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Last Updated Jan 26, 2015 02:25PM

Even though the state has an estimated $638 million budget surplus, legislators are launching an effort to identify possible spending cuts of about 2 percent. It’s not that they actually expect to mak...

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  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Soon to be Speaker of the House Greg Hughes ducks into a back room in the Utah House of Representatives before the start of the 2015 legislative session Monday Jan 26.  Left is USAF retired Lt. Col. L. Reid Fillmore,who led the Legislature in the Pledge of Allegiance. Utah Legislature opens with familiar issues, commitment to solutions
    As the curtain lifted Monday on the 61st Utah Legislature, there were new faces, old issues and a commitment from leaders to tackle the heavy matters ...
    Updated Jan 26 2015 02:03 pm   |     |   Share
  • AP File Photo
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, had a Rolly: Jason Chaffetz’s power play has a familiar ring
    Old habits die hard. For Rep. Jason Chaffetz, old habits that got him in trouble as the governor’s self-appointed guardian in Utah are manifesting th...
    Updated Jan 26 2015 09:13 am   |     |   Share
  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Downtown Salt Lake City can be seen through the haze as traffic moves along I-15 near in Draper Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Legislative fixes for Utah’s air quality likely to come down to money
    Utah’s emission tests are not fool-proof. Catalytic converters can be hacked after an emission inspection to improve performance. Inspection forms can...
    Updated Jan 26 2015 06:30 am   |     |   Share
  • POLITICS
    FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2015 file photo, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the Republican National Committee's winter meeting aboard the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. As he decides whether to run for president a third time, Romney has accepted an invitation to speak at Jacksonville University’s spring graduation in the key presidential battleground of Florida. Romney also will receive an honorary degree on April 25, the private school announced. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) News roundup: Mormon faith drives Mitt Romney’s possible 3rd run
    Mormon faith drives Mitt Romney’s possible 3rd run. Your guide to the Utah Legislature’s General Session. Education, energy, clean air top Utahns’ iss...

    Updated Jan 26 2015 09:43 am   |     |   Share


MORE TOP STORIES, BLOGS & PHOTO GALLERIES
  • (Salt Lake Tribune file photo)  
 Utah Sen. Minority Leader Gene Davis D-Salt Lake City, was re-elected to the top party post this week. How to contact your Utah lawmakers
    UTAH SENATE NAME-PARTY (DISTRICT) CITY OCCUPATION PHONES EMAIL Stuart Adams-R (22) Layton real estate, developer 801-593-1776 jsadams@le.utah.gov C...
    Updated Jan 25 2015 05:55 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Incoming House Speaker Greg Hughes, right, talks with Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, during a meeting with interns for the 2015 legislative session in the Senate building, Thursday, January 15, 2015. Greg Hughes: Incoming House speaker scraps his way to top
    In each of his stylish suits and fashionable shirts, Greg Hughes has had the letters “LB” stitched into the fabric. It stands for “Lucky Bastard” and ...
    Updated Jan 25 2015 11:50 am   |     |   Share
  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Wild horses, on BLM land northwest of Cedar City in 2014. Wild-horse activists kicked out of federal meeting in Nevada
    Reno, Nev. • Two employees of an international animal protection organization were escorted by police from a public meeting in northern Nevada after d...
    Updated Jan 24 2015 11:15 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Evan Vucc  |  The Associated Press)  
President Barack Obama, left, National Governors Association Chairman, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and National Governors Association Vice Chairman, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert talk during a meeting with the executive committee of the National Governors Association in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, earlier this month. Utah County GOP votes to oppose Herbert’s Medicaid expansion
    The Utah County Republican Party voted overwhelmingly Saturday to oppose any effort to expand Medicaid, including Gov. Gary Herbert’s proposed Healthy...
    Updated Jan 26 2015 01:14 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Lobbyists and members of the public wait outside the House of Representatives for a chance to take to a legislator during the legislative season on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City, Utah Monday, March 10, 2014. Medicaid, firing squads — things to know about the Utah Legislature
    When Utah lawmakers convene for their 2015 legislative session Monday, they will face a packed agenda that will include debates over Medicaid expansio...
    Updated Jan 24 2015 04:03 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Thomas Burr  |  Tribune file photo)  

Rep. Rob Bishop speaks with Mark South, a former Forest Service firefighter, during a tour of the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona in January. Utah's Rep. Bishop pushes GOP bill to waive environmental laws along border
    Washington • Language quietly tucked into a Republican border-security bill advancing in Congress would allow the border patrol to ignore environmenta...
    Updated Jan 24 2015 11:46 am   |     |   Share
  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   
Drivers line up at Costco in Salt Lake to fill up their tanks with some of the cheapest gas prices around on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Raise Utah’s gas tax or reform it? House and Senate divided
    Utah Senate and House leaders are offering competing proposals on whether to raise or reform gasoline taxes this year — and each group says the other’...
    Updated Jan 24 2015 10:46 am   |     |   Share
  • ( Matt Canham  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Stan Lockhart and his daughter Hannah ride on the horse-drawn carriage carrying the body of Becky Lockhart, Utah's former House Speaker. She was buried in a Provo cemetery on Friday. Becky Lockhart’s family honors her as more than Utah’s Iron Lady
    Provo • Hundreds of people, including Utah’s political elite, attended Becky Lockhart’s funeral Friday, paying tribute to the first woman to serve as ...
    Updated Jan 24 2015 10:46 am   |     |   Share
  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
The Heber Creeper gets ready to be packed up for the night on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. Steam locomotive returning to Heber Valley Railroad
    A historic steam locomotive should chug back into service on the Heber Valley Railroad this summer, after a five-year absence filled by modern diesel-...
    Updated Jan 23 2015 09:30 pm   |     |   Share
  • | Courtesy Utah Highway Patrol

A Salt Lake City man died when his pickup truck collided with a semi on U.S. 40
 

After falling for years, Utah highway deaths shot up by 16% in 2014
    Deaths on Utah highways jumped 16 percent in 2014, reversing a trend in which fatalities had dropped 41 percent during the previous 13 years. The lion...
    Updated Jan 24 2015 04:22 pm   |     |   Share
  • POLITICS
    News roundup: Mitt Romney gathers brain trust for Boston powwow
    Mitt Romney gathers brain trust for Boston powwow. Speaker Lockhart remembered as strong leader, mother. Obama’s now visited 47 states, but Utah ain’t...

    Updated Jan 23 2015 06:09 am   |     |   Share
  • Utah’s gender gap might not close till 2087
    It’s going to take a long time before a woman in Utah earns as much, on average, as a man. Say, another 72 years. That finding, along with several oth...
    Updated Jan 23 2015 09:31 am   |     |   Share
  • Ohio Gov. Kasich promotes balanced budget amendment in Utah visit
    The governor of Ohio believes its time to force the federal government to balance its budget and he’s encouraging states to take the first step in mak...
    Updated Jan 24 2015 05:51 pm   |     |   Share
  • Rolly: Politics takes back seat as former foes laud Lockhart
    Politics is a rough-and-tumble business, and those who succeed at it often leave hurt feelings and resentment in their wake. Below the overt animosit...
    Updated Jan 24 2015 12:06 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Homeless men and women congregate outside the Bishop Weigand Homeless Day Center Tuesday December 23, 2014. City Council skeptical of mayor’s homeless commission
    The mayor’s commission to evaluate homeless services in downtown Salt Lake City looks like a stacked deck to some members of the City Council who wond...
    Updated Jan 22 2015 10:01 pm   |     |   Share
  • FrontRunner trains open extra restrooms
    FrontRunner commuter trains now have some extra places to sit: Each now has at least two public restrooms. Most trains have three, with one restroom o...
    Updated Jan 26 2015 01:13 pm   |     |   Share
  • President Barack Obama speaks with Sarah Haight with Rekluse Clutch Revolution as he tours the new Product Development Lab in Boise State University’s Micron Engineering Center, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Boise , Idaho, before speaking about the themes in his State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Washington Insight Column: Utah one of three states Obama hasn’t visited
    Washington • Air Force One has flown over Utah several times so far in President Barack Obama’s six years in office, zooming to California, Nevada or ...
    Updated Jan 26 2015 01:15 pm   |     |   Share
  • Laura Seitz  |  Pool
Lockhart family members enter the public memorial service for former Speaker of the House Becky Lockhart in the Capitol Rotunda in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.  Lockhart died at her home in Provo on Jan. 17, 2015  from a rare brain disease. Former House Speaker Becky Lockhart remembered as pioneer, mom, friend
    Former House Speaker Becky Lockhart was remembered Thursday as a leader of strong conviction, an inspiration to Utah women, a mentor, a caring friend ...
    Updated Jan 24 2015 05:51 pm   |     |   Share
  • Courtesy  |  Heidi Hatch, KUTV

Jeb Bush arrives in Salt Lake City on his way to meet Mitt Romney, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush to recognize ‘awkward’ situation in Utah meeting
    Two of the Republican Party’s top presidential talents met privately in Utah on Thursday, raising speculation they may have cut some sort of political...
    Updated Jan 22 2015 10:38 pm   |     |   Share
  • Amid 2016 chatter, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush to meet in Utah
    Miami • Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are meeting in Utah as the two men explore 2016 presidential bids. An aide to the former Florida governor confirmed t...
    Updated Jan 22 2015 09:48 am   |     |   Share
Budget
Even with a surplus, Utah lawmakers eye budget cuts
Updated Jan 26 2015 02:25 pm

Ohio Gov. Kasich promotes balanced budget amendment in Utah visit
Updated Jan 24 2015 05:51 pm

Utah’s tax burden hits 20-year low, rich-poor gap widens
Updated Jan 14 2015 08:38 pm

Herbert unveils a ‘darn good budget,’ seeks big boost in school funding
Updated Dec 11 2014 09:07 pm

Utah will have another $638M to spend thanks to spike in growth
Updated Dec 09 2014 10:36 pm

Pay commission: Give governor a 36.5 percent salary bump
Updated Dec 10 2014 03:00 pm

Highway projects: $1.2B in bonds proposed
Updated Dec 05 2014 08:48 pm

Slower education growth relieves some budget pressure
Updated Nov 19 2014 11:56 am

Utah officials to feds: Pay up for public lands
Updated Oct 03 2014 02:33 pm

Utah ends budget year with $166M surplus
Updated Oct 03 2014 02:32 pm


Crime
Utah lawmakers want task force formed to study police shootings
Updated Jan 20 2015 10:47 pm

A.G. Sean Reyes, Utah group played part in Colombian sex-trafficking sting
Updated Jan 21 2015 08:47 pm

West Valley Council votes to open records in Danielle Willard shooting
Updated Jan 15 2015 12:00 pm

West Valley leaders debate records release in Danielle Willard shooting
Updated Jan 10 2015 03:55 pm

Tooele open to prison, but not near Motorsports Park
Updated Dec 08 2014 10:12 pm

Salt Lake City police chief vows end to rape-probe backlog
Updated Nov 25 2014 11:00 pm

Salt Lake City police to open books for study on rape investigations
Updated Oct 16 2014 02:06 pm

Utah inmates to get unique chance at public service
Updated Oct 03 2014 02:36 pm

County to get free help with criminal justice system
Updated Oct 03 2014 11:04 am

Bill: Porn exposure to kids could affect custody fights
Updated Feb 26 2014 04:08 pm


Culture
Greg Hughes: Incoming House speaker scraps his way to top
Updated Jan 25 2015 11:50 am

Former House Speaker Becky Lockhart remembered as pioneer, mom, friend
Updated Jan 24 2015 05:51 pm

Utah’s gender gap might not close till 2087
Updated Jan 23 2015 09:31 am

Dem leader in Utah says focus on religious liberty could hurt civil rights
Updated Jan 17 2015 11:33 am

Lawmaker wants to allow weapons on public transit
Updated Jan 08 2015 08:27 pm

Top Mormon leaders mostly Republican; two switch to unaffiliated
Updated Dec 08 2014 03:00 pm

Mia Love sidesteps colleague’s white supremacist scandal
Updated Jan 07 2015 10:43 am

Lockhart’s Legacy: First female speaker prides herself on collaborative style
Updated Jan 07 2015 12:14 am

Beard ban at Mormon schools getting stricter, students say
Updated Nov 25 2014 11:50 am

Chaffetz: Oversight will actively probe Obama administration
Updated Dec 17 2014 09:40 pm


Elections
Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush to recognize ‘awkward’ situation in Utah meeting
Updated Jan 22 2015 10:38 pm

Utah Ex-Rep. Jim Matheson joins D.C. lobbying firm
Updated Jan 20 2015 10:31 pm

Portrait removal sparks controversy for Utah’s Chaffetz
Updated Jan 18 2015 01:29 pm

Rove: Romney must break out of shell for shot at White House
Updated Jan 17 2015 11:25 am

Poll: Most Utahns do not want to return to caucus system
Updated Jan 17 2015 11:25 am

Jon Huntsman disagrees with his dad, calls Utah Sen. Mike Lee ‘brilliant’
Updated Jan 13 2015 09:46 pm

Romney tells donors he may run again
Updated Jan 19 2015 04:58 pm

Sen. Mike Lee joins Republican leadership team he has often defied
Updated Jan 06 2015 08:02 pm

Hatch now third in line for presidency as Senate president pro tem
Updated Jan 06 2015 08:00 pm

Special interests give $8 of every $10 in Utah legislator donations
Updated Jan 12 2015 09:13 am


Education
7 Utah legislators miss ethics training deadline
Updated Jan 13 2015 09:33 pm

Slower education growth relieves some budget pressure
Updated Nov 19 2014 11:56 am

Education issue shows split between Love, Owens in Utah’s 4th district
Updated Nov 01 2014 05:13 pm

Senate panel OKs bill to rein in student-loan garnishment
Updated Mar 04 2014 08:35 pm


Environment
Air Force agrees to $219,000 fine in alleged mercury cover-up
Updated Oct 15 2014 04:27 pm

Utah governor: No surprises, no monument — for now
Updated Oct 03 2014 02:33 pm


Health
Obama commits to compromise on Herbert’s Healthy Utah plan
Updated Jan 06 2015 10:21 pm

Utah’s abortion rate at record low
Updated Dec 29 2014 10:54 am

‘His commitment ... has saved lives’: Pat Fleming leaves Salt Lake County post, but not his mental-health mission
Updated Dec 26 2014 05:41 pm

County proposes new regulations for e-cigarettes
Updated Dec 19 2014 11:09 pm

House GOP goes to school on most pressing state issues
Updated Dec 17 2014 01:00 pm

No Medicaid expansion deal reached in Utah
Updated Mar 14 2014 07:26 pm

Bill to raise smoking age goes up in flames
Updated Mar 03 2014 06:17 pm

Bill would allow insurance for infertility treatments
Updated Feb 21 2014 06:28 pm


Immigration
Salt Lake City top cop defends Obama on immigration
Updated Jan 15 2015 10:57 pm

Congress’ Utahns back bill to thwart Obama’s immigration orders
Updated Jan 14 2015 10:18 pm

Utah hits 6-year low for immigrant driving privilege cards
Updated Jan 12 2015 07:00 am

Boehner’s embrace of GOP rebels nudges House caucus to right
Updated Jan 13 2015 11:39 am

Two in three Utahns dislike Obama’s immigration orders
Updated Dec 22 2014 10:33 pm

House votes to kill president’s immigration changes
Updated Dec 04 2014 10:03 pm

Utah joins 16 states in suit challenging Obama immigration orders
Updated Dec 03 2014 10:03 pm

Utah’s Chaffetz pounces on Homeland Security chief over immigration (with video)
Updated Dec 17 2014 02:56 pm

Utah scraps most of 'show me your papers' immigration law
Updated Nov 25 2014 10:53 pm

New voice praising Obama: Mexican consul to Utah
Updated Nov 24 2014 10:10 pm


Local
Becker orders Police Civilian Review Board reports be released to public
Updated Jan 24 2015 05:54 pm

SLC releases Dillon Taylor report; all Police Civilian Review Board findings to be public going forward
Updated Jan 24 2015 05:54 pm

Salt Lake City Council teeing up cuts to golf program
Updated Jan 20 2015 02:12 pm

Salt Lake County looking to create a ‘metropolitan township’
Updated Jan 22 2015 04:24 pm

Conflict of interest? Becker’s son director at city-subsidized program
Updated Jan 15 2015 10:16 pm

Becker lays out rays of sunshine in State of the City
Updated Jan 21 2015 03:54 pm

Fraser Nelson to lead innovation for Salt Lake County
Updated Jan 18 2015 09:42 pm

Hoberman Arch: Will it ever rise again?
Updated Jan 15 2015 11:57 am

Orem restricts electronic billboards
Updated Jan 15 2015 11:58 am

County exploring 3 more ‘Pay For Success’ issues
Updated Jan 15 2015 11:58 am


Poverty
City Council skeptical of mayor’s homeless commission
Updated Jan 22 2015 10:01 pm

Poll: Majority of Utahns favor payday loan reform
Updated Jan 16 2015 01:48 pm

Salt Lake City Mission helps homeless usher in new year with warmth, hope
Updated Jan 01 2015 09:35 pm

Business interests pushing homeless shelter relocation, provider says
Updated Jan 22 2015 07:42 pm

Momentum building to move Salt Lake City homeless shelter
Updated Dec 18 2014 08:08 am

Morgan County has nation’s 12th lowest poverty rate
Updated Dec 19 2014 11:10 pm

Salt Lake City considers moving homeless shelter
Updated Dec 15 2014 08:27 am

U.S. mayors fear hunger, homelessness will rise under GOP Congress
Updated Dec 11 2014 10:15 pm

National report: Getting children out of poverty requires a two-generation approach
Updated Nov 13 2014 12:07 pm

Utah praised for initiative to end chronic homelessness
Updated Oct 15 2014 02:18 pm


Security
Utah’s Stewart named to Intelligence Committee
Updated Jan 15 2015 11:58 am


Transportation
Raise Utah’s gas tax or reform it? House and Senate divided
Updated Jan 24 2015 10:46 am

Steam locomotive returning to Heber Valley Railroad
Updated Jan 23 2015 09:30 pm

‘Lethal loopholes’ in Utah road safety laws criticized
Updated Jan 22 2015 11:41 am

Price tops list of Utah cities with shortest commutes
Updated Jan 21 2015 09:25 am

SLC airport gun-seizure rate higher than national average
Updated Jan 21 2015 08:47 pm

UTA: Extra late-night service would be too pricey
Updated Jan 14 2015 11:36 pm

New bike paths key in long-range transportation plan
Updated Jan 12 2015 09:12 am

Want a pothole fixed? Now there’s an app for that
Updated Jan 06 2015 09:40 pm

Legislators: Utah tax hikes coming for gas, roads, transit
Updated Jan 06 2015 10:24 pm

UDOT to discuss I-15 changes near South Towne Mall
Updated Jan 02 2015 10:57 pm

Welfare