplining those who break its rules prohibiting same-sex relations.

“I wanted to believe something would come out of it,” said Madi Hawes, a BYU sophomore who is bisexual. “I had hope, but that was it, hope.”

Disappointment spread through the LGBTQ student community on Thursday. Many saw the move as the latest in a string of recent events they see as targeting those who are gay at the school, run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some said on Twitter that they don’t know how to move forward now. A few said the decision brought them to tears.

Hawes added: “We knew the church, and therefore our school, was OK to discriminate against us. But now the government has approved it. We do not agree.

BYU, however, released a statement on Thursday, announcing the decision to drop the investigation. He said he had foreseen that he would be absolved. And some joined in patting the school on the back for what they saw as a victory. That includes U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, who defended the decision on Twitter as a triumph for “religious freedom and higher education”.

The school said the dismissal affirms “the freedom to operate a religious university without sacrificing distinctive religious beliefs.”

Federal investigators were first alerted to a possible problem at the school after a complaint was filed in response to changes to the school’s strict honor code in the spring of 2020.

At the time, the university removed a controversial section of the rules that prohibited “homosexual behavior”. Some students celebrated, coming out openly queer after, they said, some school officials told them it was OK. But a few weeks later, the school clarified that same-sex partnerships would still be banned, even though the prohibition was no longer expressly written.

Those who act against this instruction by holding hands or kissing, according to the administrators, could continue to be sanctioned. LGBTQ students protested, with some saying they felt cheated into coming out.

The investigation, led by the Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education, sought to determine whether such actions by BYU are permitted because it is a private school or whether they violate the rights of LGBTQ students, disciplining them more harshly than their heterosexual peers. who do not suffer the same consequences for similar romantic behavior.

The department’s letter said that because BYU had 15 approved exemptions to Title IX, the federal law that protects against gender discrimination in schools, it was acting within its rights. Investigators also noted that as such they had no authority to investigate further.

They ended the letter by noting that BYU cannot “harass, coerce, intimidate, discriminate against, or retaliate against any individual” who filed the complaint. They also said the school could still face federal prosecution, even if a violation was not found.

LGBTQ student reaction

For many, the decision seems to be the end of the road.

“I don’t know how long we’ll let ‘religious freedom’ supersede gay rights,” said Zachary Ibarra, a gay Latter-day Saint who graduated from BYU in 2018. “I shouldn’t be surprised, but this is always deeply disappointing. When will the rights of gay students be respected by law without exception? »

Some had seen the federal inquiry as a chance for change and for gay students to be accepted into school.

This type of federal review is rare and usually only occurs in places where there are believed to be potential systemic or serious issues. The students say they believed it was happening at BYU and expected the government to intervene to end the discrimination.

Now, they say, they are disappointed but not surprised.

“The Department of Education’s decision is almost as heartbreaking as BYU’s coordinated campaign against its gay students,” said Cal Burke, a recent BYU student who is gay.

Last year, a professor publicly referred to Burke as a Book of Mormon term associated with an antichrist. The school declined to say whether it would take action against the teacher. He thinks BYU picks and chooses what it wants to enforce, creating an especially difficult environment for LGBTQ students who don’t know if they’ll be reported for something minor.

But Burke said Thursday he did not plan to end the fight.

“We gay students will never give up because we are right and God is on our side,” he said. “We will not give up until all gay Latter-day Saints are free, safe, and loved.”

(Isaac Hale | Special for The Tribune) People join in for a Utah Pride Week party on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

The investigation into BYU, which was officially opened in October last year, came after the school has repeatedly been in the national spotlight over the past two years for its treatment of LGBTQ students. and which many have rejected.

Last year, several students signed a lawsuit, alleging they were discriminated against because of their identity. And a group of students spoke out against the school’s policy by lighting up the iconic “Y” on the mountain above BYU in rainbow colors.

In response, the university has now banned protests on that property.

And, last fall, a high-ranking LDS Church apostle came to campus and criticized faculty members and students who challenge the faith’s teachings on same-sex marriage. Leader Jeffrey Holland said they should instead take up their intellectual “muskets” to uphold “the doctrine of the family and…marriage as a union of one man and one woman”.

It’s been a back-and-forth that Burke says won’t end with this decision by federal investigators.

Hawes also added, “It’s not an exemption from a privilege like scholarships or internship opportunities, it’s an exemption from the human right to a safe environment.” And she plans to continue to raise this concern.

Religious exemptions

The Salt Lake Tribune submitted a public records request for a copy of the complaint and other documents. That’s still pending, but in response, a department official called the school’s investigation “extensive” and “systemic,” saying there were hundreds of pages of documents collected.

It is unclear what was collected by investigators and why so much was invested in an investigation that was quickly closed. The Ministry of Education only confirmed on Thursday that the case had been closed.

While glad it was opened, attorney Paul Southwick guessed it wouldn’t amount to any action against BYU.

Southwick is the director of the Religious Exemption Accountability Project, which is leading the lawsuit against BYU and other religious schools on Title IX. They are pushing for private schools not to have exemptions from the law as long as they accept federal funding, which BYU does with student grants and loans.

He said he has seen other cases in religious schools that were quickly closed because they have exemptions.

On Thursday, he called the result “disappointing and difficult for students hoping for help from their government, but not unexpected in light of the broad religious exemption that is part of Title IX.”

(George Frey | Special for The Tribune) Students and others gather outside the Ernest L. Wilkinson Student Center on the Brigham Young University campus to protest BYU’s reversal of a recently announced policy change on LGBTQ students on March 5, 2020, in Prov.

BYU began receiving Title IX religious exemptions in 1976, becoming the first school to do so and leading the charge for private universities across the country to follow.

In a strongly worded letter to the then-Department of Education, then-BYU President Dallin Oaks bristled at the fact that the federal government had the power to control or limit BYU, according to an article on Title IX in Higher Education from the Kansas Law Review.

These exemptions continue to apply at BYU today, among 15 total exemptions the school has now related to sexuality and gender expression.

Its protected actions include the ability to enforce its own preferences when recruiting and admitting students and granting financial aid. For example, if a student is openly gay, BYU is allowed by law to deny them a scholarship. The school may also limit toilet use based on the sex assigned at birth.

In its Thursday statement, BYU noted, “Title IX also states that it ‘does not apply’ to a religious institution to the extent that the requirements of Title IX are inconsistent with the organization’s religious principles. nun who controls the institution. BYU has long recognized that it is subject to Title IX, and over the years the OCR has recognized the university’s religious exemption on certain matters.

‘Agree to respect’

The university’s current president, Kevin Worthen, had written in a letter to the Department of Education last November, shortly after receiving the notice of investigation, that all students were held to the same honor code.

“All BYU students, faculty, administrators, and staff,” he wrote, “agree to the honor code of the Church’s educational system and thereby ‘voluntarily pledge to lead their lives in accordance with the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Removing the section on “homosexual behavior” in February 2020 does not matter. The rule can still be enforced, he said. It was supported by the dismissal of the complaint.

The school president also wrote that he cannot be forced to implement policies “that contradict the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ concerning the distinction between men and women, the eternal nature of gender or God’s laws of chastity and marriage”.

He says the school will welcome and support all students, including those who are LGBTQ, as long as they “agree to live by the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ.”

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU Chairman Kevin J. Worthen speaks at the Marriott Center Thursday, April 21, 2016.

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Salt lake city government

Today’s local Utah news headlines – Tuesday evening, February 8, 2022

Tuesday, February 8, 2022


Utah Cannabinoid Product Board takes a look at delta-8 THC

Some patient advocates are sounding the alarm about a cannabis ingredient because of its potential health effects. Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring substance in cannabis that appears in small amounts. While it can still get you high, it’s less powerful than the better known Delta-9. But federal regulators have not yet studied or approved delta 8. Dr. Perry Fine of the Utah Cannabinoid Product Board said at this time that they “do not support any therapeutic use of analog cannabis products.” The council plans to work with state legislators and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food moving forward. Read the full story. — Ivana Martinez

Governor Spencer Cox tries his hand at substitute teaching

Utah Governor Spencer Cox tried his hand at something a little different on Tuesday. coxswain tweeted he was working as a substitute teacher for three periods of 8th grade history and said “pray for me”. The teaching dive comes about a week after he approved 30 hours of paid leave for state employees in an effort to help with Utah’s surrogate shortage amid the ongoing pandemic. Health officials announced just 1,300 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That’s down from 6,600 two weeks ago. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Prominent LDS Church leader apologizes for race comments

A prominent leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is under fire for controversial statements. Speaking at a youth meeting on Sunday, Brad Wilcox, counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, commented on the faith’s old ban on black people holding the priesthood. “Maybe instead of saying why black people had to wait until 1978,” he said, “maybe we should ask why white people and other races had to wait until 1829?” The Church teaches that the priesthood was then restored to Joseph Smith. Wilcox apologized Monday night on Facebook, saying his post “did NOT go through” as he intended. Wilcox’s employer, Brigham Young University, released a statement on Twitter, saying they are “deeply concerned” by what he said but believe he will learn from it. — Lexi Peery

Salt Lake City native sets Olympic world record

Salt Lake City native Nathan Chen set a world record Monday at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Now he is one good free skate away from an Olympic gold medal. The figure skater earned a score of 113.97 in the men’s short program. This is more than two points higher than the previous record. Chen struggled in his short program at the 2018 Winter Olympics and placed fifth overall. He will go for the Olympic title live in prime time on Wednesday night. — Caroline Ballard

Utah hospital faces Medicare penalties over performance metrics

Six Utah hospitals — located in Sandy, Layton, Logan, Ogden and Riverton — are in the works penalized by health insurance for high complication rates in patients according to data from Kaiser Health News. The Affordable Care Act allows the federal government to reduce small amounts of funding for high readmission rates or patient injuries. All six hospitals in the state will see a 1% reduction in Medicare payments through the end of the fiscal year. Twenty Utah hospitals were also penalized due to high readmission rates. These discounts can cost up to 3% per patient. — Ross Terrell

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Today’s Local Utah News Headlines – Monday Evening, January 24, 2022

Monday evening, January 24, 2022


Utah decides how to spend its share of national opioid settlement money

Utah is set to receive more than $300 million over the next two decades as part of a nationwide opioid settlement. State advocates and lawmakers met Monday to strategize how that money will be used in Utah. David Litvack of the state Department of Social Services said he was working with the attorney general’s office on drafting a plan of priorities for distributing the funds. Adam Cohen, of Odyssey House in Salt Lake City, suggested the money could help his organization expand patient access to services and retain and recruit staff. Read the full story. —Ivana Martinez

Bill would allow lawmakers not to report certain types of data they receive

Utah lawmakers are considering changing the type of non-monetary contributions political candidates should disclose. A bill pending in the Legislative Assembly stipulates that candidates would not have to divulge data, such as the results of a poll, which would be provided to them if they did not order it. But if they solicited this information, they should report it as an in-kind donation to their campaign. The bill’s sponsor said it would make it easier to share useful information that helps politicians craft better policies. Critics argue that this could allow candidates to indirectly request data and not have to report it. The legislation passed its first committee on Monday and is now heading to the floor of the House. — Sonja Hutson

Utah sees nearly 20,000 new COVID cases

The spike in COVID cases continued over the weekend in Utah. The state Department of Health said the total for the past three days was nearly 22,000. There are currently 738 people hospitalized with the disease and 87% of intensive care beds in Utah are full. More than a third of people in intensive care are COVID patients. Officials said another 33 people died in 11 counties across the state. — Caroline Ballard

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

UVU teachers censor the school for its COVID response

Professors at Utah Valley University released a letter on Monday publicly censuring the school’s handling of the COVID pandemic. In a letter to the state Board of Higher Education, the instructors called the school’s COVID policies weak and unenforceable. They complained that the rules are suitable for unmasked and unvaccinated people. They are calling for mandatory masking on the Orem campus to help slow the spread of the virus. Teachers have also asked to be able to rely more on virtual teaching without fear of retaliation from the school. UVU had six days this month with more than 110 new cases. On those days, the school averaged about 700 tests a day. — Ross Terrell


SCOTUS to take on major federal drinking water law case

The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would consider limiting the scope of a landmark federal clean water law that allows the federal government to place limits on development or pollution near protected waters. . But there has long been a struggle over which waters are protected. The law’s language is vague, and a 2006 Supreme Court decision didn’t help. The 5-4 decision essentially created two conflicting definitions. Some judges said the law only protected permanent lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Others have argued that it also protects wetlands and intermittent rivers and streams. This could have broad implications for the West, where many rivers and streams dry up in the summer. The Supreme Court will hear the case this fall. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West Press Office

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LeBron James Stat Sheet with 25 PTS, 7 REB and 7 AST vs. Jazz 💪

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ESPN released this video article, titled “LeBron James stuffs stat sheet with 25 PTS, 7 REB & 7 AST vs. Jazz 💪” – their description is below.

LeBron James had 25 PTS, 7 REB and 7 AST for the Los Angeles Lakers in their win over the Utah Jazz.

ESPN YouTube channel

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In this story: LeBron James

LeBron Raymone James Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history.

James’ teams have played in eight consecutive NBA Finals (2011-2018) and ten finals in total between the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers. His accomplishments include three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, three Finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals.

James holds the all-time record for playoff points, is third in all-time points and eighth in all-time assists. James was selected to the All-NBA First Team a record thirteen times, made the All-Defensive First Team five times, and played in sixteen All-Star Games, during which he was selected MVP All -Star.

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  • In this story: Utah

    Utah is a state in the western United States.

    The territory of modern Utah has been inhabited by various indigenous groups for thousands of years, including the ancient Puebloans, Navajo, and Ute. The Spaniards were the first Europeans to arrive in the mid-16th century, although the region’s harsh geography and climate made it a peripheral part of New Spain and later Mexico.

    Disputes between the dominant Mormon community and the federal government delayed Utah’s admission as a state; it was only after polygamy was banned that she was admitted as the 45th, in 1896.

    Just over half of all Utahns are Mormons, the vast majority of whom are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), with world headquarters in Salt Lake City. Utah is the only state where the majority of the population belongs to a single church. The LDS Church greatly influences Utahn’s culture, politics, and daily life, although since the 1990s the state has become more religiously and secularly diverse.

    The state has a very diverse economy, with major sectors such as transportation, education, information technology and research, government services and mining and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation air.

    A 2012 national Gallup survey found Utah to be the overall “best state to live in the future” based on 13 forward-looking measures, including various measures of economic outlook, lifestyle, and health.

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    AP-NORC Survey – ABC4 Utah

    WASHINGTON (AP) – While Roe v. Wade faces his biggest threat in decades, a new poll finds Democrats increasingly view protecting abortion rights as a high priority for the government.

    Thirteen percent of Democrats mentioned abortion or reproductive rights as one of the issues they want the federal government to address in 2022, according to a December poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. This represents less than 1% of Democrats who named it as a priority for 2021 and 3% who listed it in 2020.

    Other issues like the economy, COVID-19, healthcare and gun control were ranked as higher priorities for Democrats in the poll, allowing respondents to name up to to five major problems. But the exponential rise in the percentage citing reproductive rights as a major concern suggests the issue resonates with Democrats as the Supreme Court examines cases that could lead to dramatic restrictions on access to abortion.

    “The public has a lot of things they want the government to address,” said Jennifer Benz, deputy director of the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. “You ask this kind of question in times of economic turmoil and in times of pandemic and all these other things going on, we can’t expect abortion to peak. “

    With a Tory 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, Republicans see it as their best chance in years to overthrow Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling legalizing abortion throughout the United States. In December, the Supreme Court left in place a Texas law that bans most abortions in the state and signaled in arguments that it would uphold a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This decision will be made public in June.

    Calling abortion poll numbers “austere,” Benz noted that conventional wisdom views abortion as a motivating problem for Republicans, not Democrats. Research conducted in the 1980s and 1990s, Benz said, “consistently found that opponents of abortion had greater strength of attitude and viewed the issue as important to them personally more than pro-choice people.” .

    It may change. Sam Lau, senior director of advocacy media at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, believes more Americans are recognizing this moment as a crisis for access to abortion.

    “I think what we’ve seen is absolutely an increase in awareness, an increase in urgency, an increase in the need to fight back,” he said. “But I still think huge sections of that population still don’t believe that access to abortion and the 50-year precedent that is Roe v. Wade is really at stake.”

    The 1973 court decision, reaffirmed in the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allows states to regulate but not ban abortion up to the point of fetal viability, at around 24 weeks. If Roe and Casey are canceled in June, abortion would soon become illegal or severely restricted in about half of the states, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

    It’s a few months away from the midterm elections which should be difficult for Democrats.

    Lau thinks people are starting to recognize that they “simply cannot count on the courts to protect our rights and our access to essential health care.”

    “We are now calling on elected officials who are champions of sexual and reproductive health care to be bold and go on the offensive and pass proactive legislation to protect access to abortion,” Lau said. “I think voters are going to go to the polls and want to vote for candidates they can trust to protect their health care and reproductive freedom.”

    Polls show that relatively few Americans want to see Roe overthrown. In 2020, AP VoteCast, a poll of the electorate, showed that 69% of presidential voters said the Supreme Court should leave the Roe v. Wade as is; only 29% said the court should overturn the decision. In general, AP-NORC polls show that a majority of the public supports the legality of abortion in most or all cases.

    Still, Americans have nuanced attitudes on the issue, and many don’t think abortion should be possible after the first trimester or that women should be able to get a legal abortion for any reason.

    For Rachelle Dunn, 41, who has known girls in high school and women in college and her adult life who have needed abortions, it is “just health care.”

    “It’s something that women I’ve known throughout my life have needed for different reasons,” said Dunn, of Tarentum, Pa. “The government must step in because all of these laws are being written and passed, but none of them are for medical reasons.”

    She is worried about the domino effect of these Supreme Court cases, adding that she worries about how they will affect the future of her two daughters, as well as that of her son.

    “It seems that, if this has been said over and over, why do we always do this? Dunn said.


    The AP-NORC survey of 1,089 adults was conducted December 2-7 using a sample drawn from the AmeriSpeak probability-based NORC panel, which is designed to be representative of the American population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

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    Lawmaker says demanding grass during drought in Utah makes no sense

    FILE – In this file photo from July 16, 2014, what was once a marina is high and dry due to the receding Lake Mead in Arizona’s Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Arizona will not have completed all elements of a Colorado River drought plan by the March 4 deadline set by the federal government, state water officials said on Tuesday. February 19, 2019. It’s the latest obstacle to the seven-state plan to take less water from the drought-starved Colorado River, which provides water to 40 million people and 5.5 million acres of agricultural land. (AP Photo / John Locher, file)

    (AP Photo / John Locher, file)

    SALT LAKE CITY – The good news for Utah is that residents saved water during the summer. Salt Lake City and Sandy City saved 2.8 billion gallons of water this year compared to the same period last year. But the bad news is that 79% of the state remains in an extreme drought, according to the Utah Water Resources Division.

    A Utah lawmaker has proposed continuing to conserve water in the state by relaxing some rules.

    House Bill 95 by Representative Ray Ward (R-Bountiful) prohibits certain government or private entities such as homeowners associations from requiring an owner or resident to plant or maintain a lawn or turf when ” lawn or turf ”does not include a golf course, park, sports field or sod farm.

    Show time

    Ward joined Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic of KSL NewsRadio to discuss his bill for the next legislative session.

    “Why are you sponsoring this bill? Dujanovic asked.

    “Well, because I think we have to find other ways to make our yards look good that aren’t the ones that use the most water,” Ward said.

    About two-thirds of Utah’s drinking water is used for watering lawns and landscapes, according to the Utah State University Center for Water-Efficient Landscaping.

    Let residents choose

    Ward said that under his bill, HOAs are to provide another option besides lawns only when making their rules. Noreiga asked if local control of lawns and watering rules made more sense than the legislature dictating what those rules should be.

    “Obviously, what works in Duchesne County may not work in Weber County, Davis County or Salt Lake, aren’t they the best prepared to make these decisions? Noriega asked.

    “If it was only Davis County that had experienced a drought, then maybe it did,” Ward replied. “But the drought does not meet these limits.”

    An impact on drought in Utah

    He stressed that the state will have more impact on drought by acting as one instead of as many different entities.

    Noriega said he wanted to set up his garden and set up some landscaping, but found the option too expensive.

    “The cheapest option I had was really grass and turf,” Ward said. “I’m not taking this option from anyone. You can always put sod. Whoever wants to put sod can put sod. I’m just saying the city can’t force you to put sod.

    Noriega asked if there was a sunset clause in his bill, because some years of water might be better than others.

    “What’s always frustrating, every time we talk about drought does it go away if we have a really wet winter and fill the reservoirs? Noriega asked.

    “Well, even though the levels of precipitation we receive remain the same as the state grows, the water needs are increasing,” Ward said.

    Read more:

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    EXPLANATION: How will Biden’s COVID-19 testing giveaway work?


    WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has said the federal government will buy half a billion COVID-19 rapid test kits and distribute them free to people to use at home. But despite strong public demand for testing, it will be several more weeks before these kits are available to ship. The administration is still working on the details of how the program works.


    Not yet. As of this week, the Defense and Health and Human Services departments are “executing what is called a ‘fast-track emergency contract’,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. The contract should be signed soon.


    The first delivery is scheduled for early January. The 500 million kits will not arrive at the same time but will rather be delivered in batches.


    You’ll go to a new government website to request a kit, but the site won’t be functional until after the first batch of test kits have been delivered, Psaki said. She said the process was handled that way to avoid creating more confusion for the public. But the idea is that anyone who wants a test kit should go to this website and request one.

    “We’re obviously not going to get the website up and running until tests are available,” Psaki said.


    It’s unclear. But Psaki noted that the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved several different brands of rapid home tests that are currently on the market.


    TBD, Psaki said.


    This represents recognition by the President that the administration must do more to increase access to COVID-19 testing, which is an important tool in helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

    In cases where infected people show symptoms or not, testing is the only way to find out if they have the virus in order to avoid coming out and potentially spreading the disease.

    But the demand for test kits has skyrocketed as the holidays approach and people have become anxious to test themselves and their families before traveling and as the easily transmissible omicron variant has spread rapidly within a matter of a few. weeks only to become the dominant strain in the United States.

    Biden’s pledge of 500 million test kits builds on the administration’s earlier pledge to send 50 million rapid tests to community health centers across the country.


    The purchase will be paid for with money from the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that Biden signed in March, the White House said. The exact cost will be known shortly.


    Biden said in a speech on Tuesday that starting in January, private insurers would cover the cost of home testing. Thus, people will have the option of purchasing tests in a store or online and then requesting reimbursement from their health insurance.

    The government will also give access to free home tests to people who may not have health insurance, Biden said.

    Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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    Ahead of vacation gatherings, ‘omicron is here’, warns Utah virologist


    Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune offers free access to critical articles on the coronavirus. Register for our Top Stories newsletter, sent to your inbox every morning. To support journalism like this, please make a donation or become a subscriber.

    Ahead of the vacation travel buzz, which is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels at Salt Lake City International Airport this month, a Utah virologist on Tuesday expressed concern over the recent increase in the omicron variant. of the coronavirus.

    “Omicron is here, and its frequency is increasing rapidly,” said Stephen Goldstein, virologist and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

    The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Monday that the omicron variant had overtaken delta as the most dominant strain of the coronavirus in the United States, accounting for about 73.2% of all COVID-19 cases last week.

    In an area including Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and North and South Dakota, model projections released on Monday estimated that omicron accounted for about 62% of new coronavirus cases.

    The emerging prevalence of Omicron in Utah continues to be studied. According to Utah Department of Health spokesperson Charla Haley, a genome sequencing test performed at Intermountain Healthcare found the absence of a particular protein – believed to be an indicator of the omicron variant – in 30 % of state tests completed in recent weeks. .

    Using the same sequencing test, the Utah Public Health Laboratory also found this missing protein in 11 of 29 COVID-positive samples, or 37.9%, Haley said. She added that the lab would have to completely sequence all 11 to be sure the samples contain the omicron variant or not. So far, the state lab has definitively identified seven cases of omicron in the state, Haley said.

    Goldstein said early data from South Africa indicates that the rate of protection offered by current COVID-19 vaccines against all symptoms, mild to severe, has fallen to around 35% – from 65% to 70% effectiveness against other variants.

    But that protection rate rises to 70% to 75% for people who have received their third booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna versions of the vaccine.

    Protection against serious illness – something strong enough to land a person in the hospital – remains robust, around 75% effective, compared to 95% effective as vaccines against the delta variant, Goldstein said. .

    Federal COVID-19 Plan

    President Joe Biden announced updates to his administration’s COVID-19 winter plan on Tuesday afternoon. As part of the plan, the Associated Press reported, the federal government would buy 500 million rapid tests for the coronavirus and send them free to Americans starting in January. People will be able to use a new website to order the tests, which will then be sent free by US mail, the White House said.

    Biden’s plan to distribute 500 million free tests is a good start, Goldstein said. “We just need more of them. We need it in stores and pharmacies, not on empty shelves. “

    Goldstein also said he would like the federal government to do something similar “to provide people with high quality, reliable masks they can use.” Many KN95 masks available online are fake, Goldstein noted.

    Biden’s plan also called for more support to hospitals and increased vaccination and booster efforts.

    New cases in Utah

    On Tuesday, the Utah Department of Health reported 811 new cases of coronavirus in the past day. The seven-day moving average of new cases stands at 964, the lowest since August 16.

    The Department of Health also reported 21 more deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday. A third of them were people aged 45 to 64.

    Nine of the deaths reported on Tuesday occurred before December 1 and were only recently confirmed to have been caused by the coronavirus after further testing.

    The number of children vaccinated continues to increase: 88,892 children aged 5 to 11 have received at least one dose since becoming eligible. That’s 24.4% of children that age in Utah, according to the Department of Health. And 54,554 of those children were fully immunized, or 15% of this age group.

    State intensive care units remain close to capacity. The UDOH reported Tuesday that 93.2% of all intensive care beds in Utah and 96.3% of intensive care beds in major medical centers in the state are occupied. (Hospitals consider anything above 85% to be functional.) Of all critical care patients, 37.9% are treated for COVID-19.

    Vaccine doses administered during the last day / total doses administered • 14,003 / 4,448,663.

    Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,880,852 – 57.6% of the total population of Utah. It is an increase of 2,660 in the last day.

    Cases reported in the last day • 811.

    Cases among school-aged children • Kindergarten to grade 12 children accounted for 93 of the new cases announced on Monday, or 11.5% of the total. There have been 45 reported cases in children aged 5 to 10 years; 22 cases in children 11-13; and 26 cases in children aged 14-18.

    Tests reported in the last day • 7 393 people were tested for the first time. A total of 14,694 people have been tested.

    Deaths reported in the last day • 21.

    There have been five deaths in Utah County – two men and a woman aged 45 to 64, and a man and woman aged 65 to 84.

    Salt Lake County has reported three deaths – a man and woman aged 45 to 65 and a woman aged 85 or older. There have also been three deaths in Washington County – one man and two women aged 65 to 84. And there have been three deaths in Weber County – a man and woman aged 65 to 84 and a woman aged 85 or older.

    Davis County has reported two deaths – both men aged 65 to 84. There have also been two deaths in Box Elder County – a man and a woman aged 45 to 64. And there have been two deaths in Tooele County – two women aged 65 to 84.

    Cache County has reported the death of a woman aged 65 to 84.

    Hospitalizations reported during the last day • 444. This is 12 less than what was reported on Monday. Of those currently hospitalized, 182 are in intensive care, 10 fewer than reported on Monday.

    Percentage of positive tests • According to the original state method, the rate is 11% over the last day. This is below the seven-day average of 11.9%.

    The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeat testing of the same individual. Monday’s rate was 5.5%, below the seven-day average of 8.2%.

    [Read more: Utah is changing how it measures the rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Here’s what that means.]

    Risk ratios • During the past four weeks, unvaccinated Utahns have been 15.6 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those vaccinated, according to an analysis from the Utah Department of Health. The unvaccinated were also 9.7 times more likely to be hospitalized and 3.7 times more likely more likely to test positive for coronavirus.

    Totals to date • 621,008 case; 3,738 deaths; 27,093 hospitalizations; 4,153,440 people tested.


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    How the region’s congressmen voted on economic diplomacy, religious freedom and military spending | News

    WASHINGTON – Here’s a look at how members of Congress in the region voted over the past week.

    Along with this week’s roll-call votes, the Senate also passed by voice vote the following legislation: A Bill (HR 6256), to ensure that products made with forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region do not enter the United States market; and the Accelerated Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act (HR 3537), to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to support research and expanded access to investigational drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .


    Chamber 1 vote:

    RESOLUTION ON THE OUTRAGE OF MEADOWS: The House passed a resolution (H. Res. 851), sponsored by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., To find Mark Meadows, President Trump’s chief of staff, in contempt of Congress for not being complied with a subpoena from the Special House Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. Thompson said: “This is Mr Meadows’ refusal to comply with a subpoena to discuss the files he himself handed over. Now he is hiding behind an apology.” An opponent, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., Said the select committee had no legal authority because it failed to adhere to the House charter which required it to have 13 members rather than its actual nine. . The vote on December 14 was 222 yes to 208 no.

    YES: Pressley D-MA (7th), Clark (MA) D-MA (5th), Keating D-MA (9th), Auchincloss D-MA (4th), McGovern D-MA (2nd), Trahan D- MA (3rd), Neal D-MA (1st), Moulton D-MA (6th), Lynch D-MA (8th)

    Chamber 2 vote:

    ISLAMOPHOBIA: The House passed the Tackling International Islamophobia Act (HR 5665), sponsored by Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., To establish the Office for Monitoring and Combating Islamophobia at the State Department. Omar said: “Islamophobia is global in scope and we must lead the global effort to address it. An opponent, Representative Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said: “This legislation is dangerously vague and needlessly redundant. It doesn’t frame things in terms of anti-Muslim persecution. The vote on December 14 was 219 yes to 212 no.

    YES: Pressley D-MA (7th), Clark (MA) D-MA (5th), Keating D-MA (9th), Auchincloss D-MA (4th), McGovern D-MA (2nd), Trahan D- MA (3rd), Neal D-MA (1st), Moulton D-MA (6th), Lynch D-MA (8th)

    Chamber 3 vote:

    DEBT CEILING: The House passed a resolution (SJ Res. 33), sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to increase the federal government’s debt ceiling by $ 2.5 trillion. One supporter, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said the increase was necessary to “preserve the sanctity of the full faith and credit of the United States, protect American jobs and businesses of all sizes and ensure the continued growth of the economy. “One opponent, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said the increase was” to make room for new, unnecessary spending, billions of dollars that will further fuel the fire. inflation that marks Joe Biden’s presidency, the highest rate in decades. ”The vote on December 15 was 221 yes to 209 no.

    YES: Pressley D-MA (7th), Clark (MA) D-MA (5th), Keating D-MA (9th), Auchincloss D-MA (4th), McGovern D-MA (2nd), Trahan D- MA (3rd), Neal D-MA (1st), Moulton D-MA (6th), Lynch D-MA (8th)


    Senate Vote 1:

    JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEAL: The Senate confirmed Lucy Koh’s appointment as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Koh, currently a Federal District Judge for Northern California, was previously a private lawyer and federal prosecutor. One supporter, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Said Koh “is well known not just in her district but across the country as talented, thoughtful, intelligent and fair.” An opponent, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, criticized the White House for not giving it the chance to meet with Koh to assess him before the confirmation vote, and said Koh was unaware of the unique laws that apply to the native tribes of Alaska. . The vote on December 13 was 50 to 45 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate Vote 2:

    DEBT CEILING: The Senate passed a resolution (SJ Res. 33), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling by $ 2.5 trillion. Schumer said the increase was necessary to avoid default on the debt. Opponent Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the increase was excessive and, by requiring only a simple majority rather than a 60-vote majority, would undermine the Senate’s use of the systematic obstruction in the future. The vote on December 15 was 50 to 49 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate Vote 3:

    MILITARY SPENDING: The Senate approved the House Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1605), sponsored by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., To authorize spending for fiscal year 2022 for the army, military construction projects and military-related programs. at the Energy Department. One supporter, Sen. Jack Reed, DR.I., said the bill “allows for a significant increase in military construction projects, modernization of our nuclear triad and missile defense systems, and investment in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, microelectronics, advanced materials. , 5G and biotechnology. ”The vote on December 15 was 88 to 11 against.

    AGAINST: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate vote 4:

    SECOND JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEAL: The Senate confirmed Jennifer Sung’s appointment as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Since 2007, Sung has been a lawyer in private practice specializing in labor law and workers’ rights. One supporter, Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Called Sung a “distinguished lawyer who will bring a vital and under-represented perspective to the federal judiciary.” The vote on December 15 was 50 to 49 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate vote 5:

    JUDGE OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Senate has confirmed Samantha Elliott’s appointment as a judge at the US District Court in New Hampshire. Elliott has been a lawyer in private practice since 2006, focusing on commercial and employment law. One supporter, Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Said: “With her extensive knowledge of the state’s legal system and her impartial approach to the law, she will make an outstanding federal judge.” The vote on December 15 was 62 yes to 37 no.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate vote 6:

    AMBASSADOR IN CHINA: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Nicholas Burns as US Ambassador to China. Burns, a long-time State Department diplomat, served as Ambassador to NATO and Greece. One supporter, Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, said Burns “has done an outstanding job, has an outstanding reputation among the group of ambassadors” and could handle a difficult mission in China. The vote on December 16 was 75 to 18 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate Vote 7:

    ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Ramin Toloui to the post of Deputy Secretary of State for Economic and Commercial Affairs. Toloui, currently a professor of economics at Stanford University, was previously an investment manager at PIMCO and an official in the Treasury Department during the Obama administration. One supporter, Senator Robert Menendez, DN.J., said Toloui would help the government “reinvigorate the instruments of our economic diplomacy.” The vote on December 16 was 76 yes to 13 no.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate vote 8:

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Rashad Hussain as the State Department’s Goodwill Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. Hussain held several positions under the Obama administration, including that of special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. One supporter, Senator Robert Menendez, DN.J., said: “Throughout his impressive public service, Mr. Hussain has demonstrated his strong commitment to protecting the rights of religious and ethnic minorities. The vote on December 16 was 85 to 5 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

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    Salt lake city

    Salt Lake City Neighbors Rally to Help Clean Up Snowstorm | Utah News – Oakland News Now


    Oakland News Now –

    Salt Lake City Neighbors Rally to Help Clean Up Snowstorm

    – video made by the YouTube channel with the logo in the upper left corner of the video. is the original blog post for this type of video blog content.

    Neighbors in Salt Lake City mobilized to help clean up the blizzard.

    Going through IFTTT

    Note from Zennie62Media and This video blog post shows the full, live operation of the latest updated version of an experimental network of Zennie62Media, Inc. mobile multimedia video blogging system that was launched in June 2018 This is an important part of Zennie62Media, Inc.’s new and innovative approach to news media production. What we call “the third wave of media”. The uploaded video is from a YouTube channel. When the FOX 13 News Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah YouTube video channel uploads a video, it is automatically uploaded and automatically formatted on the Oakland News Now site and on social media pages created and owned by Zennie62. The overall goal here, in addition to our, is the on-scene reporting of news, interviews, observations and events on smartphones, in real time, anywhere in the world and in seconds and not within hours – is the use of the existing YouTube social network. graphic on any topic in the world. Now the news is reported with a smartphone and also by promoting the current content on YouTube: no heavy and expensive camera or even a laptop is needed, nor to have a camera crew to film what is already on Youtube. The secondary objective is faster and very inexpensive production and distribution of media content information. We have found that there is a lag between the length of the post and the production time and revenue generated. With this the problem is much less, but by no means solved. Zennie62Media is constantly striving to improve the system’s network coding and is looking for interested multimedia content and technology partners.

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    Utah economy

    Congress passes $ 2.5 trillion debt ceiling increase

    “Since taking control of the House, Senate and White House earlier this year, the majority have made repeated decisions to spend massive sums of taxpayer money with only Democratic votes.” , said Rep. Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma. “With that power also comes the responsibility to govern effectively, and the majority have failed to do so.”

    In a speech on Tuesday, Mr McConnell made no mention of the deal he made with Mr Schumer to allow the increase, but he noted that the debt ceiling would be raised only with votes Democrats in the Senate. He also denounced Mr Biden’s social safety net, climate and tax package, warning that it would exacerbate inflation and lead to the accumulation of more debt.

    “If they encounter another fiscal frenzy and reckless spending, this massive increase in debt will be just the start,” McConnell said. “No more printing and borrowing to set up more reckless spending to drive more inflation, hurt working families even more.”

    But Mr McConnell also criticized his right flank for allowing Democrats to steer the country away from a tax disaster.

    “I’m sure that vicious tactic, the one used here, has not seen its last use – far from it,” said Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah. “With a blank check and new special procedure, Democrats are able to increase the debt ceiling by the amount they deem necessary to meet their Destruction of America bill.”

    Former President Donald J. Trump railed against Mr. McConnell in a series of statements over the weekend, accusing the senator “of not having the courage to play the debt ceiling card, which would have given to Republicans a complete victory over virtually everything. “

    Mr. Trump continued to urge Republicans to remove Mr. McConnell from his leadership role.

    On Monday, Kelly Tshibaka, a hard-line conservative against Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, pledged she would not back Mr McConnell if elected in 2022, citing her role in the debt cap process.

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    Salt lake city government

    Scientists strive to understand the record of mine-related contamination in sediments under Lake Powell


    The first data from a 2018 research project is now published.

    (Jerry McBride | The Durango Herald via AP) In this file photo from Thursday, August 6, 2015, people kayak in the Animas River near Durango, Colo. In water colored yellow by a garbage spill mining. A team overseen by the US Environmental Protection Agency has been accused of causing the spill as it attempted to clean up the area near the abandoned Gold King mine. Tribal officials in the Navajo Nation declared a state of emergency on Monday, August 10, as the massive plume of contaminated sewage flowed down the San Juan River to Lake Powell in Utah, which provides a much of the water to the southwest.

    The 2015 Durango Herald photograph was instantly recognized as the scene of an environmental disaster: three kayakers paddling the Animas River in southwest Colorado, the water below them as orange and radiant as a Creamsicle.

    A containment pond near Silverton, Colo., Was accidentally drilled at the Gold King mine and 3 million gallons of metal-laden sludge was released into the Animas, flowing downstream into the San Juan River.

    The river cleared again within days, but much of the heavy metals and other pollutants released from the spill made their way downstream until they hit Lake Powell, along with all of the other sediments that had been transported downstream by the Colorado River and its tributaries since the completion of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963.

    “Lake Powell is the integrator of the entire upper Colorado River basin,” said Scott Hynek, a hydrologist for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) at the Utah Water Science Center. “Once they closed that dam, whatever went through there that was sediment stayed. “

    [Related: As Lake Powell shrinks, the Colorado River is coming back to life]

    The federal government, which oversaw the cleanup of the Gold King mine when the accident occurred, then paid hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to affected areas of Utah, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. . He also earmarked funding for the USGS to study sediment samples in Lake Powell, a project led by Hynek in late 2018.

    A rotating crew of 20 to 30 people spent more than a month on the reservoir in what Hynek describes as a “kind of floating city” consisting of two to three barges, a barge pusher, a platform. form of a well, a working laboratory and an office. 24 hours a day. The USGS team partnered with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, the United States Bureau of Reclamation, and the United States National Park Service to extract 30 cores from the beds of the San Juan and Colorado rivers.

    (USGS) Drill rig used to collect sediment samples on Lake Powell in 2018.

    The objective was to understand not only the potential impacts of the Gold King mine disaster, but also to analyze the record of sediment trapped in the upper part of Lake Powell and 50 feet thick in places.

    Initial data collected on the project has just been released and Hynek made a public presentation on the preliminary results earlier this month. He hopes the project will be useful to scientists working across the river basin on a variety of projects. The sediment recording, he explained, “is like the ultimate ground truth about what happened in the upper Colorado River basin on a massive scale over 70 years.”

    Core samples taken from the San Juan arm of the reservoir show spikes of lead and zinc that may have been deposited by the Gold King mine spill in 2015, but there are much larger – and more concerning – spikes in the metals. which were likely deposited in the 1970s, when larger mine waste disasters occurred in the watershed.

    “More important things happened in the ’70s in San Juan than the Gold King,” Hynek said.

    (USGS) Scott Hynek, hydrologist at the Utah Water Science Center, presents preliminary results from the Lake Powell coring project on November 1, 2021.

    The San Juan and its tributaries have a long history of hard rock mining, and copper and lead concentrations are higher in sediment cores from the San Juan River than those collected from the Colorado River arm. The Colorado side had a more active history of uranium mining and processing, including near Moab, and the core showed higher concentrations of uranium in the Colorado River Arm.

    But some of the metal peaks found in the silt from the reservoir aren’t necessarily related to historic mining. The San Juan River, for example, has seen an increase in lead concentrations after monsoon rains fell on burn scars from wildfires.

    (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The so-called Dominy Formation, clearly illustrated by high walls of sediment in Waterhole Canyon, one of the tributaries of the Colorado River in Cataract Canyon, is studied by a team of scientists during ‘a recent trip as part of the Returning Rivers project. The informal term is named after the controversial former Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, Floyd Dominy, who was the main architect of Lake Powell and many other Western dam projects.

    Hynek pointed out that the project’s data is only being analyzed now and that much more detailed reports are expected to be released over the next 18 months with more raw data, which he hopes will be used by university professors for a number of research projects. .

    “We have a chance to provide a better view of history now than first-hand recordings [from the time]”Hynek said.

    Zak Podmore is a Report for America corps member and writes about conflict and change in San Juan County for the Salt Lake Tribune. Your matching donation to our RFA grant helps her continue to write stories like this; please consider making a tax deductible donation of any amount today by clicking here.


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    Utah economy

    Utah’s 2021 exercise ends with a bang

    SALT LAKE CITY (November 16, 2021) – Utah’s 2021 fiscal year ends stronger than expected. Heads of state will have an additional $ 614 million to appropriate during the 2022 general session. These funds are likely an anomaly due to federal stimulus funds and economic volatility.

    Governor Spencer J. Cox, President J. Stuart Adams and President Brad Wilson make the following statement regarding this surplus:

    “Utah’s economy is booming and education funding is at an all-time high due to our state’s sound economic policies, including our efforts to quickly and safely reopen businesses during the pandemic. While this is an unusual year as the state has received unprecedented stimulus funding from the federal government, we remain committed to fiscal responsibility and funding forward-thinking and innovative projects. The investments we make now will benefit the Utahns for generations to come. “

    Funds will be spent with a careful emphasis on fiscal responsibility, including the use of one-time money for one-time costs such as infrastructure investments and capital improvements.

    Download this press release here.


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    Salt lake city government

    Here is the number of COVID-19 vaccines Utah has received so far



    It has now been 47 weeks since the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine were sent to states, launching the largest vaccination campaign in human history. As of Nov. 9, the United States had sent 536,665,505 doses of the vaccine nationwide, equivalent to 163.5 percent of the U.S. population.

    While the initial vaccine distribution took longer than federal projections indicated, in recent months the United States has made great strides in the global race to deliver the vaccines – and some states are doing so. come out much better than others. In the current system, led by the White House COVID-19 response team, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends states limited vaccine shipments along with funding and directs them to distribute the vaccine in accordance with relatively flexible federal guidelines. The vaccine distribution is based on the size of the adult population in each state, which – some experts say – can create inequalities in states where the spread of COVID-19 is worse and a larger share of the population is at risk.

    Utah has received a total of 4,619,740 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of November 9. Adjusted for population, Utah received 144,098.6 shots per 100,000 population – less than the national average of 163,498.1 shots per 100,000 Americans and 9th lowest of all states. .

    While Utah has so far received fewer vaccines per capita than the country as a whole, the state has a greater need for vaccines than the rest of the country. As of Nov. 9, there were 17,486.3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population in Utah – higher than the national rate of 14,073.0 cases per 100,000 Americans and the seventh highest of the 50 states.

    While the federal government distributes vaccines to states, it is up to state governments to administer the vaccine, which creates variations in both the percentage of vaccines given and the percentage of the population vaccinated. In Utah, 82.7% of allocated vaccines were given to residents, which is the national average of 80.7% and the 16th highest share of any state.

    Vaccines administered represent 119.2% of the state’s population, lower than the national figure of 132.0% and the 20th smallest share of all states.

    While a majority of Americans are not vaccinated due to a lack of supplies, some have no intention of receiving a vaccine at all. According to a US Census Bureau survey, 59.2% of American adults aged 18 and older who have not yet received the vaccine likely or certainly will not receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the future. In Utah, 53.7% of adults who have not yet received the vaccine say they likely or certainly will not receive a vaccine in the future, the fifth smallest share of all states. The most common reason for not wanting a vaccine was fear of possible side effects. Other commonly cited reasons include that they were planning to wait and see if it’s safe, not to trust the COVID-19 vaccines and not to trust the government.


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    Utah economy

    Letter: Praised by the numbers and the reasoning of the writer | News, Sports, Jobs

    I read Mr. Young’s editorial and was particularly interested in his dollar numbers that he claims. He declares:

    “A lack of infant and toddler care costs our economy $ 57 billion each year in lost productivity, income and income, including $ 512 million from Utah. According to the latest census data we have for Utah, there are approximately 600,000 children between the ages of 6 and 18. There are approximately 209,000 children under the age of 6. Based on those numbers, the amount the federal government currently spends on “child tax credits” works out to about $ 2.5 billion a year in Utah alone. And it’s from a fund that none of these people put anything into. And now Mr. Young seems to think that we taxpayers need to bring more child care and expanded child care to people – on top of the extra benefits they already receive.

    When will this be enough? This current administration is transforming our country into a welfare state. And at some point, the bills have to be paid. Another problem – Social Security retirement income is taxable – child tax credits are not.

    It is an insult to any senior who retires from social security. And our state contributes to inequity by taxing social security.

    Larry clark



    Join the thousands of people who already receive our daily newsletter.

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    Utah economy

    Sense. Cruz, Thune and Colleagues Urge USDA to Reconsider Its Decision to Include So-called “Net Neutrality” Commitments in the ReConnect Program

    WASHINGTON, DC – US Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Thune (RS.D.), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, today sent a letter with several of their fellow Republicans to the US Department of Le Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack urged the agency to avoid imposing unnecessary “net neutrality” restrictions on broadband providers, which would threaten future investments in broadband infrastructure. The co-signers of the letter are Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.), Deb Fischer (R -Neb.), Ron Johnson (R -Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ala.), And Todd Young (R-Ind.).

    In the letter, the senators wrote:

    “It is deeply troubling that the USDA suggests that it has the power let alone the qualified personnel and expertise to make decisions regarding ‘lawful Internet traffic’. If the USDA decided to attempt to regulate the Internet in the absence of congressional authority, it would lead to enormous legal and market uncertainty.

    “Rather than trying to impose monopoly-era regulations on broadband providers and politicize the ReConnect program, we urge you to reconsider your decision to provide additional rating points based on the USDA determination of what constitutes “net neutrality”.

    Read the full text of the letter here and below.

    The Honorable Tom Vilsack Secretary

    US Department of Agriculture

    1400 Independence Avenue, southwest

    Washington, DC 20250

    Dear Secretary Vilsack,

    We write today about our concerns about the rating criteria for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Electronic Connectivity Pilot (ReConnect) program, which includes so-called “net neutrality” commitments. .

    Building broadband infrastructure, including in some of this country’s most remote and rural areas, has transformed our country’s economy and opened up new opportunities for many Americans. Investment in broadband infrastructure by large and small providers remains at an all time high due to the lean regulatory approach taken by the federal government.

    As you know, “net neutrality” restrictions have been the subject of much debate in Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, the agency that oversees our country’s telecommunications policy. Any effort to impose unnecessary “net neutrality” restrictions would be dangerous for our country’s vibrant broadband economy and threaten future investments in broadband infrastructure.

    Further, it is deeply troubling that the USDA suggests that it has much less authority than qualified personnel and expertise to make decisions regarding “lawful Internet traffic”. If the USDA decided to attempt to regulate the Internet in the absence of congressional authority, it would lead to enormous legal and market uncertainty.

    Rather than trying to impose monopoly-era regulations on broadband providers and politicize the ReConnect program, we urge you to reconsider your decision to provide additional rating points based on USDA determination of what constitutes “net neutrality”.


    / s /


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    Utah economy

    Federal Court blocks Biden administration’s vaccination mandate

    More than two dozen states have filed multiple legal challenges in federal court against the Biden administration’s vaccination or testing mandate for private companies, arguing that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not has no authority to issue the requirements.

    All four lawsuits have been filed by groups from 26 states from the 8th, 11th, 6th and 5th circuits in the past few days. They are seeking to overturn an emergency rule released Thursday that requires companies with more than 100 employees to verify that their workers are vaccinated or that unvaccinated workers wear masks and undergo weekly Covid-19 tests.

    The small business group Job Creators Network, as well as the Republican National Committee, have also said they plan to take legal action.

    Generally speaking, the lawsuits argue that the Ministry of Labor does not have the power to issue a rule and that it did not follow the proper procedure to issue the temporary emergency standard.

    The Florida, Georgia and Alabama 11th Circuit lawsuit also argues that the requirements conflict with the First Amendment and Restoration of Religious Freedom Act.

    “This illegal tenure is yet another example of the Biden administration’s utter disregard for the constitutional rights accorded to our state and our citizens,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement. “The federal government does not have the power to impose health care decisions on Georgian companies and its employees under the guise of occupational safety. We are fighting this unprecedented abuse of power to stop this mandate before it causes irreparable harm to our state and its economy. “

    The court gave the government until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to the plaintiffs’ request for a permanent injunction. The Justice Department declined to comment. The White House returned the comment to the Labor Department.

    Senator Ben Sasse called the vaccine warrants the “unconstitutional slop” of the Biden administration in a statement following the ruling, saying “Circuit Five got the better of this one.”

    “The vaccines themselves are miracles of modern medicine and American ingenuity,” said the Nebraska Republican. “But we are not going to defeat this ugly virus with extreme partisanship or unconstitutional executive decrees. OSHA’s mandate is unconstitutional and, ultimately, will only increase reluctance to vaccinate. The President should carefully review this decision and reverse the course before the courts embarrass him again.

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    Salt lake city government

    Utah Joins Legal Action Against Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Warrants


    SALT LAKE CITY – The state of Utah has joined a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the Biden administration’s vaccination mandates.

    Gov. Spencer Cox and Republican legislative leaders have long threatened their own lawsuit, but were waiting to see whether the Biden administration brought forward a proposed workplace safety rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations or testing on businesses over 100 employees. The lawsuit they joined on Saturday challenged a separate rule governing federal contractors.

    “We need to take a stand for the hard-working Utahns who are forced to either get vaccinated or lose their jobs. The president is making a habit of going beyond the limits of his authority. In doing so, he is exacerbating needlessly stress on the supply chain, damaging the economy, forcing workers to quit their jobs and hurting American families.We cannot stand idly by and allow President Biden and his administration to impose another reckless and illegal executive action, “said the joint statement of Governor Cox, Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Speaker of the Senate J. Stuart Adams, Speaker of the House Brad Wilson, Auditor of the State John Dougall and State Treasurer Marlo M. Oaks.

    Utah joins Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina and West Virginia in the litigation.

    “The Requesting State of Utah is a sovereign state and has the authority and responsibility to protect its sovereign interests, the public revenue service, and the health, safety and well-being of its citizens. many state entities that are Federal Contractors and, therefore, Utah employs ‘Covered Subcontractor employees and maintains’ Covered Subcontractor workplaces; as defined by the contractor’s mandate, “the lawsuit said.” These contracts are worth millions of dollars, if not more. Utah expects to continue contracts with the government in the future. Utah also has contracts outstanding subject to renewal or exercise of options. The federal government has introduced contract amendments to Utah that incorporate the Contractor’s Mandate. Utah will face irreparable harm if forced to comply.

    Utah has taken a nuanced stance on vaccination mandates. While opposing government making COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, Governor Cox and lawmaker leaders did not object to private companies mandating them on their own. Recently, House Speaker Brad Wilson R-Kaysville told FOX 13 the legislature may pursue certain limits on this. Governor Cox has threatened with veto if the legislator forbids private employers to impose the vaccine.

    The governor and legislative leaders have continually encouraged people to voluntarily get vaccinated against COVID-19 to pull the state out of the pandemic.

    The US Department of Labor is take action against the state for refusing to comply with other COVID-19 emergency rules.

    Read the trial here:


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    Salt lake city government

    Inside the lawsuit that ended the patenting of genes in the United States


    Protesters outside the United States Supreme Court in 2013 as arguments were heard over patenting genes.Credit: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

    Defense of the genome: in the epic legal battle to determine who owns your DNA Jorge L. Contreras Algonquin (2021)

    Not that long ago, if you were to ask someone about the practice of the United States Patent and Trademark Office of granting patents on human genes, you would probably get one of two answers. . Biotech insiders would shrug their shoulders – such patents had been common practice for decades. They were considered a mainstay of the nascent genetic testing industry. Those who are less intimate with the inner workings of biotech often have a different reaction: “But that’s just… wrong,” lawyer Chris Hansen said. “Who can we sue?” “

    In 2009, Hansen, a veteran of civil rights cases at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New York City, engaged in a lawsuit that ended the patenting of genes in the United States. The effort seemed doomed to fail, but Hansen won in the United States Supreme Court, challenging the very idea of ​​what patents are and what they should do.

    The unexpected twists and turns of this case – as well as its impact on medicine, and in particular on the lives of women affected by breast and ovarian cancer – are skillfully and lovingly detailed in Defense of the genome. Its author, patent specialist Jorge Contreras, has strongly criticized overly broad patents and universities which grant exclusive licenses to their intellectual property, especially when they maintain monopolies and cede the responsible management of their patents to the licensee (JL Contreras and JS Cherkow Science 355, 698-700; 2017).

    This spirit is evident in the book. But readers should note that Contreras is now employed by the University of Utah at Salt Lake City, which historically generated some of the patents Hansen ultimately decided to challenge. (Contreras accepted the Utah job after starting the book; he argues that its themes go beyond a set of patents to describe the tensions between the law and the pace of technology.)

    These patents claimed rights to the sequencing of two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. Some variations of these are associated with breast and ovarian cancer. The University of Utah licensed some of the relevant patents exclusively to Myriad Genetics in the 1990s. The Salt Lake City company used its intellectual property to create a monopoly on certain cancer risk tests and threatened its potential competitors of legal action. At the time, tests cost thousands of dollars and, in large part thanks to the vagaries of the U.S. health care system, were not always available to the people who needed them.

    Personal stories

    The consequences of this lack of access could be devastating. Contreras makes no effort to detail the stories of women who failed to get tested, only to find out later that they had life-threatening cancer that could have been prevented.

    But in the 2000s, gene patents were common. In 2005, a team estimated that 20% of the human genome had been patented (K. Jensen and F. Murray Science 310, 239-240; 2005). Although nature’s products are not patentable under US law, some lawyers have argued that the isolation of a gene from its surrounding chromosome fundamentally alters DNA and is therefore an invention. Another, more utilitarian defense argued that genetic patents were necessary to foster innovation in health care.

    There’s a reason few thrillers have been based on patent law. Patents are hard to digest, sometimes by design. The more ambiguous they are, the more opportunity a patentee may have to claim that his intellectual property encompasses someone else’s invention. “The first part of a patent reads like a scientific article written by a lawyer, and the last part reads like a legal document written by a scientist,” Contreras writes. “Either way, you get the worst of both worlds.”

    Fortunately, Contreras spares us the details, removing only the nuggets necessary to understand the case. It explains the scientific and legal arguments clearly and succinctly. (He does a better job than some of the lawyers and judges involved, who spoke of painful analogies throughout the four-year process: Genes have been likened in various ways to chocolate chip cookies, baseball bats. and kidneys.)

    For me, the most interesting parts of the book were its tangents. Myriad’s story highlights the convoluted incentives in the genetic testing industry that sometimes work against the best interests of patients. I was keen to learn more about how the Supreme Court ruling – as well as other recent court decisions on what can and cannot be patented – affected the industry. The book also lacks any international context for gene patents, which are alive and well in Europe. A 2017 survey of European genetic testing laboratories revealed that 14% of nonprofit respondents had refrained from offering genetic testing due to patent issues (J. Liddicoat et al. EUR. J. Hum. Broom. 27, 997–1007; 2019).

    But Contreras succeeds in his main mission: to detail the narrative story of a historic patent case. The personal stories of the key players are rich in detail. We meet Tania Simoncelli, who, as an ACLU intern with a passion for science and social justice issues, first brought gene patents to Hansen’s attention. And we meet Herman Yue, who at the time the case was brought was an intern for a federal district judge, and who had just completed a doctorate in molecular biology. Yue played a central role in crafting a surprise court ruling in favor of the ACLU.

    Readers are also treated within the history of the schism in the US government, with some agencies, notably the Patent Office, in favor of patents on genes, and the National Institutes of Health, among others, against them. It was up to Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal to walk a tightrope between the arguing parties, ultimately developing a federal government position: namely, entire gene sequences as found in genomes should not be patentable, but the assembled regions encoding the proteins of a gene – minus the intermediate pieces of non-coding DNA often scattered throughout – should. Compromise does not completely satisfy anyone.

    By 2013, when the Supreme Court rendered its unanimous decision in favor of the ACLU, gene patents and Myriad-like tests on single genes were already out of fashion. Medical diagnostics have shifted to multigene testing, and now, more and more, the focus is on whole genome sequencing. But this story is a guide to the forces shaping a growing industry – and the thwarted influence of patents.

    Competing interests

    The author declares no competing interests.


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    Salt lake city government

    COVID-19: More than 4.2 million vaccines have been distributed in Utah. This is the number that the state has actually distributed



    It has now been 44 weeks since the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine were sent to states, launching the largest vaccination campaign in human history. As of October 20, 496,915,265 doses of vaccine had been shipped across the country, equivalent to 151.4% of the US population.

    While the initial vaccine distribution took longer than federal projections indicated, in recent months the United States has made great strides in the global race to deliver the vaccines – and some states are doing so. come out much better than others. In the current system, led by the White House COVID-19 response team, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends states limited vaccine shipments along with funding and directs them to distribute the vaccine in accordance with relatively flexible federal guidelines.

    Each state has developed its own deployment plan, prioritizing different age groups and classes of essential workers. The mix of policies and logistical challenges across the country has led to large variations between states in both the percentage of vaccines that have been administered and the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated.

    In Utah, 85.7% of allocated vaccines had been administered to residents as of Oct. 20, higher than the national average of 82.5% and the ninth highest share of all states.

    Doses administered amount to 112.7% of the state’s population, which is lower than the national figure of 125.0% and the 19th lowest share of all states.

    While a majority of Americans are not vaccinated due to a lack of supplies, some have no intention of receiving a vaccine at all. According to a US Census Bureau survey, 59.2% of American adults aged 18 and older who have not yet received the vaccine likely or certainly will not receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the future. In Utah, 53.7% of adults who have not yet received the vaccine say they likely or certainly will not receive a vaccine in the future, the fifth smallest share of all states. The most common reason for not wanting a vaccine is fear of possible side effects. Other commonly cited reasons included planning to wait and see if it’s safe, not trusting COVID-19 vaccines, and not trusting the government.

    To determine how states are doing with the vaccine rollout, 24/7 Wall St. looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked based on the number of vaccines administered in a state as a percentage of the number of vaccines distributed to that state by the federal government as of October 20. Data on confirmed COVID-19 cases as of October 20 came from various states and local health departments and were population-adjusted using data from the 2019 American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau. Data on the percentage of adults who are unlikely or certainly will not receive a COVID-19 vaccine and their reasons for not receiving one comes from the Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, conducted on August 18, 2021. until August 30, 2021.


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    Utah economy

    Utah Legislature May Consider Exceptions In COVID-19 Vaccine Trade Mandates

    SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah state legislature may consider making exceptions in any COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed by a private company.

    In an interview with FOX 13, House Speaker Brad Wilson confirmed the idea is under consideration. House Republicans met in their regular caucus on Wednesday to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

    Utah Capitol political leaders are waiting to see what the Biden administration will say with its proposed workplace safety rule imposing a vaccine or testing warrant on companies with more than 100 employees. The state threatened prosecution or refusal to comply.

    “We are gravely concerned about the problem that this rule, as described by the President, will create for the Utahns and our economy and our businesses here and we believe it needs to be addressed differently,” said President Wilson, R -Kaysville, mentioned.

    Although they opposed government mandates on vaccines, some political leaders – including President Wilson – have backed the rights of a private company to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. But the President signaled that the position could change.

    “On the one hand, we say we don’t want the federal government to create warrants, on the other hand, we have to be very careful about how we handle warrants. There are times when sometimes employers can do things that maybe cross a line with their employee-employer relationship, ”he said. “So we’ll be watching him. That’s probably the best way to describe him at this point.”

    The House Majority Whip added Mike Schultz, R-Hooper: “If a company decides to mandate it, it is certainly its right and its option. However, I think the employee also has certain rights. I think the state should have exemptions. . “

    The idea of ​​including exceptions in any vaccination mandate of private companies could be an option. A number of lawmakers are opening bills with subject lines on vaccine mandates. Lawmakers have come under pressure from anti-vaccine voters to act and block any mandate.

    “Obviously we are against all federal government mandates, vaccine mandates, but we hope there are exemptions in there,” said Representative Schultz. “Personal, medical and religious exemptions that ultimately give the employee and citizens of our state the ability to have that choice.”

    Utah law currently allows personal, religious, or medical immunization exemptions. However, some religions, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have stated that they will refuse to grant them.

    Some of these bills that the legislature might pass could run up against a roadblock in Gov. Spencer Cox’s office. While also speaking out against the government making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, he has repeatedly defended the rights of private companies to impose vaccine requirements.

    “It is their right to do so and we applaud the market making these decisions”, the governor said at a press conference on September 30.

    Asked by FOX 13 if a bill blocking the mandates of private companies was “dead on arrival”, the governor bluntly replied: “Yes”.

    Republican House leaders have said they do not oppose vaccines and have encouraged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to end the pandemic.

    “I would never force my employees to be vaccinated. I encouraged them to do so, I actually encourage my employees to be vaccinated,” President Wilson said of his own business. “I hope most companies don’t take the plunge in this state and demand a vaccine if there are other options.”

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    Salt lake city government

    Utah faces repercussions for failing to adopt federal emergency standard for COVID-19


    A University of Utah health worker prepares to treat patients in the medical intensive care unit at the University of Utah hospital on July 30. (Charlie Ehlert, University of Utah)

    Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

    SALT LAKE CITY – Because Utah has not accepted a temporary federal emergency standard to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 or provided a sufficient alternative, the Federal Safety and Health Administration at Labor said on Tuesday it was reconsidering and proposing to revoke the state’s current approval to run its own occupational safety and health program.

    This decision would put the program back under the authority of the federal administration.

    On June 21, the US Department of Labor released a temporary emergency standard to help protect healthcare workers from COVID-19. Utah is one of 22 states that have an approved state plan, state-run occupational safety and health program for workers in the private sector and state and local governments. This standard included preventative safety measures such as masks and social distancing as well as time off for workers who contracted COVID-19. It applies to healthcare workers in occupations at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

    Due to OSHA’s declaration of the emergency standard, these states had to either adopt the standard or create an alternative that was at least as effective.

    Of the 28 other states and territories that have state plans in place, only three have not adopted any part of the Temporary Emergency Standard or provided no alternatives – Utah, South Carolina and Arizona. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration sent letters of courtesy to these states advising them of these failures.

    “OSHA has worked in good faith to help the three state plans comply with their requirement to adopt an equivalent emergency temporary standard, but their continued refusal is a failure to keep their state plan commitments. to provide both a program for employee health and safety protection that meets the requirements of the OHS Act and is at least as effective as the federal program, ”said Jim Frederick, Assistant Under Secretary of Labor for OSHA.

    States had until July 6 to inform the administration of what they would face with this non-compliance with the standard. Even after Utah was notified, it missed that deadline as well as the 30-day deadline to provide an “at least as effective” alternative, the administration said. The state also failed to inform the administration of the reasons for not meeting these deadlines and has consistently refused to indicate whether it intends to adopt the federal standard or an effective alternative standard.

    Due to these failures, the administration said it was starting review proceedings and offered to revoke the state’s final approval.

    “The more they refuse, the more they needlessly endanger thousands of workers,” said Frederick.

    Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson challenged the Department of Labor’s assessment in a statement released Tuesday night.

    “We are very disappointed with the US Department of Labor’s claim that the Utah state plan is less effective than the federal one. In a July 21, 2021 letter to Secretary of Labor (Marty) Walsh, the governors of Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska have expressed concern that health care (temporary emergency standard) places an unfair burden on the health care sector and noted that our states do not have the regulatory power to require employers to pay sick leave to their employees, ”wrote Cox and Henderson.

    “We reject the claim that the Utah state plan is less effective than the federal plan. While we have not refused to adopt the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we will again request the opportunity to discuss with the Biden administration our legitimate concerns regarding compliance with the proposed HTA for healthcare. Despite today’s communication, we are still happy to have the opportunity to further explain our position and our recommendations. ”

    There are several stages of federal approval of a state plan, and the first is called “initial approval”. During this stage, the state and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration maintain shared authority that “may be exercised if OSHA deems it necessary and appropriate.” Utah also needs to prove that its state-run program is at least as effective in protecting workers and preventing workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities as the federal government’s plans.

    Once a state plan reaches final approval status, the federal government does not enforce the program and leaves it to the state. The Utah State Plan achieved final approval status in 1985, meaning the state was fully responsible for enforcement rather than the federal government, as long as it is overseen and approved by administration. Utah receives $ 1.6 million in grants from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    The next step in the reconsideration process is to notify the state federal registry and then offer a 35-day comment period for interested parties to discuss the proposed revocation. Commentators with substantial objections could raise an audience. At the end of the process, the administration will make a decision regarding the revocation at that time.

    “We need to fully understand the comments we received and understand the views expressed. We will analyze the comments and make sure we move forward properly at that time,” Frederick said.

    The decision is motivated by the administration’s desire to maintain safety, because “OSHA’s job is to protect workers,” he added.

    More stories that might interest you


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    Salt lake city government

    Utah Department of Health “heavily influenced” by federal government, state audit finds


    After more than a year of tensions between state lawmakers and public health officials over pandemic-related health orders, a new audit urges the Utah Department of Health to prioritize requests from the Utah Legislature.

    The Salt Lake City-based Utah Department of Health audit found the agency appears to be “heavily influenced” by the federal government over the Utah Legislature and has been slow to implement recommendations made by state legislators.

    “We have heard that (the Department of Health) is a ‘no agency’,” auditors wrote in a pair of reports released Monday at a meeting of the legislative audit subcommittee on Capitol Hill. ‘State.

    “Our review of bills affecting the ministry, as well as our observations on efforts to implement audit recommendations, support the view that (the ministry) did not proactively seek opportunities to innovate. within federal oversight and to respond more fully to legislative guidance, ”the report said.

    The Office of the Legislative Auditor General, which works under legislative direction, conducted the audits at the request of the Utah Legislature.

    Relationship with the legislature

    Auditors believe the agency’s stronger relationship with the federal government is due to financial incentives from federal funding, which comes with federally mandated rules. The report argues that the Utah Department of Health “may have allowed this process to hinder the department’s pursuit of new ideas and innovations.”

    This is despite the fact that the Utah legislature allocated more than $ 600 million to the health department in this year’s general fund, according to auditors. State lawmakers also allocate federal funds to the department.

    The health ministry has implemented two-thirds of recommendations made in previous legislative audits, the report says – warning of a “potential risk” of inadequate funding if all recommendations are not followed.

    The report calls on the leadership of the health department “to balance the needs of stakeholders and appropriately focus on legislative priorities,” with auditors saying they believe employees will follow suit.

    The auditors also noted that the Department of Health had not proposed much legislation in recent years and that the Legislature was responsible for two-thirds of the bills passed that affect the public health agency.

    According to the report, the Utah Department of Health should “develop and take the lead in bringing new innovations in public health policy to the attention of the legislature because (the department) has the expertise and the experience to be a leader in healthcare innovation ”.

    Auditors said they believe the merger between the Utah Department of Health and the Department of Human Services – which was implemented in the 2020 legislature – will provide a “framework” for creating a department. that the legislature, the governor’s office, local governments and the federal government “can rely on the state’s public health authority. “

    The audit did not delve into the pandemic and the resulting health orders, prompting the Utah legislature in 2021 to pass a “final” bill that placed emergency health orders in the hands of locally elected bodies and state legislators.

    Collaboration with local health services encouraged

    Auditors said the department also sometimes seeks grants to address issues already addressed by other agencies or for “relatively less significant” issues in Utah, which can lead to diminishing returns. The auditors called on the Department of Health to be more “strategic” in applying for federal grants.

    The report urged the state health department to work more closely with local health services to “identify the state’s most urgent needs.” The state health department and local health departments should increase transparency with each other to better use the funds, auditors said.

    For example, coronavirus funding for local health services has increased by $ 43 million from what the Utah Department of Health initially proposed after discussions among state health officials and local.

    “While we recognize that in the end, the committee’s reviews and negotiations were successful in changing the fund allocation strategy to align with needs, it is of concern that the original proposal was designed without input. substantial local nor significant local funding, ”the auditors wrote.

    Need more innovation?

    The auditors also expressed concern over what they described as a culture that does not encourage innovation, and noted that “employees said that new ideas and new processes can be accepted but are not. not encouraged, and that there is a lack of will to implement the innovation ”.

    Several years ago, the ministry established an office of organizational development and performance improvement, but which faced “significant hurdles” inspiring innovation, the auditors wrote. The department also received nearly $ 3 million to create and implement Utah’s Health Innovation Plan, which was “never fully implemented,” according to the report.

    “Our employee survey (of the department) also identified that new ideas or new processes can be adopted but are not encouraged, and that there is a lack of will to implement the innovation”, have declared the listeners.

    Fearing that the new merged agency “will not be enough” to solve all the problems, the auditors also recommend the creation of an “innovation center” to “foster a culture of innovation” and help the state improve its public health efforts.

    Listeners pointed to centers established in Idaho, Oregon and Washington that aim to promote initiatives to improve health in their states.

    Listeners believe that such a center in Utah should:

    • Identify information opportunities that will “help shape the future of health care in the state”.
    • Use precise data to find strategies for health care transformation and health information infrastructure.
    • Build a “coherent political agenda”; recommend strategies to reduce health care costs.
    • Promote better health care practices.
    • “Support efforts to provide a workforce in sufficient numbers and training” to meet the demands of the health system.

    Auditors said they found “several encouraging aspects” of the health department’s culture, including a dedicated workforce, a willingness to follow the direction of the department, and overall job satisfaction.

    Performance of social service agencies

    A second audit report found that the state’s departments of human services – which include the offices of the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Department of Workforce Services – no ‘have “no legislative performance measures required” in core budget bills, giving the legislature limited control over them.

    Many social service performance metrics reported in 2020 were “consistently below target and indicate deteriorating performance,” auditors said.

    The report’s recommendations include that agencies, as well as the budget analyst and the governor’s office, fill “oversight gaps” in major programs, and ensure that the information system used can report. multi-year trends for the basic budget bill measures.

    In a letter responding to the audit of the Utah Department of Health, its executive director, Nate Checketts, noted that over the years, the department has “simultaneously implemented several advancements in its services to the Utahns in very difficult circumstances ”.

    “The department, state and its residents can rightly be proud of many aspects of the overall health of our state and the actions we collectively take to improve it,” Checketts wrote.

    But he recognized that the department can improve in some areas, including culture, innovation and process. He said the agency “will start dealing with these recommendations immediately.”

    In a joint response to the social services audit, Checketts and Tracy Gruber, executive director of the Social Services Department, called the development of “comprehensive strategic plans and meaningful performance measures” essential for the new joint department.

    They said the department will include a strategic performance management center with divisions focused on quality, improvement and data.


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    Salt lake city government

    Utah, other states ask court to side with Texas in abortion lawsuit


    SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has signed a “friend of the court” case with the state in favor of Texas in a lawsuit over its controversial abortion law.

    In the case, states are avoiding weighing on the legality of Texas’ extremely restrictive law, which prohibits abortions around six weeks pregnant. However, they dispute the intervention of the federal government.

    “The order below threatens to expose every state in the Union to prosecution by the federal government whenever the US Attorney General finds that a state law violates someone’s constitutional right. one, somewhere, “the file says.

    Utah is one of a number of states that have very restrictive abortion laws in place. In 2020, the Utah state legislature has passed a bill banning elective abortions – but it only comes into effect if the benchmark Roe vs. Wade Case that established abortion rights in the United States is canceled. The United States Supreme Court is set to face a challenge this year, and the Texas case could end up in the nation’s highest court.

    “The Attorney General does not have the power to act as an itinerant reviewer of state law, challenging as unconstitutional any rule with which he does not agree. “said the amicus file.

    Read the amicus dossier here:


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    Salt lake city government

    AG Reyes: Biden administration’s IRS proposal is illegal / cumbersome


    SALT LAKE CITY – Today, in a letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Utah Attorney General, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and 19 other attorneys general states, have expressed opposition to the administration advocating a policy that would provide the federal government with access to nearly all U.S. bank accounts and financial transaction information.

    In the letter, the attorneys general argue that banks across the country will need to transform the way they do business to comply with proposed reporting requirements, including investing significant sums in data collection and other systems. The letter argues that consumers will be punished in several ways, as banks would likely pass on costs in the form of fees or higher interest rates, not to mention centralized storage of sensitive information would provide cybercriminals with an additional target to exploit. with information on almost all Americans.

    The group says that if arresting financial criminals or punishing tax evaders is the administration’s goal, they will gladly join together to find the right solutions based on the rule of law, but violate the rights of virtually all Americans with a bank account is not the answer.

    In addition to Utah, the coalition also includes the attorneys general of the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma , South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

    A copy of the letter is attached.



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    Salt lake city government

    October 11 is Indigenous Peoples Day, and many Indigenous people say there is still a lot of reconciliation work to be done for the Utahns.


    Local leaders say they would like to see it recognized statewide and have Columbus Day abolished.

    (Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Carl Moore, President of Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue and Organizing Support, listens to Salt Lake City City Council vote unanimously in favor of establishing the second Monday in October as People’s Day natives at their regular council meeting in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. The League of Native American Voters of Utah worked with council member Charlie Luke (District 6) to put this resolution to a vote. If successful, Salt Lake City will join 26 other cities across the country in adopting Indigenous Peoples Day. Replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is an important step towards historical truth and cultural reconciliation in this country.

    Indigenous Peoples Day is October 11, and many Indigenous peoples know that there is still a lot of reconciliation work to be done for the Utahns to understand the Indigenous experience in the state’s eight sovereign nations.

    This includes the elimination of Columbus Day as a statutory holiday.

    While the progressive pockets of Salt Lake City support and honor Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday in October, Utah does not. That needs to change immediately, say Diné organizer and activist Denae Shanidiin, Restoring Ancestral Winds (RAW), and Paiute Indian tribe president of Utah, Corrina Bow.

    On the same day Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument were restored by proclamation, President Joe Biden also signed a federal proclamation to designate each October 11 as Indigenous Peoples Day.

    “From time immemorial, Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Hawaiians have built vibrant and diverse cultures – protecting the land, language, spirit, knowledge and traditions through generations, ”Biden said in the proclamation. “On Indigenous Peoples Day, our nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the federal government’s trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations.

    Shanidiin’s RAW group seeks to end violence – physical, sexual, spiritual and mental – in Utah’s eight Indigenous communities.

    “The next step in honoring indigenous peoples is to abolish Columbus Day, a symbolic day of white supremacy, shamelessly celebrating the story of a mass murderer, rapist and enslaver of indigenous peoples,” Shanidiin said, adding Nor does Utah’s celebration of Pioneer Day in July tell the true story of how Mormon settlers and their colonization across Utah amounted to Columbus Day.

    Bow, who is the leader of his people, added that it is important for Utah to recognize the natives of the state as Nung’wu, or the people, who lived here long before the arrival of white settlers. .

    “We must not forget those who fought for this day,” said Bow. “I asked an elder what Indigenous Peoples Day meant to you and she said every day is Indigenous Peoples Day. Yes, she is right. Children, we are taught that every day that you wake up is a gift and that you should celebrate life.

    As Diné heading the highest state office in the Indian Affairs Division of Utah, Dustin Jansen, executive director, notes that Utah has the opportunity to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. More than a dozen states do.

    “The state has not substituted Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples Day,” Jansen said. “There have been attempts to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, but these attempts have not been successful. “

    Instead of honoring Indigenous Peoples Day today, Utah will recognize it on Nov. 12 in a proposed proclamation, Jansen said. November is also Native American Heritage Month.


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    Salt lake city government

    Utah sides with tribes demanding respect for Indian child protection law


    SALT LAKE CITY – Utah is asking the United States Supreme Court to side with the federal government and the tribes to ensure the protection of India’s child protection law.

    In a “friend of the court” brief filed Friday, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes joined a bipartisan coalition of 25 other attorneys general to support four tribes and the United States in a lawsuit before the United States. country’s arrest court. In the case, the coalition argues that states have an interest in defending the well-being of all children in state custody proceedings, including Native American children.

    “ICWA is a valid exercise of congressional power and plays an important role in promoting good relations between the state and Indian tribes. Most importantly, ICWA helps ensure that Indian children maintain ties with their families and tribes when they are placed in foster care or when the state continues to work with its tribal partners to advance the interests of children. Indian children of Utah, ”Solicitor General Melissa Holyoak said in a statement.

    The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in 1978 to respond to custody procedures that removed Native American children from their parents’ care and placed them in non-tribal foster homes – often without just cause, said the Utah Attorney General‘s Office.

    The United States Supreme Court hears a custody case involving a Native American child and white adoptive parents in Texas.

    Read the amicus dossier here:


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    Salt lake city government

    Can Complicated Land Trade Fix Red Butte Garden Fence Snafu?


    Editor’s Note • This story is only available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

    In the 1980s, a historic stone structure in the foothills behind Red Butte Garden became a popular party spot, where people gathered to enjoy sunsets, beer, and the company of others.

    But the trash and vandalism that accompanied the fun posed a tall order for the US Forest Service, which oversees the land towering above Salt Lake City. So an agreement was reached which seemed to offer a lasting solution. As part of the deal, the University of Utah extended the botanical garden fence to capture 40 acres of national forest that included what is now called Quarry House or Stone House to ensure its preservation. The classic two-hearth sandstone dwelling was built by Utah pioneers in the 1800s.

    Although without a roof, the structure is still standing, but there is a new problem that is entirely bureaucratic in nature, according to Bekee Hotze, the Salt Lake City District Ranger for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Fencing off Forest Service lands is not entirely legal.

    Hotze explored ways to deal with the situation with the law. Finding a solution was not easy.

    “When we started the discussion of land swaps, the university had just sold a piece of land in Red Butte Canyon to a private family, which the Forest Service just bought,” she wrote in an e- mail “This plot would have been ideal to do a land swap with the University for the plot they fenced off in Red Butte Garden.

    The Fenced National Forest is an undeveloped, albeit vital, part of the United States’ signature natural amenity. It now has an extensive network of trails through undulating terrain covered with oak trees with great views over the Salt Lake Valley.

    This mess caught Hotze’s attention when Red Butte began planning their Six Bridges Trail, nearing completion along Red Butte Creek, which will eventually connect to trails on Forest Service lands. Unless a solution is found, the United States may have to rebuild the fence to exclude federally owned land in the Wasatch foothills, returning the Stone House to Forest Service management.

    Now, state trust land officials are to the rescue, coming up with an idea that could put the case to rest and ensure that the Stone House remains inside the United States’ umbrella of protection.

    The Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, or SITLA, has emerged as a potential intermediary.

    (Brian Maffly | The Salt Lake Tribune) This part of Red Butte Garden features national forest lands that may have been illegally incorporated into the University of Utah’s signature natural setting.

    Here’s how the deal would work, according to Michelle McConkie, SITLA’s deputy surface manager. The agency would trade some of its land with the Forest Service for the 40 acres of national forest and then lease those acres to the United States, which happens to be one of its institutional beneficiaries.

    “This proposed exchange is a win-win for all parties. He helps the university, he helps the Forest Service and he allows SITLA to help one of its beneficiaries. If we can help in this situation, we are happy to be involved in doing so, ”said McConkie. “We wouldn’t be doing this if the United States wasn’t one of our beneficiaries.”

    SITLA manages 3 million acres of state-owned land for the benefit of public education and several state entities. The agency is legally obligated to manage this land to earn as much money as possible for the Utah Schools Trust Fund.

    It contains many patches adjoining the Utah National Forests that are of little use to the school trust, but are perhaps better suited to be included in a national forest where they can be managed for wildlife habitat, the watershed. or recreation.

    McConkie said the swap process has only just begun and SITLA has yet to identify a plot it would like to swap with the Forest Service, or assess the Red Butte plot. Trade would have to have value for value to be legal. With its proximity to Utah’s largest city and university, the Red Butte land would likely be worth much more, acre for acre, than any parcel SITLA could offer in exchange.

    READ. was unable to make anyone available to comment on this article.

    Red Butte Garden occupies over 100 acres on the south side of the mouth of Red Butte Canyon. In the years since the fence was raised, it has become a major cultural attraction in the Wasatch Foothills, with a popular open-air concert hall, botanical research, and educational programming, in addition to its 21 acres of exhibition gardens. Visited by 200,000 per year, it charges $ 14 admission for adults.

    READ. established the botanical garden here in the 1980s following the designation of the U. as a State Arboretum, setting aside the land that has become the Red Butte Garden & Arboretum.

    The arrangement that has led to the current stalemate appears to have been swaddled with good intentions. Vandalism at Stone House was a serious problem, and Red Butte officials provided what at the time seemed an ideal solution.

    In the early 1990s, then-district manager Michael Sieg struck a memorandum of understanding with Red Butte manager Mary Pat Matheson, according to Hotze. The garden fence was then enlarged to include the Stone House and National Forest Land that was to be used as an outdoor classroom for Red Butte’s environmental education programs.

    “Unfortunately, the District Rangers do not have the authority to authorize an entity to fence off the lands of the National Forest System, charge a fee to enter the land and manage the land,” Hotze said in his email. “Since then, we have researched a number of potential solutions to the problem. “

    Hotze investigated whether the federal Small Plots Act could be used to make necessary adjustments to property lines, but the 40 acres do not qualify under that law. The United States cited this law to adjust property lines where parking lot construction encroached on national forest lands.

    The district ranger also considered issuing a special use permit, allowing the United States to use the land for a fee, but the uses of the garden did not meet Forest Service policies.

    The realignment of the Red Butte fence is something no one wants to see. But it may be the one selected by default if agencies can’t navigate the bureaucratic maze the federal government has created for land swaps.


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    Salt lake city government

    Biden vaccine mandate brings nearly 1,000 to committee meeting


    SALT LAKE CITY – Nearly a thousand people showed up in person or joined online at a meeting Monday of the Interim Business and Labor Committee in the Utah capital. Almost all were opposed to President Biden’s order for a commercial mandate in the field of vaccines.

    Committee chair Senator Curt Bramble conducted an informal audience poll, and only two people in attendance and several others online said they were in favor of the order.

    State gives guidance on Mr Biden’s vaccination mandate

    For the first hour and a half, lawmakers heard from state agencies including the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunities, Utah’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (UOSH), Labor Commission of Utah and the Utah Attorney General‘s Office.

    Related: Utah Lawmakers Want Public Input on President’s Vaccine Tenure

    “In our conversations with business so far, we haven’t heard anyone expressing support for a general tenure of administration,” said Benjamin Hart, deputy director of the governor’s office of economic opportunities.

    “That being said,” he added, “we have heard from some companies who have expressed their wish to require all their employees to be vaccinated.”

    Utah has its own occupational safety and health division. It is managed half by state money and half by federal money.

    UOSH officials have said Utah must be “at least as efficient” as federal OSHA in the rules it follows for workplace safety.

    “We are audited annually by federal OSHA,” Utah Labor Commission Commissioner Jaceson Maughan said.

    “If OSHA determined that we were not as effective as (the national agency), this could become an issue where OSHA would try to push this issue forward or even take action to potentially invalidate this plan and fire it. Utah under federal jurisdiction. ”

    Utah should sue, which could take time

    Maughn said that once OSHA releases its standards for an emergency temporary standard, Utah will have 30 days to adopt it. Maughn said it is effective for 6 months and then it should be renewed.

    “Let’s say we ask you not to implement the standard,” asked the committee’s House chairman, Rep. Joel Ferry.

    “The ramification is that the federal government can come in and take over our OSHA department?” “

    “This could potentially be the final solution,” Maughan said. “This is the worst case scenario, but it potentially exists.”

    Utah Solicitor General Melissa Holyoak testified that Reyes’ office is “confident” in their legal position against the ordinance. She reiterated that they believed it was unconstitutional and illegal.

    It is possible that a special session will be held during the interim week in mid-October for lawmakers to tackle this issue. House Minority Leader Brian King told KSL on Friday he feared the meeting might herald a special session.

    Republicans have not said as much, although they have said the special session is possible.

    Overwhelming opposition to a vaccination mandate

    Trade associations like the Salt Lake Chamber, the General Contractors Association, and the Utah’s Restaurant Association have expressed opposition to the federal requirements, as have several businesses with 100 or more employees in Utah.

    Related: Governor Spencer Cox Says Decision To Vaccinate Should Be Left to Businesses

    “We advocate for companies to have the right to make their own decisions in the best interests of employees and customers without the government having too much influence,” said Ginger Chinn of The Salt Lake Chamber, and we believe that ‘this is a mandate that reflects the government’s overbreadth.

    The (small) support to order

    One of the few public commentators supporting the order asked why it was called a warrant.

    “I feel confused by everyone who calls this only a vaccine mandate, especially elected officials,” said Stephanie Finley of Salt Lake City. “These are vaccines Where tests, ”she said.

    Public comment hours

    Most of the time was spent hearing from the public. Each person had one minute to express their point of view.

    Some of the comments were extreme and shared misinformation. Many have strayed into points about vaccine safety. Senator Bramble had to reiterate on several occasions that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the federal proposal, and not other matters related to Covid or vaccines. Some people have used Bible references to make their point.

    “The serpent that concerns me is the ancient biblical serpent that would have us believe that we are not created in the image of God but that we are created in the image of the government, in the image of Fauci, in the image of God. ‘image of grand pharma, or anyone who tries to force these vaccines on us, ”one woman said.

    Related: Utah Lawmaker Wants Businesses To Be Held Accountable If They Need COVID-19 Vaccines

    “I refused to bite the ‘poisoned apple’ of these vaccines or tests.”

    Currently, 52% of Utahns are fully vaccinated according to the state’s coronavirus website.

    Lawmakers said 3% of Utah businesses have 100 or more employees, representing 65% of Utah’s employment base.

    The federal mandate also requires that the approximately 17 million workers in healthcare facilities who receive federal Medicare or Medicaid will also need to be fully immunized.

    Many members of the public who spoke said they were small business owners. Mr. Biden’s order applies to companies with 100 or more employees. Some have argued that it is “only a matter of time” until the warrants reach them.

    How to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus

    The COVID-19 coronavirus is spread from person to person, like the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

    • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Don’t touch your face.
    • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others as recommended by the CDC.
    • Keep children and people with weakened immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this case, at least six feet).
    • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay home, instead of going to the movies, sporting events, or other activities).
    • Get the flu shot.

    Local resources

    KSL Coronavirus Q&A

    Utah Coronavirus Information

    Utah State Board of Education

    Utah Hospital Association

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

    National resources

    Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention

    Frequently Asked Questions, World Health Organization

    Case in the United States


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    Salt lake city government

    Rio Reimagined Seeks To Make Continuous Environmental Improvements


    Rio Reimagined is a green infrastructure project that marked the city of Tempe by helping to form the Lake of the City of Tempe.

    Rio Reimagined, a green infrastructure project, has marked the environmental and economic development of the valley since the start of the project in 2018. The city of Tempe is no exception.

    The project is a collaboration between six cities, two indigenous communities and ASU to revitalize the Rio Salado and Gila rivers and transform the bottom of the Salt River. It covers a 58 mile stretch from Buckeye to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community which relies on public-private partnerships to drive sustainable projects, protect land for future public space and bring resilient communities together, among many other goals.

    The idea for the Rio Reimagined project arose out of ASU students in 1966 and sparked decades of work leading up to the construction of Tempe Town Lake in the 90s. The lake has become one of the most iconic features. of Tempe and one of the project’s largest economic developments.

    Neil Giuliano was the mayor of Tempe during the construction of Tempe Town Lake and is currently working with the project in the private sector as president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership.

    “It’s a project that has been going on for many, many decades now… to ensure that the Rio Salado, the Salt River, can once again thrive throughout the region, for all 50 miles,” said Giuliano.

    In 2018, the late Senator John McCain breathed new life into Rio Reimagined when he brought ASU into the project to serve as a liaison, project manager and research arm to help facilitate and organize the effort, what ASU does as part of the University City Exchange. department.

    Today, Tempe continues to work towards the goal of the project.

    The city is working on the cleanup of brownfields along the river to redevelop these areas and on a green infrastructure plan for stormwater, said Braden Kay, director of sustainability for the city of Tempe.

    Brownfields are areas which have already been contaminated and which have themselves undergone environmental remediation and redevelopment. Tempe Marketplace, an open-air mall located along the Salt River and off Loop 202, was a former brownfield site.

    READ MORE: ASU partners with federal government and local groups to revitalize communities in Rio Salado and Gila Rivers

    Kay said he hopes to apply to Tempe City Council for funding for an ecological winter stormwater infrastructure plan. This plan would change the way the city treats water as it would absorb rainwater where it falls, rather than using gutters and pipes to collect rainwater, which is meant to cool the area. ‘environment.

    “I see Rio Reimagined as the catalyst for regional movements around green stormwater infrastructure and green buildings,” Kay said. “If we take back our watershed and the cities that share the Rio Salado, how can this transform the way we rethink our relationship to the land, to the water, to the air (and) to our entire environment? ”

    The project is larger than Tempe and it captures much of the valley, leading to both local and federal collaboration.

    “What is exciting about Rio Reimagined is the ability to have residents, ASU, our elected federal officials and local government work together on a unifying vision for our region,” said Kay.

    This collaboration was displayed on September 17 at a meeting hosted by the office of Senator Mark Kelly. The meeting took place in Tempe Town Lake, with many project leaders including Michael Regan, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. It was the first time Regan had visited the valley since he was sworn in as administrator in March.

    The EPA has been a strong supporter of Rio Reimagined over the years. In 2020, he gave the project a special federal designation that promised to cut red tape, get grants, and help local leaders decide how to spend federal money.

    Project partners received a federal grant for the project.

    “The EPA has invested approximately $ 2 million in local, state and nonprofit partners in the corridor for projects over the past two years,” said Cecilia Riviere, deputy director of University City Exchange at the ‘KNEW.

    Project partners are still looking to receive additional federal funding, as the project “probably has 10 to 12 grants pending from different federal agencies,” Riviere said.

    Despite all the work the project has done over the years, Kay has expressed concern about the future and priorities of the project.

    “There is this crossroads to really understand, is it about economic development or is it really about a fair and people-centered way of developing our region in the future? Kay said.

    Contact the reporter at [email protected] and follow @morgfisch on Twitter.

    Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

    Continue to support student journalism and donate to The State Press today.


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    Salt lake city government

    State school mask bans tangled with budget plans and controversy


    AP covers complex legal movements in Arizona over school mask bans and the state budget. The Detroit Free Press covers similar maneuvers in Michigan. Separately, reports state that the Department of Education will cover the salaries of members of Broward County school boards withheld due to school mask rules.

    AP: Arizona High Court allows upholding of school mask ban

    The Arizona Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to immediately reinstate a series of new laws that include measures that prevent schools from requiring masks and remove the power of local governments to impose COVID-19 restrictions. The High Court rejected the request of the Attorney General of the Republic, Mark Brnovich, to allow the entry into force of the provisions of three state budget bills and one entire budget bill. Instead, the court set a briefing schedule for it to consider Brnovich’s request to bypass the Court of Appeal and hear the case directly. (Christie, 9/29)

    Detroit Free Press: Whitmer: Budget coins canceling local mask orders unconstitutional

    Michigan lawmakers cannot use the state budget to threaten funding for local health departments that institute local school mask rules, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday. The governor considers this pandemic provision in the nearly $ 70 billion budget unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. “Lawmakers cannot roll out the public health code into a budget bill or inappropriate funds because they challenge the actions of local health departments,” Whitmer wrote in the letter. (Boucher, 9/29)

    WLRN 91.3 FM: Federal government covers Broward school board salaries that state withheld due to mask policy

    The US Department of Education announced Tuesday that it is awarding more than $ 420,000 to the Broward County School Board to cover state financial penalties on the salaries of school board members. The grant is intended to pay the salaries of eight Broward board members who voted for a student mask term that allows exceptions only for medical reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic. (9/29)

    Salt Lake Tribune: Here’s where the masks have gone that Utah officials promised schools in Salt Lake City County

    To help keep Utah’s children “as safe as possible” from COVID-19, Governor Spencer Cox in August pledged to provide more than a million masks to students in Kindergarten to Grade 12, at the Both surgical style masks and higher quality KN95 masks in small and large sizes. As of Tuesday, 2.2 million masks had been shipped to schools, according to Tom Hudachko, spokesman for the Utah Department of Health. Of these, 310,000 were pediatric-sized fabric masks, 700,000 were pediatric-sized three-layer surgical masks and the rest were KN95s, he said. But low demand for the masks means some Salt Lake County school districts have left them in storage. “I would say that every day, on average, throughout the building, about a quarter of my children wear masks,” John Paul Sorensen, director of Neil Armstrong Academy in West Valley City, said Tuesday. (Jacobs, 9/29

    In updates on quarantines and vaccines –

    AP: Louisiana school chief removes COVID quarantine suggestion

    Going against health advice, the Louisiana Department of Education announced on Wednesday that it no longer recommends that public school systems quarantine asymptomatic students who have come in close contact with a person who tests positive. for COVID-19. Louisiana’s 69 local school districts already had the opportunity to determine whether they wanted to send students home for days due to exposure to the coronavirus disease. But most districts had followed the state’s education department’s recommendation that these students should be quarantined, even if they did not show symptoms of COVID-19. (Deslatte, 9/29)

    The Charlotte Observer: Union County’s New COVID Quarantine Agreement with Schools

    After threats of legal action, the Union County Public School District has agreed to work with the county health department to ensure that COVID-19 contact tracing steps and quarantine requirements are followed. The Union County Public Health Department and Union County Public Schools agreed on Wednesday on a process to identify and exclude students and staff identified as a positive case or close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19. (Costa, 9/29)

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Illinois teachers sue districts over statewide immunization warrant

    Ten teachers in the eastern metropolitan area who refuse to comply with statewide vaccine and mask mandates are suing their school districts over the policies. The lawsuit against Triad, in Troy, and the Edwardsville school districts and their superintendents indicates that the warrants were issued illegally. The Madison County Circuit Court lawsuit calls for teachers to be allowed to continue working in their schools. School districts “do not have the delegated authority to mandate vaccination or testing,” said lawyer Thomas DeVore of Greenville. “They could have defended their educators… but they don’t want to face the governor. “(Bernhard, 9/29)

    AP: University of Colorado faces COVID religious exemption lawsuit

    A pediatrician and a medical student at the University of Colorado medical campus at Anschutz are contesting denials of their requests for religious exemptions from the school’s COVID vaccination mandate, arguing in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that administrators are ruling ” truth ”of personal religious beliefs in violation of the First Amendment. The U.S. District Court lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based conservative nonprofit, is the latest clash over a growing number of private and public sector vaccine mandates across national government to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 600,000 people in the United States (Nieberg, 9/30)

    In other school news –

    The Washington Post: School nutrition programs face new crisis as supply chain disruptions and labor shortages limit food deliveries

    Square pizza and chicken fillets are suddenly swapped for pieces of meatloaf and zucchini. American school children and lunch ladies make faces. And now the federal government is stepping in to help. Kansas school districts cannot get whole wheat flour, ranch dressing, or Crispitos taco rolls at this time. In Dallas, they can’t get their hands on cutlery, plates, and napkins. In New York City, school districts are unable to find chicken, condiments or carrots without antibiotics. (Reiley, 9/29)

    This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.


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    Salt lake city government

    COVID-19: More than 3.9 million vaccines have been distributed in Utah. This is the number that the state has actually distributed



    It has now been 40 weeks since the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine were sent to states, launching the largest vaccination campaign in human history. As of September 23, 469,561,625 doses of the vaccine had been shipped across the country, equivalent to 143.1% of the US population.

    While the initial vaccine distribution took longer than federal projections indicated, in recent months the United States has made great strides in the global race to deliver the vaccines – and some states are doing so. come out much better than others. In the current system, led by the White House COVID-19 response team, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends states limited vaccine shipments along with funding and directs them to distribute the vaccine in accordance with relatively flexible federal guidelines.

    Each state has developed its own deployment plan, prioritizing different age groups and classes of essential workers. The mix of policies and logistical challenges across the country has led to large variations between states in both the percentage of vaccines that have been administered and the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated.

    In Utah, 85.7% of allocated vaccines had been administered to residents as of Sept. 23, higher than the national average of 82.6% and the ninth highest share of all states.

    Doses administered amount to 105.8% of the state’s population, lower than the national figure of 118.2% and the 20th smallest share of all states.

    While a majority of Americans are not vaccinated due to a lack of supplies, some have no intention of receiving a vaccine at all. According to a US Census Bureau survey, 59.2% of American adults aged 18 and older who have not yet received the vaccine likely or certainly will not receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the future. In Utah, 53.7% of adults who have not yet received the vaccine say they likely or certainly will not receive a vaccine in the future, the fifth smallest share of all states. The most common reason for not wanting a vaccine is fear of possible side effects. Other commonly cited reasons include that they were planning to wait and see if it’s safe, not to trust the COVID-19 vaccines and not to trust the government.

    To determine how states are doing with the vaccine rollout, 24/7 Wall St. looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked based on the number of vaccines administered in a state as a percentage of the number of vaccines distributed to that state by the federal government as of September 23. Data on confirmed COVID-19 cases as of September 23 came from various states and local health departments and were population-adjusted using data from the 2019 American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau. Data on the percentage of adults who are unlikely or certainly will not receive a COVID-19 vaccine and their reasons for not receiving one comes from the Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, conducted on August 18, 2021. until August 30, 2021.


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    Salt lake city government

    What is monoclonal antibody therapy?


    (ABC4) – If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase monoclonal antibody therapy (yes, that’s a mouthful), those days are numbered.

    This week, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) announced the opening of a brand new infusion center at Intermountain Healthcare’s Murray Hospital, which will be able to treat up to 50 eligible people each day.

    The new facility, which will exclusively provide treatment to high-risk patients, has been developed from a new one to combat an increase in COVID-19 cases that are straining Utah’s healthcare system, have officials explained at the introductory press conference Thursday.

    “Hospital systems, at least along the Wasatch front, were hampering their ability to infuse, and they identified more people who would benefit from it than they could actually afford,” said UDOH deputy director. , Dr. Michelle Hofmann.

    But what exactly is monoclonal antibody therapy, who is it for, and what effect can it have against COVID-19?

    Here is an overview of some frequently asked questions that many may have about the treatment:

    What is that?

    Treatment with monoclonal antibodies is given by intravenous or IV infusion. The process takes about 2-3 hours, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Here’s the kicker though, to receive the treatment, which is an infusion of lab-created antibodies that can be used to fight COVID-19, you must already test positive for the virus.

    There is a documented history of successful treatment, including when former President Donald Trump fell with COVID in October 2020. He received an antibody called Regeneron while receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Other antibody-based drugs that have been recommended for use in Utah include sotrovimab, bamlanivimab, and etesevimab.

    However, many in the medical community, as well as political voices such as Utah Governor Spencer Cox, have said the treatment is not an alternative to the vaccine. It essentially helps a person who is sick with COVID recover faster and can reduce the possibility of long-term side effects.

    Who can get it?

    To determine who is eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment at this time, a set of criteria has been listed on the state’s coronavirus response website.

    The qualifications that must be met are as follows:

    • The patient must be at least 16 years old
    • Have tested positive no more than 7 days after the onset of symptoms
    • No need for new or increased oxygen again
    • Should not be admitted to a hospital for COVID or complications related to COVID
    • Patients who meet the above conditions and who are pregnant are eligible for treatment.
    • Those who are not pregnant and unvaccinated should have a risk score greater than 4.5
    • Those who are not pregnant and vaccinated must have a risk score greater than 8 or be severely immunocompromised

    The risk score can be calculated online and is based on a number of factors including gender, age, ethnicity, pre-existing conditions, and symptoms.

    Young people aged 12 to 15 may be considered eligible but test positive no more than a week after symptom onset, and have either some kind of B-cell immunodeficiency or morbid obesity with a higher BMI. to 35.

    What are the costs?

    While the federal government distributes treatment for free at this time, some treatment centers may have costs that may or may not be covered by insurance.

    More information on insurance coverage can be found here.

    Where can I receive it?

    In addition to the new facility at Intermountain Healthcare Hospital in Murray, there are many other locations across the state providing treatment.

    Here is a list provided by the state’s webpage on the subject:

    • Ashley Regional Medical Center – 435-790-2807
    • Beaver Valley Hospital – 435-438-7284
    • Blue Mountain Hospital – 435-678-4640
    • Castleview Hospital – Price – 435-636-4840 / 435-650-4895
    • Central Valley Medical Center – 435-623-3108
    • Gunnison Valley Hospital – Gunnison – 435-528-2118
    • Intermountain Healthcare – Statewide
    • Kane County Hospital – Kanab – 435-644-4178
    • Moab Regional Hospital – 435-719-3500
    • Ogden Regional Medical Center – 801-479-2470
    • Uintah Basin Medical Center – Roosevelt – 435-247-4298
    • Utah University of Health – SLC – 801-213-2130
    • Davis Hospital and Medical Center – Layton – (Please contact your primary care physician to make an appointment)
    • Jordan Valley Medical Center – West Jordan – (Please contact your primary care physician to make an appointment)
    • Mountain Point Medical Center – Lehi – (Please contact your primary care physician to make an appointment)
    • Salt Lake Regional Medical Center – Salt Lake City – (Please contact your primary care physician to make an appointment)

    To shorten it…

    Basically, monoclonal antibody therapy is a treatment that could potentially help someone with COVID-19 feel better faster. If you think you may need treatment, it is important to contact the appropriate medical officials as soon as possible to stay within the window of onset of symptoms.

    In addition, you must be considered high risk on a risk factor scale to receive treatment.

    It is not seen as a replacement for getting vaccinated, which is still encouraged and in some cases required by many leaders. However, it can help a person who tests positive feel better, potentially avoiding the need for hospitalization.


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    Salt lake city government

    COVID-19 vaccines for children: what parents need to know


    Children as young as 5 years old could be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Halloween, now that Pfizer and BioTech report that lower doses of their vaccine have been shown to be safe while producing a “robust” antibody response in this group of people. ‘age.

    The results announced by the companies earlier this week are yet to be submitted to the United States Food and Drug Administration, which will decide whether to change the emergency use order allowing teens ages 12 to 15 years to receive the vaccine to include children aged 5 to 11. .

    While the data shared so far appears to be good news for parents concerned about protecting their young children from the deadly virus, experts are waiting to see details of the latest clinical trial that involved some 2,300 children aged 5 to 11. years.

    “A press release is just a press release, and we want to see the rest of the data. But I hope that happens very soon, and I hope that a good close review of the data set will be just as encouraging as what they published in the press release, ”said Dr Andy Pavia to journalists in a recent virtual news. conference.

    Pavia, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah Health and director of hospital epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, said “this is really the point at which we can. say, “Yeah, that sounds awesome.” We are delighted to give it to our children.

    How serious is COVID-19 for children?

    Lately, there are typically eight to 10 children hospitalized in elementary school for children with COVID-19, Pavia said, “far more than we’ve seen at any time in the past year. I think this reflects both the spread among children that we are seeing this year and the increased infectivity of delta, ”the highly contagious viral variant.

    School-aged children also account for about 1 in 4 new cases of the virus in Utah during the current outbreak, he said, a number likely higher because many parents do not test their children for the virus because that they are worried. having to prevent them from going to school.

    There have been nearly 60,000 cases of the virus in Utahns aged 14 and under, representing 12% of all cases in the state, according to the Utah Department of Health. Nearly 500 have been sick enough to be hospitalized and two young people in Salt Lake County have died of the disease, including an unvaccinated teenager.

    What parents should do

    Deciding whether to vaccinate children against COVID-19 means assessing the risks involved, Pavie said. Children get sick enough to be hospitalized or die, but even in the mildest cases they miss school and face the possibility of dealing with what is known as the long COVID-19 – fatigue, fog and other persistent symptoms.

    “You have to balance these risks, which people don’t always fully appreciate,” he said, with the potential risks of injections which, so far, “have been shown to be as safe as any vaccine like us. let’s use “. But Pavia said that in children aged 5 to 11, the study was not large enough to know what he called rarer side effects.

    This information will come as the vaccine rolls out to the younger group, he said, adding that if his own children were 5 to 11, they would be on the front line for vaccines on day one. where they were available – if they had not already been enrolled in a clinical trial.

    “What I would say is if your child goes to school in Utah, he’s at a pretty high risk of contracting COVID and a pretty high risk of complications,” Pavia warned. However, he said, “if they stay home, if they are in a state where there is universal masking and very low infection rates, their risk is lower.”

    For low-risk children, the doctor said parents “might want to wait a little longer until we know more about rare or minor safety effects.” The best source of information for parents, Pavia said, is a family pediatrician or other health care provider.

    The bottom line for him, however, is that the risk presented by COVID-19 is great while the risk of the vaccine “is almost certainly much, much smaller.”

    Will the vaccine really be available by Halloween?

    Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said there was a good chance the injections would be approved for children before they were go to therapy.

    FDA officials pledged earlier this month to “carefully, thoroughly, and independently review the data to assess the benefits and risks and be ready to complete its review as quickly as possible, possibly within a few minutes. weeks rather than a few months ”.

    But in the same statement, Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the FDA, and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Assessment and Research, also said, “Like every vaccine decision that we took during this pandemic, our assessment of data on COVID-19 vaccine use in children will not cut corners. “

    Pavie said that in the past, similar decisions were made within weeks of submitting the application, so late October or early November could be the date when clearance could be anticipated. But he also admitted that it was only a matter of “looking at a crystal ball”.

    After FDA approval, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is to meet to develop clinical recommendations. It usually only takes a day or two.

    And once the federal government gives the green light, Pavia said he expects injections to be given to children in the same places as teens, teens and adults, including doctors’ offices. , clinics and pharmacies.

    Parents planning ahead for the holidays should realize that it takes five weeks from the first dose to be fully immunized. In addition to the three week wait between the two injections, it takes another two weeks after receiving the final dose before a person is considered fully immune to the virus.

    How the vaccine was tested

    The trial tested two doses of the vaccine given 21 days apart, the same regimen currently given to people 12 years of age and older, but the doses were one-third less than the standard 30 micrograms. However, the immune response generated seemed to be equivalent to larger doses in adolescents.

    That’s all the companies had to show since vaccines had been shown to be effective in stopping COVID-19 infections in studies in older groups, including one trial in 44,000 adults, USA Today reported. Trials are currently underway for children 2 to 5 years old and 6 months to 2 years old.

    Pfizer and BioTech said the children involved in the studies of the three age groups came from more than 90 locations in the United States, Finland, Poland and Spain, and some had already had COVID-19, according to USA Today .

    The other two coronavirus vaccines approved for use in the United States, the two-dose Moderna and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson, are also under study in children. Pfizer’s injections are the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for adolescents and adolescents,

    What about “off-label” clichés for children under 12 now?

    This question arose last month, when the Pfizer vaccine was fully approved by the FDA, paving the way for prescribing “off-label” injections for different age groups, conditions or other indications than those stated by the manufacturers. authorities.

    But experts say it’s not a good idea and have advised to wait until federal authorities have approved the safety concerns and looked into issues such as the proper dosage for young children. Pfizer shots are available under emergency use authorization for ages 12 to 16.

    Utah Department of Health on COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

    “There is a common misconception that children do not contract COVID-19 or are not at risk of serious illness from the virus. However, some children get sick enough to require hospital treatment. We still don’t know much about how COVID-19 will continue to impact children in the long term, ”the department said in a statement.

    “COVID-19 is far more dangerous than any potential risk involved in getting a vaccine. Children suffer from serious and potentially long-lasting side effects at rates similar to those of adults, even if they have never had symptoms or had only mild symptoms at the time of their infection. Many children continue to suffer from fatigue, headaches, abdominal, muscle and joint pain, and difficulty remembering and processing information, ”the statement continued.

    “The Utah Department of Health is eagerly awaiting further recommendations from the FDA and CDC to vaccinate children under 12 years of age. If you have young children, talk to your healthcare professional about the best ways to protect them until a vaccine is available.


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    Salt lake city government

    Salt Lake allocates $ 8 million to tackle housing crisis and increase affordable housing


    Ana Valdemoros, chair of the board of directors of the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, speaks at a press conference Tuesday announcing a notice of funding availability for affordable housing development in the city. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

    SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake City redevelopment agency on Tuesday released $ 8 million for the construction and preservation of affordable housing projects. The city continues to experience growing economic inequality as housing rates rise faster than the incomes of residents.

    “This is the commitment we are showing with the resources we have to provide solutions to this statewide housing crisis that we are experiencing, it may not be the complete solution, but it is the most that anyone has done, “Ana Valdemoros, president of the board of directors of the GDR and a city councilor, said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I really appreciate the other members of council, the mayor and the staff, for focusing on the resources we have and dispersing them so that we can at least make a dent for the residents of Salt Lake City.”

    The $ 8 million will be allocated under the GDR Housing Development Loan Program. A portion of this funding, $ 2.7 million, is spent on projects located in what are considered “high potential areas”. These areas are places in Salt Lake City that are believed to provide conditions that will expand an individual’s possibilities for social mobility.

    These high opportunity areas are identified using indicators such as homeownership rate, poverty, household financial burden, education level, unemployment rate and labor market participation. work, according to the director of the GDR, Danny Walz. The agency is made up of the seven members of the Salt Lake City council, with Mayor Erin Mendenhall as executive director.

    Applicants must develop and plan a project that meets the city’s affordable housing goals to be eligible for funding. Some of the city’s goals include:

    • Residential units targeted at underserved populations
    • Accommodation for families
    • Housing for affordable home ownership
    • Equitable access to a variety of transportation options
    • Equitable geographic distribution of affordable housing
    • Long-term affordability.

    “It’s not just the money that’s going to help us make geographic equity more possible in our city, when it comes to affordability, and that’s why that’s so important. whatever the gap for the current owners, ”Mendenhall said.

    <a class=Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks at a press conference Tuesday announcing a notice of funding availability for affordable housing development in the city.”/>
    Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks at a press conference Tuesday announcing a notice of funding availability for affordable housing development in the city. (Photo: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

    The City’s goals demonstrate a variety of needs that residents face during the affordable housing crisis.

    The federal government defines affordable housing as any housing unit whose gross monthly costs, including utilities, do not represent more than 30% of a household’s gross monthly income. But state data has revealed that more than 183,000 low-income households pay more than half of their income for rent and move closer to homelessness with deteriorating economic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This same data showed that from 2009 to 2016, incomes grew by 0.31% per year, while rents increased at a rate of 1.03% per year in 2017. In addition, the recent population growth of cities like Salt Lake City led to a concentrated increase. required. For example, the average rent for an apartment in Salt Lake County was $ 647 in 2000, but the average monthly payment rose to $ 1,153 in 2018, according to an analysis by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute of the University of Utah.

    Unaffordable housing leaves residents with less money to pay for food, utilities, transportation to work, health and child care, among other expenses. Mendenhall said the city takes these elements into account when allocating funds, noting that 90% of housing units built in Salt Lake City since 2019 are within walking distance of public transportation, helping to keep costs down. transport which represent on average 20% of the expenses of a resident. total income.

    Part of this housing growth includes 333 affordable units, funded in part by the RDA, which were added in the past year. According to Valdemoros, 181 more units are expected to come online by the end of this calendar year, with more than three-quarters of these rented at affordable rates for those earning 60% or less of the region’s median income.

    These units may look like “micro-units” seen in newer developments like the Mya, located at 447 South Blair Street. Property manager Alicia Anderson said the building offers different units with varying rates depending on applicants’ incomes. The building has market-priced units, which allows “a mix of different demographics and different incomes and makes people feel like they live in any other building.”

    But Valdemoros said the focus should not be on micro-units, but on a variety of housing that meets a complex need. The council member pointed out that residents find it difficult to accommodate a growing family in smaller homes.

    “We hear churches, we hear schools, we hear neighbors say, ‘Hey, you know I’m having a second child – I don’t think I can live in the city anymore. “It’s hard for me to hear as a board member because I always thought I wanted everyone to live, work and play in Salt Lake City,” said Valdemoros.

    Developers can attend a virtual meeting hosted by the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency on Friday, September 24 at 11 a.m. to receive an overview of the application, requirements, and selection process. For more information or to attend the meeting, visit

    A list of Utah housing resources is available at In Salt Lake County, affordable housing resources are available at


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    Utah economy

    New U.S. COVID-19 Rules for International Travel – ABC4 Utah

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is rolling out new international travel policies affecting Americans and non-citizens who wish to travel to the United States. The goal is to restore more normal air travel after 18 months of disruption caused by COVID-19.

    The general rules, which come into effect in November, will replace a mishmash of confusing restrictions. Some details of the plan announced on Monday are being worked out, but here are some questions and answers on what to expect:


    All adult foreign nationals traveling to the United States will need to be fully immunized before boarding their flight. This is in addition to the current requirement that travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure to the United States.

    Once the vaccination requirement is in place, the White House relaxes all country-specific restrictions on international travel that have barred non-nationals who have stayed in the UK, EU, China, India , in Iran, Republic of Ireland, Brazil or South Africa within 14 days of entering the United States


    Fully vaccinated Americans will only have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of leaving for the United States


    U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are not fully vaccinated will still be able to travel to the United States, but they will see more stringent testing and contact tracing protocols. They will need to be tested within 24 hours of boarding a flight to the United States, as well as being tested upon their return to the country. It remains to be seen, however, how the federal government will enforce the return testing requirement.


    The new US policy only requires adult foreign nationals to be fully vaccinated to enter the United States.


    CDC Says United States Will Accept Full Travel Vaccination With Any COVID-19 Vaccine Approved For Emergency Use By The World Health Organization, Including Those From Pfizer, Moderna And Johnson & Johnson Used In States -United. Other vaccines are also approved by the WHO and widely used around the world, including from AstraZeneca and Chinese Sinovac, with varying degrees of effectiveness against COVID-19 and its more transmissible delta variant. WHO is reviewing Russian vaccine Sputnik V but has not approved it.


    Adit Damodaran, economist for travel research firm Hopper, predicted that rising demand would likely lead to higher airfares on flights from Europe, although the rush to book flights may be slowed by the variant. delta and the high rates of COVID-19 in the United States. increase in prices, this would mark a reversal in prices since the start of the pandemic.


    The CDC will require airlines to collect passenger information and provide it to the health agency if it is to conduct contact tracing. Airlines had resisted a similar change last year, when it was proposed by the CDC and ultimately blocked by the Trump administration.


    The administration’s restrictions on crossing the land borders from Mexico and Canada to the United States are to remain unchanged for the time being. This means that in some cases, fully vaccinated people from the two American neighbors will soon be able to fly to the United States, but may not be able to make the same trip by car.


    Analysts and industry officials believe this will help. The United States Chamber of Commerce has said lifting current restrictions on international travelers will help sustain a recovery in the US economy. Prior to Monday, the United States was set to lose $ 175 billion in export revenue from international visitors this year, according to the US Travel Association.


    They made it easier for Americans to visit Europe than the other way around. International travel to the United States in August was down 54% from two years ago, and arrivals of non-U.S. Citizens were down 74%, according to Airlines for America.


    There is pent-up demand among business travelers from Europe. Foreign executives who have been vaccinated will no longer have to prove that their trip to the United States serves the American “national interest” – a process that takes time.


    Koenig reported from Dallas. Associated Press writer Mike Stobbe in New York contributed to this report.

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    Utah economy

    BLM headquarters returns to Washington

    Home Secretary Haaland said the office will expand its western office to Grand Junction, Colorado.

    (Rick Bowmer | AP, pool) US Home Secretary Deb Haaland tours old dwellings along the Butler Wash Trail during a visit to the Bears Ears National Monument on Thursday, April 8, 2021, near Blanding.

    After a two-year stint in Colorado, the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management is returning to Washington, DC, Home Secretary Deb Haaland said on Friday in a meeting with BLM employees.

    Haaland’s Republican predecessors orchestrated the 2019 migration of BLM’s executive staff to a new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colo., And to already established state offices. The stated objective of this relocation was to bring land management leadership closer to the western communities most connected to the public lands overseen by the agency. But many career staff resigned or retired rather than relocate, and many positions had been left vacant for months, leaving the new headquarters a rather quiet place.

    “The past few years have been incredibly disruptive for the organization, our officials and their families. As we move forward, my priority is to revitalize and rebuild the BLM so that it can meet the pressing challenges of our time and ensure the well-being of our employees, ”Haaland said on Friday. “I look forward to continuing to work with Congress, tribes, elected officials and the many stakeholders who care about the stewardship of our shared public lands and healthy communities. “

    While leaders in Utah and other Western states have hailed the Trump administration’s decision to move BLM’s headquarters west, the Biden administration’s plan to move it back to the nation’s capital has sparked praise from environmental groups for calling it a first step towards repairing “significant damage”. to a 7,000-employee agency that manages 11 percent of all land in the United States, including 23 million acres in Utah.

    “The weakness of the BLM is that it is a highly decentralized organization with a large majority of staff scattered across the West and it is good to have management staff in DC where they can work with the administration. and Congress, ”said Scott Groene, executive director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, or SUWA. Trump’s decision to move the seat west “was a terrible political act intended to decimate the agency and advance the re-election of a Republican senator from Colorado.”

    Groene was referring to Senator Cory Gardner, who was overthrown in 2020 by Democrat John Hickenlooper. The former Colorado governor backed Trump’s decision to move the BLM headquarters to his state and recently urged Biden to establish a “full seat” in Grand Junction.

    “We believe that such an effort must be more than token and must include the personnel and resources necessary to improve management and protect our public lands,” wrote Hickenlooper and fellow Democratic Senator Michael Bennet in a letter to Biden shortly. time after his inauguration. “A full Colorado headquarters would not only grow the economy of Western Colorado, but also send an important signal that rural America is a suitable location for such a prestigious institution.”

    Utah Representative John Curtis, a Republican, said the BLM headquarters should remain in the West.

    “We have legitimately moved their headquarters to Colorado, and closer to where directors could conscientiously exercise their responsibilities and be closer to the stakeholders involved,” he said. “Reversing this decision gives power back to those with the most wealth and access, not those really affected by the Office. “

    But SUWA and advocacy groups saw the move west as an attempt to force career workers and empty the ranks of BLM leaders.

    “The American people deserve an agency with a seat at the table when important decisions are made in Washington,” said Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Denver-based Center for Western Priorities. ” This movement [back to D.C.] will help the agency rebuild and ensure that senior officials in the Bureau of Land Management can raise concerns directly to lawmakers, Home Office officials and the White House.

    Under Trump, the BLM saw a series of interim leaders come and go, ending with William Perry Pendley, a property rights lawyer who had previously made a career of suing the BLM and wondering if it was even appropriate for the federal government to own millions of hectares.

    Nine months after President Joe Biden took office, the BLM leadership vacuum persists. Her candidate for BLM director Montanan Tracy Stone-Manning has stalled amid allegations she was involved in a tree-hanging incident more than 30 years ago in Idaho .

    Trump’s plan was to move 328 DC positions to state and district offices in West and Grand Junction. This turned out to be a failure, with the majority of staff choosing to resign.

    “Only 41 of those affected have moved, including 3 to Grand Junction,” Interior said in its announcement Friday. “This resulted in a significant loss of institutional memory and talent. The siege transition [back to D.C.] will be conducted with the goal of minimizing further disruption to employees and their families. “

    The BLM, meanwhile, is not relinquishing its 2-year presence at Grand Junction, but will instead expand as the official seat of the West.

    “This office will enhance Western perspectives in decision-making and will have an important role to play in the office’s clean energy, outdoor recreation, conservation and scientific missions, among other important work as a center of leadership. in the West, ”the Interior Ministry said. .

    Haaland said the BLM will play a pivotal role in tackling the climate crisis, expanding public access to public lands and preserving the nation’s common external heritage.

    She also affirmed her commitment to create a newly authorized congressional BLM foundation that would focus on building new partnerships, and that the office would work to “strengthen government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes” and appoint tribal state bonds.

    “It is imperative that the office has the proper structure and resources to serve the American public,” Haaland said. “There is no doubt that the BLM should have a leadership presence in Washington, DC, like all other land management agencies, to ensure that it has access to the political, budgetary and decision-making levers to best conduct his mission . “

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    Salt lake city government

    Police pullback doesn’t stop Conservative gun law’s rollback


    SALT LAKE CITY –The latest attempt to loosen gun laws in US states has put police at odds with Republican lawmakers who generally trumpet their support for law enforcement.

    In states like Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana, police have opposed pressure to drop requirements for people to get background checks and training before carrying handguns in public, plans that came as gun sales continued to break records during the coronavirus pandemic.

    “We think this was just another opportunity to injure our officers,” said Fabian Blache Jr., executive director of the Louisiana Chiefs of Police Association. “It was a danger for the police.”

    There, a public plea of ​​last resort by dozens of Louisiana law enforcement officers narrowly averted an attempt to override the Democratic governor’s veto on legislation removing the requirements for law enforcement. concealed transport permit. But he expects the proposal to come back next year, and in several other conservative-leaning states, police opposition hasn’t stopped laws removing permit requirements.

    A d

    Gun violence is on the rise across the country and law enforcement is struggling to deal with peaks, especially in cities. The federal government has intervened with strike forces and other measures are helping to stop the sale of illegal weapons. Cops are already at a disadvantage in many cities compared to the strengths gained by retirements and difficulty attracting new officers following massive police protests in 2020, and many see more lenient gun laws to fire as one more challenge.

    A d

    Not knowing who might be carrying a weapon increases the potential danger of any encounter, and less training required means more people who don’t know how to properly wield a weapon, Blanche said.

    “Police officers are trained all over the country and they make mistakes,” he said. “So why are we going to make it possible for untrained people to be able to carry a gun and use it at will? “

    In Tennessee this year, warnings from police chiefs and sheriffs did not prevent the removal of licensing requirements in the GOP-controlled state legislature. The law was passed months after another measure cracking down on protesters camped out for police reform, a vote that was touted as support for law enforcement.

    Although several polls have found public support for firearms licenses, arguments that they undermine Second Amendment rights have won favor with conservative state governments in recent years.

    A d

    “There is a sort of disjunction between repeating the political slogan of ‘back the blue’ and supporting policies that the grassroots police and leaders of police organizations actually support,” said Robert Spitzer, professor at the State University of New York. -Cortland and author of “The Politics of Gun Control”.

    Police opposition has not stopped efforts to drop permit requirements that have been passed in around 20 states, Spitzer said. While their positions are authoritative, they lack the advertising campaigns and lobbyists that overtly political interests often do.

    “Their voices and opinions are known, but they have not been a real mouthpiece in public policy terms, because it puts them in a very bad position. They are civil servants and their job is to uphold the law, whatever the law, ”he said.

    And unlicensed transportation has supporters in law enforcement, including sheriffs, many of whom hold elected positions and oversee more rural areas. In Utah and Iowa, more divided police groups have generally stayed out of the debate this year.

    A d

    Talks about police reform dominated the conversation in Iowa, as well as how to stem the rise in violent crime, said Sam Hargadine, executive director of the Iowa Association of Chiefs of Police. . He does not see the issue of permits as an important part of the discussion of violent crime, especially since chiefs already could not deny permits to people.

    “I think there are extremes on both sides. But we have to compromise, because we have too many shootings, ”he said.

    Not all police officers oppose the legislation, and gun rights advocates see no conflict between fighting crime and making it easier to carry guns. They argue that people generally don’t get a license for firearms used in violent crime, so the change will make it easier for those who abide by the law to get a gun and many measures also get them. tougher penalties for certain firearm crimes.

    For Texas Republican James White, the differences between his party and the heads of the state’s largest cities over unlicensed transportation were part of the give and take of the legislative process.

    A d

    “There were some things this session… where we were consistent with where law enforcement wanted to be, and there were times that we just had to tell them we had to look in a different direction,” he said. said White, an incumbent state lawmaker. currently candidate for the post of Commissioner for Agriculture.

    He also touted the harsher penalties in the law for criminals who carry firearms illegally. “It was a very firm deal against crime, tough against crime,” he said.

    White argued that the new law did not represent a massive change in a state where firearms were allowed in unlicensed cars and licenses were not required for long guns. Texas became the largest state to drop handgun licensing requirements this year, a move applauded by the National Rifle Association and other gun rights advocates.

    Alan Gottlieb, of the Second Amendment Foundation, argued that policing is already inherently dangerous and that dropping permits will not make a big dent but strengthen gun rights. “I shouldn’t need a license to exercise my constitutional rights,” he said.

    A d

    Police opposition had helped prevent the idea from gaining traction even in gun-friendly Texas, but with a change in legislative leadership, support swelled within a matter of weeks this year. He ignored objections from survivors of the mass shooting that killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart two years ago.

    “One thing I have learned in my many years of working with the police is that you can count on them to tell you what will put the public at risk,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown For Gun Safety. “I think what the police know is that crime is on the rise across the country and now is the worst possible time to pass laws like this.”

    Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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    Salt lake city government

    Politics is central to DeSantis’ approach to the COVID-19 outbreak


    No mask required in classrooms. No vaccination “passports”. And no more business closures.

    Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of COVID-19 has bolstered his nationwide cachet among fellow Republicans as he seeks re-election to governor’s mansion next year and considers a presidential bid in 2024 .

    But the governor’s insistence on staying the course amid a growing number of infections – as of Monday, Florida had the nation’s highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate – is firing as Democrats point the finger at the Republican holder.

    The attitudes and actions of elected officials regarding masks and vaccinations have become a flashpoint in the increasingly tribal nature of partisan politics. The ideological schism over preventive protocols in Florida helped DeSantis become a national presidential candidate and, at the same time, became the cornerstone of Democrats’ efforts to oust him.

    “I think it’s crass politicization, and I think it’s shameful, and I think it’s based on a guy who has his eyes on the ’24 Republican nomination instead of the governor. and the people of Florida in ’22. Obviously that’s it, ”Congressman Charlie Crist, a Democrat from St. Petersburg who is running to try to topple DeSantis next year, told the News Service of Florida in an appearance in Tallahassee. . Crist was governor as a Republican before becoming a Democrat and losing a candidacy for governor in 2014.

    DeSantis, however, isn’t backing down from its largely laissez-faire approach, even as the highly transmissible delta variant of the novel coronavirus is tearing the Sunshine State apart.

    “We are not closing,” DeSantis told reporters on Tuesday. “We are going to open schools. We protect the work of every Floridian in this state. We protect small businesses from people. These interventions have failed repeatedly throughout this pandemic, not only in the United States but abroad. They haven’t stopped the spread, especially with the delta.

    With DeSantis focused on an economic rebound, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is running against Crist for the Democratic nomination for governor next year, has taken on the role of COVID-19 chief information officer of the state. She has held press conferences to discuss data on infection rates and hospitalizations in Florida and used social media to explode DeSantis’ approach to the pandemic, such as her issuing an executive order to prevent school districts to require students to wear masks.

    “We stand in solidarity with our local school boards who have the constitutional power to protect our children and will not be intimidated or funded by our authoritarian aspiring governor,” Fried tweeted Wednesday.

    DeSantis made headlines last week when he released the executive order, which came after mocking the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations during an appearance at the American Conservative’s annual meeting. Legislative Exchange Council.

    “We say no to lockdowns, no to school closures, no to restrictions and no warrants,” DeSantis said at the Salt Lake City event, adding that people “should not be condemned to live … in a faucian dystopia “.

    DeSantis made Anthony Fauci, a highly respected infectious disease expert who served on the White House’s COVID-19 advisory team, a frequent object of contempt. The governor’s political committee, for example, capitalizes on Republicans’ animosity towards the public health veteran through the sale of merchandise emblazoned with messages such as “Don’t Fauci My Florida.”

    DeSantis’ anger isn’t limited to the 80-year-old doctor, however. The governor has taken an equally combative stance with the CDC — he sued the federal agency for refusing to lift cruise restrictions — and President Joe Biden’s administration.

    But with Florida and Texas responsible for a third of COVID-19 cases in the United States last week, the White House is fighting back. Biden on Tuesday accused DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of “poor health policy” amid peaks in both states.

    “I’m saying to these governors, please help yourself,” Biden said. “If you’re not going to help, at least avoid the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.

    Critics accuse DeSantis of bowing to grassroots GOP voters – who show up in large numbers for the primaries – on issues such as face masks and his reliance on scientists and data seen as outliers in the medical community.

    But skepticism about masks and vaccines isn’t limited to Republicans, GOP political consultant Anthony Pedicini said in a phone interview with the News Service.

    “By nature, Americans don’t want the government to tell them to do anything,” Pedicini said. “Honestly, the very essence of who we are as Americans is evident in this mask debate.”

    The sentiment about health care precautions “is not part of a party,” Pedicini added.

    “It rips apart the core of who we are as Americans. We love freedom. The government should never tell us what to do.

    The governor of Florida isn’t telling anyone he can’t wear masks. So if you feel uncomfortable or feel like it is putting your life in danger, put the mask on, put the mask on your kids and go about your day, ”said Pedicini, who had COVID- 19 in November, received vaccination this year and urges others to get vaccinated.

    DeSantis has advocated for the use of vaccines but, unlike some other GOP governors in states experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, has not pushed Floridians to get vaccinated. About half of eligible Floridians are not fully immunized.

    “Should the Governor of the State of Florida be an activist? Yes. And I think he is, in the sense that he takes the side of freedom, ”said Pedicini. “I think it served him quite well politically.”

    With the most recent polls showing DeSantis the frontrunner in the gubernatorial race, the Republican leader “feels strongly that he is going to win his re-election” and “looks to the next game, which is clearly the presidential game,” political consultant Steve Vancore, who advises Democrats, said in an interview.

    “You have to be the most conservative, pro-Trump Republican in the business, and as such he seems to stick with a custom scenario for his far-right base. There is no part of Ron DeSantis playing in the middle. He plays basic every step of the way, ”said Vancore.

    COVID-19 health care protocols are “being used as a political pawn because our governor and others have discovered it is a political tool, as Floridians die or fall ill and people across the country are, “US Representative Val Demings, a Democrat who is trying to topple Republican US Senator Marco Rubio, said in an interview.

    “Why can’t we just listen, our governor and others, to be guided by science, to be guided by information from medical experts, to follow their directions? ” she said. “I really wish this issue wasn’t politicized, but it has been from the very beginning.”


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    Salt lake city government

    Utah has bet on cutting pandemic benefits to get people back to work. He hasn’t yet


    A roadside banner invites potential employees outside a business in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, March 27, 2021. Utah Governor Cox hopes that by removing COVID-19 unemployment benefits, the unemployed from Utah will return to work. (Rogelio V. Solis, Associated Press)

    SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Spencer Cox was hoping to force jobless Utahns to look for work more aggressively when they decided to suspend pandemic-related federal unemployment insurance benefits on June 26, more than two months before they expire planned.

    But data from a new study suggests the plan didn’t quite lead to those results, and Utah’s leading economy may be at least partially to blame.

    A two-part survey conducted in June by researchers at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business sampled the feelings of jobless business owners and Utahns, including 500 households, about the outcome of the changes. in state unemployment benefits, among other issues.

    One of the most notable data points goes to the heart of Cox’s hopes that the removal of benefits and extended benefits would entice job seekers.

    “To assess the impact of the expiration of additional (unemployment insurance) payments, we asked respondents if this expiration would influence the time and effort they devote to job search or financial planning. “Says the investigation report. “More than 90% of those polled say that the expiry of (unemployment) benefits will have no impact on their efforts to find a job or their saving behavior.”

    Unemployed survey respondents also weighed in resoundingly when asked whether the early cancellation of extended federal benefits would cause them to consider lower-paying employment opportunities – none said the change would make them feel better. would push them to take a lower paying job.

    While the U.S. business school survey may not reflect the outcome Cox was looking for, one of the report’s authors said the circumstances behind these responses from the unemployed in Utah revolved around vibrant economic health and still in improving the state.

    Nathan Seegert is a professor of finance at the Eccles School of Business and co-author of the report, which he says is part of an ongoing project to track Utah economic indicators and sentiment.

    Seegert said a combination of factors, all of which are indicators of a strong economy, put the unemployed in a position of power when it comes to seeking that next opportunity.

    “The model would predict that if UI wages went down, you would be more likely to accept a lower wage to get out of unemployment,” Seegert said. “But that’s not what we’re seeing at all and in our survey no one said they would take a lower paying job.

    “This is in part due to consumer expectations regarding rising prices for goods and services as well as the housing market. While price increases are evidence of an economic recovery, it puts job seekers in a hurry. mind that they can’t afford to jump to a lower level. salary. “

    And Seegert said Utah’s ultra-low unemployment rate, another positive economic indicator, also strengthens the ability of the unemployed to be picky.

    “The state’s unemployment rate is very low,” Seegert said. “If employees feel like they can get a new job tomorrow, it puts them in a much better bargaining position.”

    The market should not compete with the government for workers.

    – Utah Governor Spencer Cox

    Cox spokeswoman Jennifer Napier-Pearce said the Eccles report, which also highlighted a plethora of positive data from workers and business owners, was further proof that Utah was on track to fully recover from recessionary conditions caused by COVID-19.

    “These data continue to show what we were hoping for: a return to normal in the economy and the labor market,” Napier-Pearce said in a statement. “We want to continue to help every Utahn find meaningful employment and help every business thrive.

    “We are experiencing labor shortages again and although it is a challenge for companies, we hope that each Utahn takes this opportunity to improve their respective professional opportunities.”

    In May, Cox said his decision to end pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits to some 24,000 Utahns before the scheduled end of benefits in September was the right move amid the rise in employment in the Status and robust recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

    “This is the next natural step in getting the condition and people’s lives back to normal,” Cox said when the decision was announced. “I believe in the value of work. With the lowest unemployment rate in the country… and many well-paying jobs available today, it makes sense to move away from those added benefits that were never intended to be. be permanent.

    “The market should not be competing with the government for workers.”

    He also noted that other “safety net programs” such as assistance with rent, utilities, food and medical bills will still be available.

    Cox is among about 20 Republican state governors across the United States who made similar decisions about ending federal pandemic benefits in June, saying the added benefit keeps people from wanting to work .

    Labor experts say the nationwide labor shortage isn’t just about the additional $ 300 payment. Some unemployed people have also been reluctant to look for work because of fear of catching the virus. Others have found new occupations rather than returning to their old jobs. And many women, especially working mothers, have had to leave the workforce to care for children.

    In early June, the Utah Department of Workforce Services reported that just over 24,700 residents were receiving some type of unemployment benefit, of which about 12,000 were on traditional benefits as well as the pandemic allowance of $ 300 per week funded by the federal government. About 11,000 others were still receiving unemployment insurance benefits under federal extensions also created to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 on American workers. And about 1,200 Utah workers – people employed by companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub and others who are classified as contractors exempt from typical unemployment benefits – have also received benefits under warrants. federal emergency. While federal deadlines for most pandemic-related benefits for the unemployed are due to expire in early September, Cox’s order cut them 10 weeks earlier than expected.

    As of July 24, Workforce Services reported that 11,768 Utahns were still registered as unemployed.

    Some Utah lawmakers saw the early cancellation of benefits as an unwelcome change.

    Following Cox’s announcement, Utah House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, highlighted these factors while expressing frustration with the governor’s decision to end the benefits. in Utah.

    “I mean, it’s the perfect example of a disconnect between people in normal life and people who are struggling to get back on their feet,” King said. “There are many, many people who are worried – afraid – of going back to work.”

    What “frustrates me the most,” King said, is that Cox’s decision “reflects this thinking from many across the aisle that people don’t want to work. This is fundamentally wrong. “

    Seegert said Utah’s current enviable economic vitality must pay tribute to the actions taken by Cox and state lawmakers, as well as the federal economic stimulus measures related to the pandemic, which have enabled the state to perform better than almost any other place in the country.

    “The Utah government has responded extremely well to the economic conditions of the pandemic,” Seegert said. “The state’s social safety nets have worked very well … and the leaders just had the foresight to do a lot of things to keep the economic engine running.”

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    Utah economy

    Representative Harrison distorts Senator Lee and his laws on public lands

    (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Senator Mike Lee speaks with delegates attending the 2021 Utah Republican Party organizing convention at the Maverik Center in West Valley City on Saturday, May 1, 2021, as ‘They are returning to an in-person format after the pandemic forced the naming convention to go live last year.

    In her editorial on public lands, Salt Lake County Democrat Suzanne Harrison distorts both Senator Lee and his laws on public lands. As an elected official who lives, works and serves the Utahns in a rural area, I am disappointed to see another elected official not only denigrate our US Senator, but distort his legislation, the Protect Utah’s Rural Economy Act.

    Representative Harrison’s worn talking points generated by the east coast on public lands are not moot to me. They are real. I have seen, with my own eyes, how the abuse of the Antiquities Law by former presidents has reduced the budgets of our cities and counties, putting enormous stress on our local communities. Almost always, this stress is the result of presidential action occurring without ever consulting those who would be most directly affected by the action.

    Utah not only has amazing historical artifacts that we all want to preserve, it is full of amazing scenery. Surely no one wants these landscapes more protected than those of us who live both in and beside these beautiful lands. However, the former presidents closed millions of acres of land – far beyond what the law had ever intended to do – on the simple “recommendation” of interest groups and unelected bureaucrats living in the thousands of people. kilometers away. These lands may be their occasional playground, but they are also our home. Senator Lee understands this, which is why his legislation would require the federal government to simply work with locally elected officials as part of this process. As a local elected official herself, I think Representative Harrison would support a process that solicits input from local elected officials, rather than denigrating our US Senator for creating such a process.

    Darin Bushman, Piute County Commissioner, Junction

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    Salt lake city government

    Scam texts hit Utah as confusion persists over stimulus payments


    With the many stimulus programs aimed at helping people get back on their feet after the pandemic, scammers have turned to texting to rip you off. (Matt Gephart, KSL TV)

    SALT LAKE CITY – There have been a lot of programs and a lot of stimulus money aimed at helping people get back on their feet after the pandemic.

    This week, the federal government will launch another program to help Americans with children.

    All of this has left a lot of people confused – and this confusion is playing into the hands of the crooks.

    A new text message did the trick. It refers to the Directorate of Employment Development. It refers to the unemployment pandemic assistance program. It refers to stimulus payments and wants you to click on a link to claim your benefit.

    This is of course a scam.

    People who click on the link may download malware or be tricked into giving their personal information to an identity thief.

    The US Department of the Treasury was warning about stimuli-related scams for more than a year.

    “The US government continues to encounter cases of criminals using stimulus-themed emails and texts to trick individuals into providing personally identifiable information and bank details,” an IRS spokesperson said. . “The IRS will not call you, text you, contact you by email, or contact you on social media to ask for personal or banking information, even in connection with payments. economic impact.”

    Specifically, the IRS has warned consumers to be wary of attachments or links claiming to have special information about economically impacting payments or refunds.

    To report a CARES Act fraud or other financial crime, the IRS has asked you to contact your local secret service office.

    Related stories

    Matt Gephardt

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    Data confusion means Utah ultimately failed to meet the 70% COVID-19 vaccination target; state sees 1,238 weekend cases


    Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine await recipients at the Central Davis Senior Activity Center in Kaysville on July 6, 2021. Data confusion means Utah missed its 70% vaccination target on July 4 after all, health officials said Monday. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

    SALT LAKE CITY – State health officials have said they misinterpreted some federal government immunization data, which means only about 67% of adults in Utah have at least a first dose of the COVID vaccine- 19 instead of the 70% previously reported.

    The error means Utah failed to meet Governor Spencer Cox’s goal of having at least 70% of adults in the state vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4 after all.

    “We screwed up. And I sincerely apologize,” Cox wrote in a letter to the Utahns on Monday.

    On Monday, the Utah Department of Health reported 1,238 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend – 495 Friday, 486 Saturday and 264 Sunday.

    The average number of positive cases per day over seven rolling days in Utah is now 447, according to the Department of Health. The rate of positive tests per day for this period calculated with the “person-to-person” method is now 12.3%. The rate of positive tests per day for this period calculated with the “test on test” method is now 8.2%.

    The discrepancy in immunization data stems from vaccines that were administered in Utah by federal government agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Indian Health Services.

    These administered doses are reported through a data system called Tiberius, which is different from the Utah state data system. Tiberius’ data is not automatically fed into the state’s immunization data system, so health officials have to interpret it manually.

    Health officials have interpreted around 30,000 doses reported via Tiberius as new doses, but these are in fact cumulative doses, the health ministry said in a statement on Monday. Some single doses were therefore counted more than once.

    “It is disappointing to find that we have not met our goal of vaccinating 70% of adults with at least one dose by July 4. And we regret that inaccurate information has been passed on to Governor Cox and the people of Utah, ”the Department of Health said. mentionned. “But we remain true to our commitment to present data in a manner that is accurate, transparent and with integrity. “

    There have been 29,880 doses reported to Tiberius, health officials said. Combined with state totals, 1,525,632 Utahns aged 18 and over received at least one first dose of the vaccine. Dividing that total by Utah’s adult population in 2019 of 2,274,774 shows that 67.07% of Utah adults had at least one first dose on Monday, and not the 70.2% that was reported on Monday. last week, according to the health department.

    A total of 1,607,690 Utahns, or about 50.1% of the state’s population, have now received at least one first dose of the vaccine, according to the health department. A total of 1,433,575 Utahns, or about 44.7% of the population, are now fully immunized. Among Utahns aged 12 and older, who are currently eligible for vaccines, about 62% have received at least a first dose and 55.3% are fully vaccinated, the health department reported on Monday.

    The state’s data team told the governor’s office that the 70% target had been met, and they were “surprised and excited and a little skeptical,” Cox wrote in the letter. His office waited a few days while the numbers were checked twice and thrice for accuracy before releasing the news.

    But a few days later, heads of state discovered there was an error in the way the federal doses were counted.

    “While sharing federal data has been extremely difficult, this one is upon us. Our data team is devastated and embarrassed. And so am I.,” Cox wrote.

    He added that the error appears to be the result of simple human error and that there was no evidence of ethical misconduct in the confusion.

    “Our data team at the Department of Health has been amazing throughout this pandemic. Sometimes working around the clock, these officials have been recognized as one of the most in-depth and transparent data teams in the country. While this miscalculation is inexcusable, they have re-examined the processes to prevent this type of error from happening again, ”Cox said.

    Utah Senate Speaker J. Stuart Adams tweeted his appreciation for Cox’s apology on Monday.

    “I appreciate (Governor Cox’s) transparency and his dedication to sharing accurate information,” Adams said.

    While data confusion is an unfortunate slowdown in the state’s efforts to push vaccines as far as possible, state leaders have said the 70% target is somewhat arbitrary. Cox added that this means state leaders have even more work to do to get more Utahns vaccinated.

    “We will continue to do all we can to make vaccinations easier and more accessible,” Cox’s letter said.

    There are now 220 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 93 in intensive care, according to state data. About 73% of all intensive care unit beds in Utah are now occupied, including about 75% of the beds in the state’s 16 referral hospitals. About 56% of non-ICU hospital beds in Utah hospitals are now occupied.

    The six deaths reported on Monday were:

    • Davis County man who was between 45 and 64 and was not hospitalized when he died
    • Woman from Tooele County, 65 to 84, hospitalized after death
    • Utah County woman aged 65 to 84 who was hospitalized when she died
    • Two Washington County men aged 65 to 84 hospitalized when they die
    • Weber County woman aged 65 to 84 admitted to hospital after death

    Of the 2,834,431 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 14.8% have tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of tests performed in Utah since the start of the pandemic is now 5,171,309, up from 14,294 since Friday, health officials reported. Of those, 8,835 were tests of people who had never been tested for COVID-19.

    Monday’s totals give Utah 420,214 total confirmed cases, with 17,820 total hospitalizations and 2,399 total deaths from the disease. According to the health department, seven cases of COVID-19 were removed from the tally for the previous days thanks to data analysis.

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    Will there be COVID-19 booster injections? Not yet, say the experts


    With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Utah, is it time for fully vaccinated people to receive booster shots?

    Pfizer and its partner company in the production of one of three coronavirus vaccines approved for use in the United States, Bio-Tech, on Thursday announced a new study showing promising results from the administration of a third vaccine , six months after the first two, and plan to submit their findings to federal authorities for clearance.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration responded by a joint declaration, “Americans who have been fully immunized do not need a booster at this time,” but said the issue was under review and the recommendation may change.

    “We are ready to receive booster doses if and when science shows they are needed,” the statement said. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last dose of vaccine – two injections for Pfizer or Moderna and one for Johnson & Johnson.

    Utah health experts also say not yet, although they recognize there is growing interest, especially among those who have received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, to provide greater protection. against the highly contagious delta variant of the virus first detected in India now dominant in Utah and the rest of the country.

    “This one is touchy,” said Dr Michelle Hofmann, deputy director of the Utah Department of Health, calling for a question about the extra blows raised at a recent virtual press conference to encourage vaccinations “to the tip of where we can be Go. “

    Some countries already allow the administration of a different type of vaccine as a second dose after a vaccine similar in composition to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. J&J shot is less effective against the original coronavirus, with around 60% effectiveness compared to 95% for Pfizer and Moderna.

    All three vaccines largely prevent hospitalization and death in fully vaccinated people, but the decline in their performance compared to the delta variant is now a problem. Studies have shown that both doses of Pfizer – and possibly Moderna, which uses the same new technology – are needed, but there is little data on Johnson & Johnson.

    It is official CDC policy that vaccines are not interchangeable, although the The National Institutes of Health announced in June that a clinical trial was underway To determine the safety and effectiveness of administering booster doses of various COVID-19 vaccines to fully vaccinated adults.

    “We don’t currently recommend this in the United States,” Hofmann said, citing potential safety concerns. “We are starting to hear from people who are interested and wondering about this, but this is currently not a recommendation.”

    Yet not everyone is ready to wait. Hofmann was responding to a question posted on Facebook by a woman who said she knew “several people who had the J&J vaccine who went and received a second dose of Moderna or Pfizer. Is it recommended, safe or necessary? “

    There are several media reports of people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but then surreptitiously sought out Pfizer injections in hopes that the higher efficacy associated with the new type of vaccine will make them less likely to know a revolutionary case of COVID-19.

    A few, including Angela Rasmussen, a virologist with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, are experts in the field. Rasmussen, an American working in Canada, tweeted at the end of June that she had received an injection of Pfizer “to supplement the J&J vaccine I received in April” and was feeling well.

    “I think I did what it took to make sure I was as protected as possible from the delta variant and thus protect the others who only have one chance,” she said. in his widely-read Twitter feed, adding, “Sometimes public health requires making tough decisions without a full data set to back it up.

    Shortly before the July 4th recess, the region’s largest healthcare provider, Intermountain Healthcare, told patients vaccinated in a blog post it’s too early to roll up their sleeves for another dose because, “So far the signs are good that we won’t need any reminders anytime soon.

    The publication said federal agencies were assessing the risk of additional vaccines by looking at various factors, including whether breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated people increased, whether booster doses or the combination of different types of vaccines offered more protection, and if the variants were more difficult to fight. .

    It remains to be seen how long it will take to make this decision, said Dr Tamara Sheffield, medical director of preventive medicine at Intermountain Healthcare. This could happen sooner rather than later once the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the delta variant is known.

    “At this point, we don’t have anything that tells us we should do this yet. But that could change quickly, ”Sheffield said. In the meantime, she offered some advice to Utahns who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – less than 130,000 compared to nearly 1.5 million in the state who received Pfizer or Moderna.

    “I tend to be a more careful person,” she said. “I would say to anyone who is wondering if they are fully protected to follow prudent collection behaviors. If you are indoors with a group of people who may not have been vaccinated, then people should mask themselves. “

    Han Kim, professor of public health at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, said data on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are difficult to come by because relatively few people have received a single injection, adding that “it may not be. not be a bad idea to get a vaccine. booster.”

    A federal government decision on such vaccines could move closer to fall, Kim said, when COVID-19 cases could rise even more as students, especially those under the age of 12 who are not eligible for the vaccine, return to classrooms and people spend more time indoors when temperatures drop.

    Pfizer’s announcement of the booster injections raises questions, he said.

    “There is a lot of discussion among epidemiologists and public health specialists that this is completely unnecessary,” Kim said, noting that the vaccine should remain “fairly effective” for at least a year and that injections do not need to be. started only last December and became widely available months later. .

    “We live in a world where there is enormous injustice in terms of vaccine distribution and we will start prioritizing a third vaccine for Americans, in a country that is still struggling to reach 70% of the population. adult population with a pull? A lot of people say it’s way too premature, ”he said.

    Gov. Spencer Cox said Utah has met that 70% goal, if vaccine doses administered by federal state agencies are counted. But many areas of the state, including Utah County and rural communities, have much lower vaccination rates and less than 45% of the overall population is fully vaccinated.

    “We should be focusing on getting people, in fact, their first shot, let alone a third,” Kim said. He said that not only would administering a third dose be logistically difficult, but it was also seen by some as “Pfizer taking advantage of this situation to request a third dose”.


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    Salt lake city government

    1,149 weekend COVID-19 cases, 7 deaths, over 13,000 vaccinations reported as Utah hits 70% vaccine target


    Jamie Bone, a nurse with the Davis County Department of Health, prepares a syringe of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Legacy Center Indoor Arena in Farmington on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. Seventy percent of all adults in Utah now have at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Spencer Cox’s office confirmed on Tuesday. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

    SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Health reported the following update on COVID-19 in the state from Saturday to Tuesday:

    • 1,149 new cases
    • 7 deaths
    • 13,878 vaccines administered

    The seven-day moving average for positive cases in the state is now 386 per day.

    Seventy percent of all adults in Utah now have at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Spencer Cox’s office has confirmed Tuesday, although the state appears to be using outdated demographics to calculate that vaccination rate.

    The governor’s office had set a goal of seeing 70% of Utahns aged 18 and over receive at least their first shot of the vaccine by July 4. The state achieved that target on Tuesday.

    “This is really a milestone that deserves to be celebrated,” Cox’s office said on Twitter. “Most of all, we are grateful to all the nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, hospitals and volunteers… who continue to work tirelessly to get us all vaccinated!

    Since July 4, the Utah Department of Health reported that 65.2% of adults in Utah had received at least their first dose, Cox’s office said. However, that percentage does not include 114,908 doses of the vaccine that were administered in Utah by federal government agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Indian Health Services.

    With those additional doses, 1,596,999 Utahns received their first dose of vaccine, Cox’s office said. The governor’s office reported that Utah’s adult population was 2,274,774, so about 70.2% of the adult population now has at least their first dose.

    “And that number will only increase,” Cox’s office tweeted.

    But that’s an older figure for the population of Utah. The United States Census Bureau most recent data estimates the total population of Utah at approximately 3,271,616, of which approximately 948,769, or 29%, are under the age of 18. Using this data, the percentage of Utah adults who receive at least a first dose is closer to 68.75%.

    However, Utah executives, including Cox, said the 70% target was somewhat arbitrary. They will continue to work to vaccinate as many people and exceed the statewide target of 70%, the governor’s office added in a statement on Tuesday. Press release.

    “Even if we hit 70%, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the game,” Cox said at a press conference last week.

    Cox’s office thanked those who got vaccinated, as well as the Utah Department of Health and local state health departments for their efforts to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

    “They have been striving to take the initiative to set up mass vaccination sites statewide and continue to provide vaccines in their communities,” the press release said.

    Cox’s office also thanked the Salt Lake Chamber for launching the “Bring it Home” campaign, which encourages companies to support employees who want to get vaccinated.

    Cox’s office added that the pandemic is not over and the state is not out of the woods just yet. Utah has seen a small increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, which is believed to be mainly due to the spread of the delta variant among unvaccinated people.

    “We are still very concerned about the recent increase in cases and hospitalizations,” the statement said. “And parts of the state, including many of our rural areas and communities of color, remain under 70% immunized.”

    This story will be updated.

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    Salt lake city government

    Drought issues in dry western US raise fears of July 4th fireworks


    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Many Americans seeking normalcy as pandemic restrictions end are anxiously awaiting the traditional July 4 fireworks display. But with a historic drought in the western United States and fears of another devastating wildfire season, authorities are canceling exhibits, banning setting off fireworks, or calling for caution.

    Fireworks have already caused a few small wildfires, including one started by a child in northern Utah and another in central California. Last year, a pyrotechnic device designed to celebrate a baby’s gender reveal sparked a fire in California that killed a firefighter during a season of wildfires in the United States that burned the second largest land area in nearly 40 years.

    Parts of the American West are experiencing their worst drought conditions in more than a century this year, said Jennifer Balch, director of the Earth Lab at the University of Colorado. People setting off fireworks in the home are of concern due to both the powder magazine conditions conducive to wildfire outbreaks and the threat of injury. Last year, injuries hit their highest level in 15 years after the pandemic canceled large gatherings, federal data showed.

    “As a fire specialist, I am preparing for this fire season due to the drought and heat already present,” Balch said. “I think the fireworks right now is a terrible idea.”

    Fireworks industry professionals, who have also stressed caution in drought-prone areas, expect strong sales despite a shortage caused by pandemic-related manufacturing downturns and disruptions commercial.

    “We think we’re going to have a great year,” said James Fuller, a fireworks safety expert at Alabama-based TNT Fireworks.

    While fireworks are an integral part of the nation’s Independence Day celebrations, they light thousands of fires a year, including one that burned down Bobbie Uno’s home in Clearfield, Utah, l ‘last year. She had to jump out of the way before it hit the side of her house.

    “In five seconds my house, from the bushes to the roof, was on fire,” Uno said. The fire caused $ 60,000 in damage and forced her family out of their home for weeks.

    “I want everyone to be aware of the danger because it’s scary even in a little cul-de-sac,” Uno said.

    Several Utah cities are banning people from setting off their own fireworks this year during the record drought, but many Republicans are against a statewide ban. Salt Lake County Councilor Aimee Winder Newton supports the restrictions but thinks this year is a bad time for a blanket ban.

    “We’re just coming out of this pandemic where people already felt like the government was restraining them in so many ways,” she said. “When you pronounce bans arbitrarily, we might have a situation where people who weren’t going to light fireworks will voluntarily buy fireworks just to send a message to the government.”

    State fireworks laws vary widely across the United States, but local bans on personal fireworks are appearing from Montana to Oregon, which has been hit by massive wildfires the last year.

    In Arizona, already ravaged by more than a dozen wildfires, many cities have called off their public fireworks displays. The Yavapai-Apache Nation typically holds an exhibit outside of their casino near Camp Verde in central Arizona.

    “This year, with worse conditions than last year, we decided in May that we would not have fireworks,” said James Perry, spokesperson for the tribe’s Cliff Castle Casino Hotel. “Based on the large fires currently burning in and around our community, we are happy with our decision. “

    It’s a similar story in Colorado, where dozens of shows have been scuttled, most notably in Steamboat Springs, a ski town where firefighters are already scattered around.

    “The grass always catches fire… why are we doing something that causes fire when fire is our biggest problem?” Said Winnie DelliQuadri, the city’s special projects manager.

    But in neighboring Wyoming, business is booming in fireworks shops, including sales of banned items elsewhere. Parking lots fill up on weekends and many cars have foreign license plates.

    “It’s not just Colorado,” said Ben Laws, director of Pyro City. “We see people from Nebraska, we see people from Montana, we see people from all over come and buy.”

    Other cities, including Boise, Idaho and Santa Fe, New Mexico, are working to ban personal fireworks while keeping their exhibits public, where safety precautions are often stricter and firefighters are in alert.

    In North Dakota, where more than two-thirds of the state experiences extreme or exceptional drought – the two worst categories – some areas are passing local bans. In South Dakota, where conditions are a little less difficult, the governor is fighting the federal government to organize a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore.

    A show that draws tens of thousands of people to Lake Tahoe, Nevada, near the California state border, was initially canceled for the second year in a row, but organizers subsequently decided to host an “experience of smaller and safer fireworks “. Holding fireworks over the water is one of the safest ways to celebrate, said Professor Balch.

    The industry is urging people who light their own fireworks to follow local restrictions, choose a flat location a safe distance from homes, have a source of water on hand to extinguish used products and dispose of with care.

    Some security officials would prefer people to avoid lighting their own fireworks all together. Michele Steinberg of the National Fire Protection Association pointed to federal data showing 15,600 Americans attended emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries last year, thousands more than the year before.

    “I love watching fireworks, but honestly they’re not safe in the hands of consumers,” she said. “Even a sparkler can reach up to 1,200 degrees, which is actually the heat of a forest fire.”


    Associated Press editors Felicia Fonseca in Flagstaff, Arizona; Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Cedar Attanasio in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada; and Associated Press / Report for America, Corps member Patty Nieberg in Denver, contributed to this report.

    Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located in the European Economic Area.


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    Can Utah – and its residents – survive the cut in federal COVID-19 unemployment assistance?


    Is Utah’s economy and tens of thousands of workers still out of work ready for a change on Saturday that comes with a $ 50 million prize?

    Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said his decision to end pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits to some 24,000 Utahns two months ahead of the deadline was the right call amid rising employment from state and robust recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

    But some say they face constant challenges finding work even as the state’s unemployment rate drops to 2.7% and employers advertise 70,000 current job openings. A southern Utah resident recently wrote to the governor describing the hardships he and his wife face as she struggles to find work after losing her job during the pandemic.

    “It affects us personally,” said Barry Brumfield of St. George.

    The governor gives the reason for the cut

    “This is the next natural step in getting the condition and people’s lives back to normal,” Cox said in May when the decision was announced. “I believe in the value of hard work. With the lowest unemployment rate in the country … and many well-paying jobs available today, it makes sense to step away from those added benefits that were never meant to be permanent.

    “The market should not be competing with the government for workers. “

    He also noted that other “safety net programs” such as assistance with rent, utilities, food and medical bills will still be available.

    Stephen Cashon, employment counselor with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, helps Juan Rodriguez apply for a new piece of ID so he can apply for jobs at the department's offices in <a class=Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.” data-upload-width=”3000″ src=”–bMQQvUxFVfEX8PQyD_b84M=/0x0:3000×2071/1200×0/filters:focal(0x0:3000×2071):no_upscale()/”/>

    Stephen Cashon, employment counselor with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, helps Juan Rodriguez apply for a new piece of ID so he can apply for jobs at the department’s offices in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
    Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

    Cox is one of some two dozen Republican state governors across the United States who have made similar decisions regarding the early end of federal pandemic benefits, saying the added benefit keeps people from wanting to work.

    Labor experts say the shortage isn’t just about the $ 300 payment. Some unemployed people have also been reluctant to look for work because of fear of catching the virus. Others have found new occupations rather than returning to their old jobs. And many women, especially working mothers, have had to leave the workforce to care for children.

    Following Cox’s announcement, Utah House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, highlighted these factors while expressing frustration with the governor’s decision to end the benefits. in Utah.

    “I mean, it’s the perfect example of a disconnect between people in normal life and people who are struggling to get back on their feet,” King said. “There are many, many people who are worried – afraid – of going back to work. “

    What “frustrates me the most,” King said, is that Cox’s decision “reflects this thinking from many across the aisle that people don’t want to work. This is fundamentally wrong.

    In early June, the Utah Department of Workforce Services reported that just over 24,700 residents were on some type of unemployment benefit, of which about 12,000 were on traditional benefits plus the federally funded pandemic allowance of $ 300 per week. About 11,000 others were still receiving unemployment insurance benefits under federal extensions also created to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 on American workers. And about 1,200 Utah gig workers – people employed by companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, and others who are classified as contractors who are exempt from typical unemployment benefits – have also received benefits under federal emergency warrants. While federal deadlines for most pandemic-related benefits for the unemployed are due to expire in early September, Cox’s order suspends them 10 weeks ahead of schedule.

    And it’s a decision that worries Barry and Stacey Brumfield.

    An IT position is available for a job seeker at the Utah Department of Workforce Services in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
    Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

    The experience of a family

    In an interview with Deseret News, Barry Brumfield said he was a longtime Republican who also voted for Cox in the 2020 Utah gubernatorial election, but felt that the governor’s decision to reduce early federal pandemic benefits was a bad call.

    “We are very unhappy with this decision,” said Brumfield. “We truly believe in the individual rights and benefits of your own hard labor, but we have come to the point where we feel our hard work has been lost.

    “We support the other things that (Cox) does, but that’s our only argument because it affects us personally.”

    Brumfield, who is retired, said his wife lost her 13-year job at SkyWest last year as the air travel industry was nearly at a standstill by the pandemic. As Stacey Brumfield continues to look for work, Barry Brumfield said the only offers she had had so far were for minimum wage jobs and at 63 she was unable to start a new job. new career.

    In a letter to Cox, Barry Brumfield wrote that his wife’s job search experiences have led her to believe that employers in their area are looking for younger prospects.

    “Governor, you may think you are doing what is best for your constituents, but my wife and I are among those who will be greatly affected and hurt by your decision,” Brumfield wrote. “My wife’s job is ‘essential’ so that we can pay the bills and stay out of poverty.

    “However, my wife, who worked in the airline industry for 13 years, lost her job due to the pandemic and the drastic decline in airline operations. Now she is unemployed by the state and the federal government, which is vital for us. She is 63 years old and has been looking for a job since the start of the pandemic. His attempts to find a job were unsuccessful due to his age !!! Businesses want someone younger !! said the letter.

    The Brumfields aren’t the only Utahns who find themselves both nearing the end of their career and currently looking for a job. As of June 17, the Department of Workforce Services reports 13% of those currently unemployed are 60 years or older.

    But the majority – 68% – of those who will be affected by the suspension of federal pandemic benefits are in the “peak working age” category of 25 to 54.

    And that’s a statistic that some economists say bodes well for Utah’s overall economy, which continues to outperform the rest of the country.

    Utah can absorb lost federal aid

    Phil Dean, former director of the state budget and current senior public finance researcher at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, said Utah’s economy is well positioned to absorb the $ 50 million that will be lost in the suspension of federal benefits in the event of a pandemic.

    “I just think we’re at a point in the economic recovery where it really makes sense to do it,” Dean said. “Overall, the elimination of the benefits will have a negligible impact on the economy … although some pockets will recover more slowly than others and some households will feel these changes.”

    Dean said it’s important to remember that standard UI benefit programs will remain in place and those who fail to find employment will still have access to the standard claims process.

    He said that while the programs launched by the federal government to mitigate the worst economic impacts of COVID-19 on individuals and families were the right answer at the time, current circumstances no longer demand the additional benefits.

    “The scale of the challenge we had in the midst of the pandemic along with the government’s involvement in restricting the private sector made the initial response entirely appropriate,” Dean said. “And it’s entirely appropriate now to take those enhanced benefits and go back to the traditional programs and system.”

    At a virtual Facebook event on June 15, Cox reiterated his belief that his decision to end the pandemic-related benefit and allowance extensions was the right economic call and highlighted efforts to channel additional funds towards worker retraining programs.

    Cox said the state has spent $ 16.5 million to help more than 5,700 people get training and find better employment opportunities through the Learn and Work program. He also noted in a press release that the state has committed an additional $ 15 million that will go to Utah training institutions to help those who want to upgrade their skills improve their employment opportunities.

    You can find more information on the possibilities for retraining at and


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    PM News Brief: Wildfire Preparedness, Utah Transportation Authority Oversight, and Rise in COVID-19


    Monday evening June 21, 2021


    Utah sees increase in COVID-19 cases

    Utah is seeing a slight increase in new COVID-19 cases and test positivity rates. This is according to data from the state Department of Health. The weekly average of daily new cases is currently 293. The positivity rate is now 5.5%. Both figures are up from a week ago. Over 60% of eligible Utahns have now received at least one dose of vaccine and just over half are now fully immunized. – Caroline ballard

    Utah Transit Authority Ends Federal Government Oversight

    The Utah Transit Authority will no longer be overseen by the federal government. In 2017, the transportation authority and the United States Attorney’s Office in Utah agreed to the surveillance. Prior to that, UTA had been investigated for such things as its service operations, the use of federal funds, and grant applications. As a result, an independent law firm took a look at how he was doing his business. In a letter on Monday, the prosecutor’s office said it was satisfied with the results of the surveillance and the UTA’s commitment to “do it right.” – Ross Terrell

    Northern Utah

    Plane crash in Tooele County kills two, forest fire

    A small plane crash in Tooele County killed two people and started a forest fire. The accident happened Thursday evening. A small plane crashed southwest of Salt Lake City, near Rush Valley. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. The identity of the deceased was not immediately disclosed. According to Utah Fire Info, the Morgan Canyon Fire burned 157 acres over mostly steep and rugged terrain. – Associated press

    Responsibly Recreating in Utah Reservoirs

    At least four people drowned in Utah tanks last week. Now state and local authorities are urging people to use caution when recreating themselves this summer. Three of those deaths have occurred at Deer Creek Reservoir since June 17. None of them wore life jackets. There was also a big blow to Jordanelle over the weekend. State law requires everyone to have a life jacket handy on the water. Devan Chavez, of the state’s Parks and Recreation Division, said they all appeared to be “unfortunate accidents.” He said it may sound simple, but wearing life jackets saves lives. Read the full story. – Lexi Peery, Saint-Georges

    Region / Nation

    People overestimate forest fire preparedness

    New research from the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder shows how residents of mountain communities can underestimate wildfire risk and overestimate their preparedness. In the town of Bailey, Colorado, 22% of those surveyed rated their property as high risk, while professional wildfire appraisals showed a rate of 61%. – Maggie Mullen, Mountain West Press Office


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    Utah economy

    Las Vegas pushes land swap to balance growth and conservation – St George News


    This file photo, Feb. 9, 2005, shows the suburbs of Las Vegas from the top of the Stratosphere Tower looking west on Sahara Avenue towards the Spring Mountains. Despite the drought, cities in the American West expect their populations to increase dramatically over the next several decades. From Phoenix to Boise, officials are working to ensure they have the resources, infrastructure and housing supply needed to meet growth projections. In parts of the region, their efforts are limited by the fact that sprawling metropolitan areas are surrounded by federally owned land. US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Wants To Fix Las Vegas Problem By Tightening Protections Of Some Public Land While Approving The Sale Of Others To Commercial And Residential Developers | Associated Press File Photo by Joe Cavaretta, St. George News

    CARSON CITY, Nevada (AP) – The record heat and historic drought in the western United States does little to discourage cities from planning to welcome millions of new residents in the decades to come.

    In this October 11, 2016 file photo, a gypsum mine owned by developer Jim Rhodes, who wants to develop housing on the site, is seen in the foreground while the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is seen in the distance . Despite the drought, cities in the American West expect their populations to increase dramatically over the next several decades. | Photo courtesy of LE Baskow / Las Vegas Sun via AP, St. George News

    From Phoenix to Boise, authorities are preparing for a future that is both more human and less water-intensive, seeking to balance growth and conservation. Development is constrained by the fact that 46% of the western region of 11 states is federal land, managed by agencies like the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management who are responsible for maintaining it for future generations.

    This has led officials in states like Nevada and Utah to press the federal government to approve land transfers to allow developers to build homes and businesses on what was previously land. public. Supporters of both states have wowed environmentalists in the past with provisions that allocate revenue to conservation projects, preserve other federal lands, and prevent road construction, logging, or energy exploration.

    A small group of opponents argue that the systematic endorsement of this type of “trade” to facilitate growth is not sustainable, especially in areas that depend on dwindling water supplies.

    For the seven states that depend on the Colorado River – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – a regional drought is so severe that less water is flowing to Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two artificial reservoirs where the river water is stored.

    If the level of Lake Mead continues to decline throughout the summer as planned, the federal government will likely issue its very first official declaration of shortage, leading to reductions in the water share that Arizona and Nevada have. receive.

    The situation is playing out in the Las Vegas area, where environmental groups, local officials and home builders have united behind a proposal from U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto that was heard in the Senate this week.

    The Nevada Democrat is pushing what she calls the largest conservation bill in state history to designate more than 3,125 square miles of land for additional protections – roughly the size of Delaware and the United States. Rhode Island combined – and 48 square miles for commercial and residential development, which is about the size of San Francisco.

    Some environmentalists support the proposal because it would add federal land to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for recreation and reclassify undeveloped parts of Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge as Bureau of Land Management’s “wilderness areas”, which offer stronger protections than national parks.

    Jocelyn Torres, field director for the Conservation Lands Foundation, said during the Senate hearing on Wednesday that the protections would restore the lands to capture carbon more effectively, which would help mitigate rising temperatures.

    “Our public lands present our best chance to tackle climate change, our biodiversity crisis and invest in our local communities and economy,” she said.

    FILE – In this August 13, 2020 file photo, a light mineral tub ring marks the high water mark of Lake Mead in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Boulder City, Nevada | Photo by John Locher / Associated Press, St. George News

    The effort reflects land management efforts over the past decade in Washington and Emery counties in Utah to designate the wilderness and sell other plots to developers to meet growth projections. The US Census Bureau reported that St. George, in Washington County, was the fifth fastest growing metropolitan area in the country last year.

    In both regions, affordable housing is one of the authorities’ main concerns. Soaring house prices in California have added to a flow of people leaving for neighboring states like Nevada, Arizona and Colorado, where open land, lower tax rates and jobs attract new residents.

    The fast growing Las Vegas area lacks housing supply to meet projected population growth. A 2019 study from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which found that references to Cortez Masto’s legislation predicted that the population of Clark County would increase by 35%, to 3.1 million, from by 2060. This peak will be difficult to manage without building in existing communities or public lands.

    “As a result of this federal ownership, our planning and development options are very limited and require constant coordination with federal agencies,” said Marcie Henson, director of the Clark County Air Quality Department.

    Growth can stretch an already limited water supply. Water officials back the proposal, which allocates funds for the maintenance of canals used to recycle sewage through Lake Mead. The region has adopted some of the most aggressive conservation measures in the American West, including an outright ban on decorative grass in some places, to prepare for growth.

    Last year, water officials predicted a worst-case scenario in which consumption patterns and climate change could force them to find alternative supplies as early as 2056. Critics say the projections are concerning.

    “This legislation has no sustainable water supply identified in 50 years,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Nevada-based Great Basin Water Network conservation group. “When you combine that with everything we read about Lake Mead and the Colorado River, it is very precarious to introduce a bill that invites 825,000 more people into the Mojave Desert. “

    Southern Nevada Water Authority chief executive John Entsminger said in a statement that the proposal “helps secure the water resources and facilities that SNWA needs to provide reliable and safe water to our customers for decades to come “.

    When Cortez Masto’s proposal was brought forward, there was little question of how water accommodates future growth plans or whether the conservation elements of the bill might have an impact.

    Roerink said the plan’s funding allocations for water infrastructure must be accompanied by additional “serious and realistic modeling” of the Colorado River.

    “When an entity says, ‘Let’s go build houses in this area’, it implies that the water will be there in perpetuity,” he said.

    Written by SAM METZ, Associated Press / Report for America.

    Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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