Thursday, October 21, 2021

Play

New research suggests ways to make the transition from education to career pathway smoother for young people, many of whom arenít landing the right job until their 30s; and Republicans block voting rights reforms for a third time.

Play

The White House scrambles to quell supply chain backlogs, Republicans block another voting rights bill, and a majority of Americans now believes the Supreme Court bases decisions on politics, not the constitution.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Are We Done Yet? UT Lawmakers Ponder Bill to End Pandemic

Play

Friday, March 5, 2021   

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah legislators are working on a bill that would allow them to decide when the COVID-19 pandemic is officially over - or at least, what the state needs to do when the novel coronavirus is no longer a crisis.

House members approved House Bill 294 - the so-called "Endgame Bill" - along party lines this week after a different measure failed that would have immediately ended the state's mask mandate.

Instead, they approved a bill that essentially instructs state agencies when to "stand down" from the current crisis.

Chase Thomas with the Alliance for a Better Utah said he's not so sure making it a law is the best way to go.

"We believe it's a bad idea to put this into statute," said Thomas. "And to have lawmakers - who are going to be out of session in only a day-and-a-half - setting this hard criteria, when that would be better left to the executive branch and the health department."

The bill faces an uphill battle. Senate leaders aren't enthusiastic about it, and Gov. Spencer Cox has not signaled that he would sign the bill if it lands on his desk.

Today is also the last day of the regular session, so time is running out.

HB 294 would declare Utah's pandemic and its restrictions over, either when the state hits a list of benchmarks or before July 1, whichever comes first.

At that time, state agencies would end the enforcement of policies put in place during the pandemic. Chase said, while everyone is ready for the crisis to be over, you can't just tell it to stop.

"I think people are anxious about it, and some of the lawmakers up on the hill - I mean, they've been anxious this entire time, and we all want to see an end to it," said Thomas. "It's just it's going to take a little time, and we have to be patient."

If the bill is signed, the mask mandate would end first. Other benchmarks include declaring an end to the pandemic if the state reaches a 14-day case rate of fewer than 191 per 100,000 people, the seven-day average of Intensive Care Unit bed utilization falls below 15%, or when the state has been allocated at least 1.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.


get more stories like this via email

California, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia were selected for the REACH Collaborative for their efforts to serve and support adult learners and demonstrated commitment to equitable student success. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DENVER - On Wednesday, leaders from Colorado's 13 community colleges joined a national effort to help more of the state's adults get credentials and …


Social Issues

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Today, a virtual summit hosted by the Las Vegas Mayor's Faith Initiative looks at the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous …

Social Issues

HOUSTON -- Many U.S. communities with bustling downtowns were better prepared to weather economic fallout from the pandemic, thanks to a decades-old …


Some labor experts estimate that about 300,000 jobs are outsourced annually by companies based in the United States. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- A Wisconsin group that advocates for working families is launching a new campaign, which connects federal policy to the …

Health and Wellness

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Advocates for Iowans with disabilities are sounding the alarm over what they describe as a caregiver crisis, pleading with …

In addition to protecting shorelines, Minnesota lake advocates say enhanced boater training could protect all lake users from powerful waves that come from bigger watercraft. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

BRAINERD, Minn. - Minnesota boat owners are storing their watercraft for the winter. But that isn't stopping the conversation about responsible water …

Social Issues

BOISE, Idaho - Millions of members around the world, including some Idahoans, are observing International Credit Union Day today. This year marks 73…

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- As finding a career becomes more difficult for young people, a new report said the U.S. needs a more comprehensive approach to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021