Local Utah News Headlines – Tuesday Night, October 19, 2021

Tuesday evening October 19, 2021


Utah could lose the ability to enforce its own labor laws

Utah could lose some of its independence to enforce labor laws. The US Department of Labor announced Tuesday that it is considering enforcing labor standards in Utah itself. That’s because the state was supposed to pass standards at least as effective as federal rules to protect workers from COVID-19 by the end of July, but it still hasn’t done so. Arizona and South Carolina are the other two states that have yet to submit their plans. The Labor Department said the next step is to open a 35-day comment period on revocation of states status. – Sonja hutson

Utah Governor Announces New Fund to Help Settle Afghan Refugees

Utah Governor Spencer Cox on Tuesday announced the creation of a new charitable fund to support Afghan refugees arriving in Utah. The state plans to help 765 people over the next few months from the Middle Eastern country. Cox said Utah needs about $ 1 million to support relocation efforts that are not covered by federal money. The Afghan Community Fund will help cover food, shelter, medical costs and other necessities. So far he has raised $ 275,000. – Martha harris

Northern Utah

Salt Lake community members unsure of park mayor’s proposal

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall on Monday announced a proposal to use nearly $ 4 million in federal funding for a new ranger program. The money would support 16 rangers in a handful of parks across the city. Mendenhall said they would be there to provide information to park visitors, but their most important job is to resolve safety issues. This has led some community members to view the proposal as a way to tackle homelessness. Carl Moore provides outreach services to homeless people, and he said the parks where the rangers will be located are areas where many homeless people stay. Read the full story. – Emily means

Region / Nation

Mountain West labor strikes gain momentum

Labor strikes are accelerating across the country and our region is part of this wave. Mountain West workers have launched at least seven strikes in recent months to demand higher wages, better benefits and safer working conditions. Some Mountain West economies have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 – and at the same time, climate change. Some experts say these factors could lead to more strikes by workers here in the future. – Robyn Vincent

Vice President Kamala Harris visits Lake Mead amid record high

Water levels in the country’s largest reservoir are at an all-time low. Vice President Kamala Harris visited Lake Mead on Monday. She used the shutdown to advance the administration’s infrastructure plan and Build Back Better program as a way to invest in water reuse and rollout of drought contingency plans. The very first mandatory reductions for some Colorado River water users will take effect in January, and the latest forecast for Lake Mead shows more are likely underway. The river supplies water to 40 million people in the West. – Alex Hager, KUNC

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