KDXU Sunrise Stories for January 31, 2024: Governor Cox Passes 2 Controversial Utah Bills
KDXU Sunrise Stories: Volume 142
Statewide News – 01/31/24
Governor Cox Passes Two Controversial Bills
Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed two bills that have caused controversy across the state for the subject matter covered.
The first bill, the “trans bathroom bill,” requires transgender people to use the restroom that coincides with the gender listed on their birth certificate. The rule only exempts those who have undergone gender-changing surgery or if they changed the gender listed on their birth certificate.
The second bill passed by Cox is House Bill 261, also known as the DEI bill.
Details of the Passed Anti-DEI Bill
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity programs at public universities are officially not allowed in Utah as of January 30.
The changes to these DEI programs are not listed as a ban by the state. The new bill opens the program to all students regardless of race, gender, or any other factors.
One condition of the bill forbids employers from pushing employees to sign statements to call out discrimination when they see it.
New Bill Proposed to Raise Energy Rates
A new bill proposed in the Utah legislature may cause energy costs to rise.
House Bill 191 would require Rocky Mountain Power, a power company listed on many electric bills in Utah, to replace their coal power plants with different sources that have “similar attributes” to coal-based power.
An article from the Salt Lake Tribune reported the Office of Consumer Service said the bill would have the ratepayer be the one paying the additional price and would continue to harm the environment due to emissions from coal-based power.
Southern Utah/St. George News – 01/31/24
Residential Fire Seen Throughout St. George
A fire at a home on Honeycomb Drive in St. George on January 30 could be seen across the area due to the towering smoke plumes.
The reported accidental fire started in the garage of a home that contained multiple residents. After a swift evacuation, firefighters worked to minimize the damage, but the flames caused parts of the roof to collapse, allowing the fire to push into the trusses of the home and into the attic.
Nobody was seriously injured in the fire, but the homeowners had to seek other lodgings because of the damage sustained to the house. Chief Robert Stoker from the St. George Fire Department said it took about two and a half hours to fully extinguish the flames.
Utah Tech Rally Ends with Passing of “Trans Bathroom Bill”
About 100 people gathered on January 30 for the Utah Tech University I’ll Go With You rally to call for the veto of the “trans bathroom bill.”
The event was meant to provide awareness on violence and discrimination against the transgender community, provide a safe haven for those identified as a transexual, and encourage Utah Governor Spencer Cox to veto House Bill 257, also known as the “trans bathroom bill.”
Once the bill was signed by Cox, the nearly 100 people dispersed, and the peaceful protest ended.
Iron County Jail First in Utah to Have IGNITE Program
Iron County Jail is the first facility in Utah to adopt the IGNITE program which provides education to inmates for use upon release.
The Inmate Growth, Naturally and Intentionally through Education initiative (IGNITE) allows incarcerated individuals to receive education for a GED, provides training for a trade job, and allows access to several enrichment courses.
Companies in Iron County can also offer job training to inmates at no cost to the company or the trainee. The program started in Michigan in 2020 and has expanded to 11 states.
Fun fact about Stockton Myers, the writer of Sunrise Stories.
Stockton misses the warm weather. That’s not to say the weather hasn’t been pleasant in Southern Utah, he just wants to enjoy the warmth of springtime. A big reason for this is that Stockton is planning a California trip with his family in May, and he would prefer the weather to get warmer sooner rather than later before he makes the trip.