Legislative Coverage

Legislative Session Opens with Calls to Address Homelessness, Undo Bears Ears

(KCPW News) Following his ceremonial, unanimous re-election as Speaker of the Utah House, Draper Republican Representative Greg Hughes laid out his priorities for the 2017 state legislative session. Among the items Hughes wants lawmakers to tackle this year: striking a balance to address public education funding, rescinding the newly-designated Bears Ears National Monument, and taking on homelessness at the state level.

House Speaker Greg Hughes (R-Draper) gives opening remarks to lawmakers on Jan 23, 2017.
“This state, and I use the word ‘state’ on purpose, has a homelessness crisis amongst us,” Hughes told lawmakers on the first day of this year’s General Session.

“The values, the culture of this community…does not match with the carnage that’s going on in real time right now,” he said.

On the topic of the Bears Ears National Monument designated by President Obama last month, Hughes criticized what he called the protection of “dead silence” and “open skies.” Calling it a “great overstep,” he called on lawmakers to appeal to the Trump administration to undo the designation – a proposal that was met with applause from some in the chamber.

In his closing remarks, Speaker Hughes called for a collaborative effort and for legislators to vote their conscience. Utah’s 62nd legislature runs until March 5th.

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