Tuesday evening, March 2, 2021


Utah lawmakers want the opportunity to review the president’s instructions

When the president issues an executive order, the Utah state authorities must execute it. But the legislature wants to forbid them from doing that. This is the case if a legislative committee and the attorney general determine that the order is unconstitutional. Utah House passed a party-line bill on Tuesday to make this possible. Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, is the sponsor. “It is by no means a criticism of a federal action or an executive order,” said Lyman. “It provides the right control and balance that should be done at the state level.” The measure specifically targets executive ordinances related to pandemics, firearms and natural resources. Utah Republican leaders are concerned that President Joe Biden will use executive ordinance to restore two Utah national monuments to their original size. – Emily means

The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continues in Utah

Utah health officials announced nearly 500 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. Distribution of the vaccines across the state continues as officials dispensed more than 741,000 doses. This includes first and second recordings. Intermountain Healthcare announced Tuesday that they are now distributing the vaccine to all eligible Utahns. This includes people aged 65 and over and those aged 16 and over with underlying health conditions. The Utah Department of Health reported that nine more people have died from the disease – two died before early February. – Ross Terrell

Federal judge ruling against Utah girl who wants a girls’ soccer team

A Utah girl lost her legal bid to have school districts create soccer teams for girls. A federal judge ruled against Sam Gordon on Monday. Gordon’s soccer skills gained their fame online. Judge Howard Nielson said school districts are not legally required to form a separate team because girls who want to play football can still play on a school team, even if it was traditionally made up of boys. Nielsen said schools and coaches could do more to encourage girls to play. He also said there may not be enough interest or players in the future to maintain an all-girl program. – Associated Press

Sen. Mitt Romney “Do Better” after the fall knocks him out

Senator Mitt Romney, R-UT, told reporters Monday he passed out in a fall over the weekend, but said he was “better” now. Romney said the accident happened while he was hanging out with his grandchildren in Boston. He said he was taken to a hospital and got stitches on his right eyebrow and lip. He joked that he was injured at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. The senator did not attend the event. It was largely a celebration of former President Donald Trump. – Associated Press

Southern Utah

Bill to create Bears Ears Visitor Center is moving through Utah legislation

A bipartisan bill to build a visitor center at the Bears Ears National Monument goes through Utah law. It was passed unanimously by a Senate committee on Tuesday morning. The bill would create a committee to design the center. It would include a representative from each of the five tribes with ancestral ties to bear ears. Rep. Doug Owens, D-Salt Lake, supports the legislation, and he said the tribes will be in charge of where the center will be located, what’s in it, and who will run it. That helps bring pro-monument groups like Utah Diné Bikeyah on board. Owens has also reached out to the group that represents the five tribes known as the Intertribal Coalition. The group’s director said they were interested in the bill but had decided not to officially endorse it. Read the full story. – Kate Groetzinger, bluff

Region / nation

College Students Eligible for SNAP Benefits

During the pandemic, more Americans are eligible for the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, best known as SNAP or Grocery Brands, which includes college students. At the University of New Mexico, a 2020 study found that more than 30% of college students are food unsafe. Many of these students will be eligible for SNAP benefits through the end of the year due to a temporary rule change. Lawyers in the area said this is a good first step, but that stigma may prevent some students from taking advantage of it. – Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau