Wolf/Sage Grouse Delisting Appropriations. I’ll be honest–I like money, and I like it when rich out-of-state folk spend their money in Utah. Whether they come for the Sundance Festival, skiing, conventions, Utah’s gorgeous national parks, or for big game hunting, money spent in Utah is good. On the other hand, I also like to know that when the state is spending money to make Utah attractive to the rich out-of-state types, the money is actually being used for the purpose it is intended for. Right now, the appropriations to keep the sage grouse off of the endangered species list and the wolf out of the state seem to be big black holes (and have been for several years) in an other wise transparent state. A veto might encourage legislators to insist on more clear accounting by recipients of state money.—Utah Politico Hub
And so lawmakers concluded their time on the hill, having raised the gas tax by 5 cents per gallon, doling out $500 million in surplus tax revenues to schools and giving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the religious liberty protections it asked for in exchange for supporting basic human rights for the LGBT community. They aso waded into the era of modern law enforcement, where the well-trodden path of warehousing drug addicted and mentally ill humans could be replaced with rehabilitation programs.
These lawmakers won't be away from the hill for long. On March 12, the final day of the session, Herbert held a news conference and announced that, indeed, nothing would be done on health-care reform. But he set a July 31 deadline for a deal, and vowed to call a special session of the Legislature to hammer out the details once and for all.
For the uninsured sick and dying Utahns who listened to Herbert promise in 2014 to take action on health-care reform, threaten to convene a special session, and then kick the deadline to summer, then fall, then by the end of the year and then to the legislative session, and now back to summer, the chance to visit a doctor really is just a big, shiny, moving target that is going to have to wait.—Salt Lake City Weekly