- Effort to let political parties drop signature gathering to qualify for primary returns to Capitol - Dan McCay’s bill, SB205, would give political parties the option of returning to a system that doesn’t allow the signature gathering path to the ballot. It passed out of committee 7-2.
- Lent amid the pandemic: Turning away from despair and toward God - Some religious leaders say that spiritual practices typical to Lent are also a boon to mental health.
- Biden’s leasing ban brings furious letter from Utah governor, others - The letter by Cox and other governors emphasizes that Biden’s practices will merely shift production to foreign and possibly hostile nations where environmental regulations are not as stringent, amplifying levels of fossil fuel emissions, not abating them.
- Closed-door negotiations over ‘Dixie’ name show a lack of leadership - Senate leaders should assign HB278, the bill that would start a name change process at Dixie State University, to a committee immediately and do the people’s work in the open.
- Do high-density apartments decrease nearby home values? Utah study says no - Homes located within 1/2 mile of a new apartment building experienced a 10% yearly increase in median value between 2010 and 2019, while those located farther away rose by 8.6%.
- Utah moves to bar government from mandating COVID-19 vaccines - Spendlove’s bill would ban mandates from all branches of government, including cities and counties, but does not step into the realm of the private sector.
- Nearly $100 million in tax cuts slated for Utah veterans, seniors, families - An across-the-board income tax rate cut is unlikely this year.
- Flu, RSV cases ‘practically zero’ across country: But should masks take all the credit? - It’s unclear, actually. Health care providers do worry about a significant resurgence once mask-wearing slows or stops.
- What Sen. Mike Lee asked President Biden’s pick for attorney general in Senate hearing - Lee asked about guns, bigotry, other nominees, FISA and religious liberty.
- Electric vehicle owners can breathe easy after House defeats bill to hike registration fees - HB209 had gone through four iterations before finally being rejected with a vote of 27-44.
Salt Lake Tribune
- ‘Yes’ in my backyard? Study shows new Salt Lake County apartments actually boost neighbors’ home values. - University of Utah research reaffirms that higher density not only increases housing affordability but also brings more amenities and more “buzz” to communities.
- Bill that would limit governor’s emergency powers sprints ahead in Utah Senate - Under the legislation, if a crisis lasts beyond 30 days, the Legislature could then weigh in on the situation.
- Utah Senate kills controversial billboard bill - There are two more billboard-related bills still alive in the 2020 session.
- Two childhood viruses at near zero, a ‘good side effect of COVID-19,’ a Utah pediatrician says - “It’s really, truly, one of the good side effects, if you will, of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Bill that supporters say would fill gap for rape victims in Utah law fails in committee - This bill would have filled a gap for victims who can’t give consent, including those who are asleep, intoxicated or who “freeze” and can’t react “because of the fear of the trauma that’s happening to them.”
- Legislative leaders pushing for $100 million in tax relief - Three bills aim at tax cuts for families, military retirees and Social Security recipients.
- Delta flight makes emergency landing in Salt Lake (KUTV) - Flight 2123 with 128 passengers on board was en route from Atlanta to Seattle.
- Utah Senate stalls on recognizing genocide in China, shutting down Confucius Institutes (Fox 13) - Bills stuck in Senate rules, ‘soft power’ being exerted to keep resolutions from passing.
- Jerold Ottley, who led the famed Tabernacle Choir to even greater heights, dies of COVID-19 (Salt Lake Tribune) - His 25-year tenure is remembered for the Choir's performances at Christmas and presidential inaugurations.
- Utah records 338 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest since September (Salt Lake Tribune) - In total, the state has seen 367,073 cases.
- Biden remembers 500,000 American lives lost to COVID-19 (Fox News) - Biden called the milestone "truly grim" and "heartbreaking.”
- Opinion: We’ve lost 500,000 Americans to covid-19. We can prevent the loss of 500,000 more. (Washington Post) - It is possible, finally, to imagine a day when this devastating pandemic is brought to an end.
- Why get COVID-19 vaccination if you still have to wear a mask? It beats getting sick, health experts say. (USA Today) - It's not clear what the threshold should be that allows people to let their guards – and masks – down. 66,000 Americans are still getting infected every day.
- Moderna moves forward on plan to increase Covid vaccine supply in each vial after latest FDA feedback (CNBC) - Doses per vial will increase from 10 to 15.
- Vaccines Adapted for Variants Will Not Need Lengthy Testing, F.D.A. Says (New York Times) - The agency’s new guidance will speed the development of vaccines that protect against more contagious variants of the coronavirus.
- COVID-19 pandemic has Vatican bracing for $60 million deficit in 2021 (Religion News Service) - The pandemic has shrunk donations and closed the high-earning Vatican museums for months.
- 2 common COVID-19 symptoms for long-haulers (Deseret News) - Fatigue and loss of sense of taste/smell.
- New study: 30% of people experience COVID-19 symptoms after 9 months diagnosis (Deseret News) - “What’s clear is that you can do well initially, but then over time develop symptoms that are quite crippling in terms of fatigue.”
- How to recover from COVID-19 vaccine symptoms (Deseret News) - The side effects include “pain, potentially fatigue, and a low-grade fever.”
- West Virginia's Vaccination Rate Ranks Among Highest In World (NPR) - Instead of relying on Internet-based scheduling, WV set up a telephone hotline to answer questions and schedule appointments.