Now that Utah’s conservative Legislature has passed liquor reform once considered blasphemous, it may be safe for Salt Lake City to stick its toe in the water. The Salt Lake City Council is already looking at a small expansion of clubs into near-downtown neighborhoods. Now, Mayor Ralph Becker is ready to propose getting rid of the city’s two-bar-perblock limit. A rule allowing clusters of clubs is a must if the Capitol City is to realize its visions of entertainment districts in the downtown area.
Lost your job to the economic downturn? Good luck with that. Utah’s Legislature rejected $61 million offered in the federal stimulus to increase unemployment benefits. To get the federal money, states must agree to expand the pool of those who qualify for jobless benefits, and lawmakers feared being stuck with the cost after federal money runs out. Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. is studying the issue and says Utah might take the money sometime before the clock runs out in 2011. But that’s not much comfort for people out of work today.
Workers looking to unions to protect their jobs won’t have help from Utah politicians. U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, took center stage at a recent union-bashing forum held to gin up opposition to federal legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize. Hatch and Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, complained the pro-union bill would force companies to move jobs overseas—as if the country’s union-busting corporations haven’t already accomplished that feat. Not to be outdone, Utah’s Legislature voted for a constitutional amendment that would cement power of the bosses to keep unions out of Utah.
No need to worry about what’s being buried at EnergySolutions in Utah’s west desert—just some plastic medical gloves and “low level” nuclear waste that will be safe in 100 years. So EnergySolutions says in its TV ads. Meanwhile, the U.S. nuclear regulators just reclassified a byproduct of uranium enrichment used for nuclear power as “low level.” The stuff gets more dangerous as it decays and will remain radioactive for thousands of years.